Our Music Blog An interview with composer Shiori Usui Let’s take a journey to the bottom of the sea. Maybe you can imagine what that might look like… but how would it sound? What noises would you hear as you went deeper? Back in 2013, this was exactly what our Apprentice Composer-in-Residence; Shiori Usui wanted to find out. Deep is inspired by all the weird and wonderful creatures living in the deep sea, from killer whales to sharks, and draws inspiration from the well-known BBC series Blue Planet. Other inspiration also came from Shiori’s curiosity of who the creatures living underwater are, what they can hear, and the unimaginable conditions they inhabit. During the performance, the audience are taken on a multi-sensory audio-visual ‘voyage’ to the murky depths of ocean floor. Thanks to funding from PRS Resonate, we were able to perform Deep as part of as part of our Migrating Sounds concert last month. We were delighted to hear news of Shiori’s Paul Hamlyn Award, which offers winners £60,000 pounds over three years with no obligations as to how the money is used. The opportunity arose at our AYM Award Day in November to speak with Shiori about the award, and how she plans to enjoy the artistic freedom the money will afford in the coming years. BCMG: If you just wanted to talk about the Paul Hamyln Award and how pleased you are to have won it or your reaction to winning it. S: Yeah I was really surprised to hear because it’s a really competitive thing and also there are so many great composers out there so I didn’t think I would win, so when I got a phone call I was really delighted and yeah I was also kind of relieved because they are so generous to fund us for three years, the financial pressure was lifted for so many years was quite huge. I realised that after I received this award how much it really means and psychologically as an artist so yeah. BCMG: So how do you plan to use the money for the next three years? Any projects you’ve got in mind? S: Yes! So I’d like to create a work that is for people with additional support needs and I’d like to create a work which is theatrical. As well as sound exploration and maybe in a swimming pool maybe in a different place? But yeah at the moment I’m just hatching ideas.