We’re delighted to announce our Change Or Be Changed young composers: Michael-Jon Mizra and Benjamin Finney.
We received over 70 applications of an exceptional standard for the two spaces available for this commission so competition was extremely tough. Benjamin and Michael-Jon will receive mentoring from professional composers Ben Cottrell and Sara Lowes during their three-month writing period. They've been commissioned to each write an original piece of music, of any genre, in response to the changing times of the music industry. Their pieces will be unveiled at Band on the Wall later in the year at a premiere performance not to be missed.
"Change Or Be Changed is a really brilliant opportunity for a young composer today - to be given the budget and freedom to create an original piece of work in any genre. We're really looking forward to working with Michael and Benjamin who have come up with some really exciting and innovative ideas" – Sara Lowes
Benjamin graduated from the University of Salford with a degree in popular music and recording, choosing composition and music production as his electives. Since graduating he's gone on to teach guitar, specialising in beginner guitar while developing his own solo work and creative practice.
“I am excited to have been given this opportunity to showcase my own composition and see it performed in a way that might not have been possible otherwise. I intend to make use of this opportunity to develop my own skills throughout this process.”
Benjamin composes ambient and experimental music, utilising the guitar and effects to create atmospheric instrumentals. Most recently he's been working on an ongoing project entitled 'Ambient Postcard'. The project explores the average listening time of a new audience by using a post card to create an inspired piece of music at just 40 seconds in length.
Michael-Jon is a musician and composer from Manchester whose work to date has included working with a variety of sound sources, electronics and live audio visual work to explore new methods of composing and developing a unique creative practice and live performance.
"It feels great to get this; I'm in for a challenge! The work is going to explore music piracy's imprint on culture, using both consumer electronic goods and traditional instruments"
Michael-Jon studied music at The University of Leeds achieving a BA in Music with particular interest in technology, composition and musicology. Recently, he's been working with composer Kaffe Matthews as part of her Bicrophonic Research institute, creating thematic material that was used in a protest ride through London during the COP21 talks.