Meet the winner of our international commission Three Cities

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Meet the winner of our international commission Three Cities

We’re really excited to announce multi-instrumentalist and producer Alan Keary aka Shunya as the winner of our international commission, Three Cities.

Shunya, who took part in our DJ Yoda residency in 2014 and subsequently went on to tour with DJ Yoda’s Breakfast of Champions live band, will represent Brighter Sound and the city of Manchester as part of this unique project, in which three emerging musicians from three different European cities (Manchester, Saint-Étienne and Berlin) will collaborate to create, record and perform new work.

The other artists chosen by our international partners (Le FIL and Music Pool) are self proclaimed “neo-mermaid” Paillette from Saint Étienne, whose atmospheric songs draw on jazz and folk influences, and Berlin-based Martha Rose whose sound is described as “a delicate and dreamlike combination of casio pop and old English folk song.”

From next week, together they’ll spend two days in Manchester at Brighter Sound collaborating to create new music, two days in Saint Étienne recording at music venue Le FIL, and three days with Music Pool in Berlin attending music industry events and premiering their work to a live audience.

“We were impressed by Shunya’s approach to collaboration, his creative and imaginative thinking and progressive ideas. We thought his skills as a multi-instrumentalist would really add value to the collective creation of a new piece of work. Brighter Sound is excited to hear what the trio of musicians from Manchester, Berlin and Saint Étienne create in this first commission with our international partners.”
Debra King, Director, Brighter Sound

If you’re interested in following the Three Cities journey, keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram over the coming weeks. Their schedule is as follows:

Brighter Sound, Manchester: Tue 6 – Wed 7 Feb

Le FIL, Saint-Étienne: Fri 2 – Mon 5 Mar

Music Pool, Berlin: Mon 12 – Fri 16 Mar (live premiere in Berlin on Thu 15 Mar)

About Shunya

Shunya’s sound is an amalgamation of influences, ranging from his early musical background of classical violin to the sounds of Manchester’s electronic music scene which compliment his highly accomplished abilities as a jazz bassist. His influences include artists such as Flying Lotus, Bjork and Eric Whitacre.

In early 2017, Shunya’s name saw a rapid increase in notoriety when his single Wonder N Wane (feat Hayley Pip Williams) was picked up by Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1) and BBC Radio Manchester. I Love Manchester also ranked Shunya in their “top 5 local bands making it big in Manchester”. 

Find out more about Shunya


Three Cities is supported by Arts Council England’s National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme.