The concept for PRXLUDES initially came in early 2020, in the height of the first COVID-19 lockdown. I was in my first year as a Master’s composition student at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, after having entered from a nonclassical background — and the lockdown made me realise two major points about my compositional journey:
- I had very little knowledge of what was happening in contemporary music, the kind of work my peers were making, and the kinds of composers being studied;
- It was incredibly difficult to keep a community of artists together, making our composition practices even more isolated than they were.
So around April, I set out a short plan to address these issues — both in terms of my own learning, which I felt was stunted by the pandemic, and in keeping together the community of composers and friends I had made at Birmingham.
Inspired by British composer Patrick Ellis’s interview series What is a composer? — and some encouraging words from my tutors at the time (particularly Ed Bennett and Howard Skempton) — I conducted some interviews with a few trusted composer friends about their practice, their artistic research, and their development as artists. Following the success of these interviews, I reached out to other composers and artists in my circles — from the DIY music scenes I used to be part of, from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and later from other music schools.
As of 2023, PRXLUDES has been home to over 50 interviews with composers, artists, and practitioners of new music, from over 20 countries ranging from the UK and Europe to the United States, China, Mexico, Iran, and New Zealand. We’ve featured composers who have gone on to work with organisations such as the Royal Philharmonic Society, Nonclassical, Sound and Music, the London Symphony Orchestra, and Britten Pears Arts, among many others.
Alongside continuing our interview series over the course of 2023, we’re also looking to expand from the “traditional” interview format to include group conversations with music organisations, guest articles from artists, and resources for newly graduated composers and artists starting out.
PRXLUDES is an entirely DIY affair, with all of our daily costs coming out of pocket. If you are able to, we highly encourage you to donate to keep the platform alive: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/prxludes
header image: composer and visual artist Catherine Mole performing at new music platform AMOK, Artefact, Birmingham, 2022. Photo by James McIlwrath. Learn more about Catherine Mole