New music project - 5 or 6 commissions annually until 2024

We are totally excited to be announcing our first group of composers to be commissioned by us to write music for Animo ready for concerts and recordings in 2020!

Our call for a Launch Composer was shared among Music Colleges and was posted on Composition Today resulting in over 35 composers contacting us to ask us to commission them. 

We decided to commission 5 or 6 composers annually until 2024 and so we are creating the future of Animo with exclusive rights to each composition for the first 1.5 - 2 years. Our dream is to build a fabulous library of new repertoire which represents us and our ethos and gives us a chance to take this experience and share it with our audiences but also Schools, Colleges and Universities. 

2020's 'new music project' Animo's composers are:

Edmund Jolliffe

Edmund’s music embraces a huge range of styles from contemporary classical to songs for shows. He writes music for film and television, but is also an award winning concert composer (Prizes). His music is published, performed and broadcast all over the world.

He has been writing music to picture for over fifteen years, both in the UK and internationally. Many of his projects have been nominated for or won numerous awards, including BAFTAs. Major series he has composed music for include ‘Who do you think you are?’ (BBC1), ‘The Great War: The People’s Story’ (ITV1), ‘Homestead Rescue’ (Discovery) ‘My Kitchen Rules’ (Sky) ‘Long Lost Family’ (ITV1) and ‘Unreported World’ (C4). He was nominated for an RTS Craft and Design Award for his score to BBC 1’s ‘Elizabeth at 90’.

More recently, Edmund has been working on a documentary about Tudor Christmas (due to be shown on BBC 2, 20th Dec), finished writing the score for two series of Unreported World and a cookery series coming out in February, writing music for a further two documentaries, composing a full album of Music Library and proofreading a new publication of clarinet and piano pieces. Edmund has just started writing our piece and his first request was to ask Sarah is she can produce a sound on the flute that sounds like a puffin (see below!).

To find out more about Edmund, please visit Edmund's website and his youTube channel.

Animo are thrilled to have commissioned Edmund to write a piece for us based on the RSPB's list of endangered birds. 

Lukas Piel

Lukas Piel (*1989) is a Composer and Sound Designer from Essen, Germany.

Lukas is a multi-instrumentalist and has toured with different bands and ensembles both in his home country and internationally. As a composer he has written music for Film and Video games and this is what attracted us to choose him as one of our five 'new music project' composers for 2020. 

Lukas was nominated for the European Soundtrack Cologne Award in 2017 and 2019. 

We are excited that he has agreed to write for us based on his Soundtrack expertise. Three examples of his compositions are below:

We are very excited to hear Lukas' second draft of our piece which already sounds astonishingly beautiful and haunting (just what we wanted!). A sneak preview will appear on our blog in late January 2020. 


Helen Walker

Helen Walker is a (soulful) musician, composer, songwriter and record producer. Helen's music can be found on social media and is diverse, intriguing, beguiling and with a fine blend of jazz, folk and fun! We were very grateful that she and her husband (also a fine musician) came to our launch. It was a meeting of minds and hearts. 

We hope that working with Helen, Animo will develop a new sound out of this collaboration.

When Helen first approached us she said: 

Having listened to your music on your website I feel I may be of interest to you because I tend to write eclectic and melodic music with jazz influenced harmonies. I’d be happy to "shape the piece to your strengths” and have it evolve through your input. 

We are very excited at the prospect of working with Helen. It was because of her enthusiasm that we started the 'new music project' and we are proud to be working with her. 

Two examples of Helen's music: 

'Gather Here’ was winner of the Alwinton Summer Concerts 2016 National Composers' Competition. Premiered by Kathryn Tickell & The Side and subsequently added to their setlist.

'Divertissement No.3 for Guitar’ was playlisted on BBC Radio 3 as part of the ‘Hear Her Season’ June 2018.

Tara Guram

Tara Guram is another wonderful composer that we are looking forward to working with. 

Initially a geneticist, Tara was subsequently a prize-winning postgraduate student at the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Edwin Roxburgh.  Her music has been played throughout Britain, broadcast on BBC Radio 3, recorded with Sargasso records, and also performed in Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, France and Jordan.  Previous commissions have included pieces for the Brighton Festival, the International Harp Festival, and the Sound and Image Festival in Bonn.  She has won several composition prizes including the U.K. and Eire Composition Platform 2002 Audience Prize, and was a finalist for the Young Composer’s Award in 2000.  Tara also works as an upper strings teacher and ensemble director for Hertfordshire Music Service.

Tara's eccentric, surprising and extra-ordinary compositions have intrigued us. We really want to work with her to see what ideas we can bring together and how her imagination can mould our sound. 
Tara's music:
Here is a Tara Guram's 'Loopy Valse' which she has recommended as an example of her style:

We are so excited after our first official Skype with Tara! The ideas came rushing in after our initial rendition of her draft idea. In her own words: "the plan would be to start from nothing, build up with this idea to an anguished climax of utter grief, and then back to nothing.  I do try to be cheerful!!" Well, we absolutely love the anguish and the ideas of how Sarah's sound can start from nothing, how the piano can incorporate the middle pedal (don't get those chances very often!) and how we can build this together. Wouldn't it be nice if this piece keeps evolving?


Yiannis Maramathas

Yiannis Maramathas is a Greek composer who approached us as a response to an ad on Composition Today. We were immediately taken by his heartfelt, effortless, some times playful and elegant approach to composition. Animo have a lot to learn from Yiannis and we hope that together we will learn more about ourselves and stretch our skills and musicality.

Yiannis wrote a short bio for our website: 

Yiannis Maramathas was born in Athens where he started his music studies at the age of nineteen alongside his studies at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). In 2016 he graduated from the Department of Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering of the NTUA and he was enrolled at the master’s degree program of the Department of Musical Studies of the Ionian University, “Composition for Film, Theatre and Performing Arts” where he graduated in 2017. In the period between 2016 till 2018 he took composition lessons with Cornelius Selamsis.  In September of 2018 he was enrolled at the Masters in Composition program of the Royal College of Music in London where he is currently studying with Dr. Jonathan Cole. Works of his have been performed at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), at the Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine arts & Music and the Recital Hall of the Royal College of Music. He has worked with, among others, the Ionian Festival Ensemble and the Hellenic Group of Contemporary Music. He has composed music for theatre, dance performance and video art.

Some examples of Yiannis' works can be found on soundcloud:

and on YouTube:

'The Leaf of the Poplar'; entry for the 2017 Athens Concert Hall International Film Music Competition. Composition/Sound Design by Yiannis Maramathas 

Joseph Howard

Joseph Howard was our Launch Composer. We premiered his piece on the 24th October 2019. 

There are several blogs that Yanna wrote about him and his Animo commissioned piece, 'Ex Arcadia'.

Having worked with him we feel extremely lucky that we had the chance to play a piece so beautifully crafted. Joe is an up and coming composer and we will hear a lot from him in the next few years. 

Thank you for a brilliant first commission Joe!

Below videos from the journey to premiering 'Ex Arcadia' at our launch in October 2019.