This year’s Oram Awards, the annual event celebrating female and gender minority artists who are pushing the limits of electronic sound, has come to a conclusion. And the 2022 winners are…

AMBLE SKUSE

Describe your work in one sentence
“Making noises, using speech, finding the flow, connecting with something deep inside me.”

We should listen to…
“I’m probably most proud of my album ‘What News’ with Alasdair Roberts and David McGuinness.”

Who would you like to toast?
“Everyone! There’s a huge community of wonderful people who have had my back. The most important thing is connecting with others and supporting them, because being an artist is a tough and lonely thing to do.”

What’s your best bit of career advice?
“Probably, ‘You can’t afford to fuck about’, which I took to mean, ‘Always go for the thing you want, don’t waste time, don’t half-do things, life is short’. Music-wise, it’s probably to listen back to your stuff with your eyes closed and make handwritten notes on what you want to change.”

Your dream collaboration?
“I love working with traditional musicians, as I feel the spooky electronics really work well with their traditional stories. I also do stuff with Celtic languages, so Gaelic singers like Kathleen McInnes would be wonderful.”

And a New Year’s resolution?
“To make a new album with Ali and David, to finish writing up my PhD, and to swim in the sea more.”


AMY CUTLER

Describe your work in one sentence
“Drawing on an unusual background as a geographer, I create electronic and analogue A/V performances, interactive installations and tape releases often related to ecology and emotion.”

We should listen to…
“My album ‘The End (Also Ends) Of (The) Earth And Variants’. It’s a 17-track release based on one short untranslatable medieval lament, which uses the word ‘earth’ 12 times in its four lines.”

Who would you like to toast?
“Crow Versus Crow, Strategic Tape Reserve, Misophonia Records. My live performance collaborators, from Scott Pitkethly to the musicians who took part in my ‘NATURE’S NICKELODEONS’ touring live cinema show. Supernormal Festival, Hackoustic and Iklectik.”

What’s your best bit of career advice?
“Don’t wait to be authorised to be a musician.”

Your dream collaboration?
“The Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity, creating live and living cinema in response to the work of their researchers and biologists on de-extinction.”

And a New Year’s resolution?
“To keep connecting with new people, more public spaces, to get away from my laptop and bedroom, and to keep on finding new ways of working.”


ELLA KAY

Describe your work in one sentence
“Interpreting a perception of the world through experimental sound.”

We should listen to…
“If you like city soundscapes, swirling textures and noisy thunderous gestures, I’d recommend my newest work, ‘The Value Of Noise’.”

Who would you like to toast?
“NOVARS Research Centre at The University of Manchester, Professor Ricardo Climent and Professor David Berezan for introducing me to electroacoustic music and the joys of sound. Also a massive thank you to my family, friends and my partner Eddie, for always nurturing my creativity and for their constant confidence in me!”

What’s your best bit of career advice?
“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.”

Your dream collaboration?
“My grandest idea would be to work with some of the founders of electroacoustic music, as I know I’d be able to learn so much. But more so, I’d love to work with my friends who also work in electroacoustic music and sound art.”

And a New Year’s resolution?
“Generally, I’d like to take more time for rest when needed, say no when I need to and meet new people. My music-oriented aspirations for the year involve exploring new areas of sound, more professional sound design work, and presenting electroacoustic music to more ears.”


RANI JAMBAK

Describe your work in one sentence
“‘Alam Takambang Jadi Guru’ is one of my favourite pieces of Minangkabau Philosophy. It means ‘Nature is our teacher’ and has a very deep meaning for me and my work.”

We should listen to…
“‘Suara Minangkabau’ on my YouTube channel. It’s a fun way to learn about Minangkabau’s culture.”

Who would you like to toast?
“I am grateful to be surrounded by many beautiful friends that helped me grow and listen to my difficulties. I also want to thank my husband.”

What’s your best bit of career advice?
“It’s not about you choosing music or music choosing you – it’s about the universe choosing music for you.”

Your dream collaboration?
“I always admire Björk’s vision and exploration of her music, soul and environment.”
And a New Year’s resolution?

And a New Year’s resolution?
“I am expecting a baby next year. It’s going to be a huge change for me and my music. I am also now working on my album. Hopefully I can adapt to the new stage of life smoothly and release my album in the middle of next year.”


LIA MAZZARI

Describe your work in one sentence
“My creative practice exists in different contexts, spaces and forms – it’s omnidisciplinary, situated, curatorial, often collaborative and engages diverse audiences through sonic encounters in unusual spaces.”

We should listen to…
“‘Decameron-19: 100 Dispatches From The Isolated City’ was a trans-disciplinary project I started with artist Ben Parry during the first global lockdown, as a response to the socio-political condition brought on by the pandemic.”

Who would you like to toast?
“Artists from Soundcamp, for sharing their knowledge about transmission ecologies with me. Artist Ella Finer for her constant support and motivation to keep my practice evolving. And Ben Parry for his guidance and for always putting the politics back into my work.”

What’s your best bit of career advice?
“One thing sound artist Maria Chavez told me about seven years ago, over a bowl of peas, is that your ideas need to live outside of your own head, even in the most ill-conceived manner.”

Your dream collaboration?
“Maryanne Amacher. She was such a fascinating, multifaceted artist and composer, always looking to the future and grasping the unheard.”

And a New Year’s resolution?
“Play the cello much more often, and release my collection of whip cracking recordings that I’ve been working on for a few years.”


FRKTL (SARAH BADR)

Describe your work in one sentence
“I work with procedural systems for simulation and spatialisation in sound and graphics, as well as real-time manipulation and improvisation, which allows me to explore world creation, complex natural phenomena, and the association between form and place in new digital spaces.”

We should listen to…
“My short film ‘Azimuth’, which is my first complete work since setting out to learn 3D graphics programming. It incorporates immersive technologies in earnest.”

Who would you like to toast?
“My family has been incredibly supportive. I am forever grateful for their continued inspiration, nurturing and encouragement over the years.”

What’s your best bit of career advice?
“What I’ve learned, in passing, is not to rely too much on any one particular thing.”

Your dream collaboration?
“Felicity Mangan, Mabe Fratti, Björk, Abdullah Miniawy, Aho Ssan, Senyawa, KMRU, TIBSLC… I am deeply in awe of their music and creativity.”

And a New Year’s resolution?
“To be more disciplined with my time, and finish my next full-length album and follow-up short film.”


LULA.XYZ

Describe your work in one sentence
“A quest for home, exploring energy, feelings and thoughts, rooted in play as a creative process.”

We should listen to…
“‘Dalston’. It’s the only single officially released from my 2020 EP, ‘From My Hands 2 UR Ears’. The project was recorded in one take using MiMU gloves – the wearable tech MIDI controller. It acted as a time capsule for my live performances.”

Who would you like to toast?
“Chris Sholar, Freda Knowles and Julia Cheng have been instrumental in helping me trust my voice. Ben Hirst and Amy Dickens were amazing and gave their time and energy at an instrumental time of my career. I will forever be grateful!”

What’s your best bit of career advice?
“Your ‘success’ is not determined by your talent!”

Your dream collaboration?
“Björk. It’s always been Björk.”

And a New Year’s resolution?
“Remember the universe is on your side, be clear and ask for what you want unapologetically. Also, New Year’s resolutions start the day you start them. It’s not set to the Gregorian calendar.”


KELLY JAYNE JONES

www.anniefengphotography.com

Describe your work in one sentence
“Exploring animist ideas around the breath and spirit of mountains and rivers, and how we can reconnect with ourselves and our planet by means of ancient and future rituals.”

We should listen to…
“I still love the piece I did for the Cafe Oto imprint Takuroku during the pandemic, ‘The Reed Flute Is Fire’. It’s inspired by the mystic Rumi and his story of the reed flute that made a crying sound since being cut from the reed bed.”

Who would you like to toast?
“Many, many excellent and inspiring people and experiences over the years. Playing squats and DIY spaces across continents, creating installations and work with beautiful collaborator and friend Haris Epaminonda at Venice Biennale. It is hard to name just one person, those closest to me are incredibly supportive and amazing.”

What’s your best bit of career advice?
“I’ve not had any advice that I can remember. To be honest, I’ve mostly followed my intuition about what feels right.”

Your dream collaboration?
“Probably Joan Jonas.”

And a New Year’s resolution?
“I’m excited to dive deep into researching and exploring ideas connected to this Oram Award!”

For more, visit oramawards.com

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