Simmer Down is offering a unique opportunity to an emerging, young composer in the West Midlands. The Original Dishes commission is a partnership between Simmer Down Festivals and The Drum Arts centre. We would like to commission an original piece of music that will open Simmer Down 2014 (20th July 2014) and mark the 20th anniversary of the Drum Arts Centre.


Simmer Down is one of the fastest growing festivals in the UK with an anticipated audience of 10,000 in 2014. It is a unique, intercultural festival celebrating Birmingham’s cultural landscape with a programme including Reggae, Hip Hop, Bhangra, Qawwali, African, European, Kurdish and Much more.

The Drum Arts Centre is the UKs Premier Intercultural Arts centre.

Commission Brief: Original Dishes 

The proposed piece should represent and celebrate the intercultural nature of Birmingham and its rich creative, cultural mix. This fantastic opportunity provides:

  • £1500 inclusive fee (composition, performers/musicians materials etc)
  • Rehearsal and staging costs.

It will be the responsibility of the commissioned composer to manage this budget, contracting performers, musicians, collaborators and additional equipment if required. Rehearsal space can be provided at the Drum at no additional cost.

The cost of staging the commission (Stage PA, lighting) are included as part of the Simmer Down festival itself.

  • The commission should be between 10 – 15 min’s in length and feature a minimum of 3 performers.
  • The performance will be staged at the Simmer Down festival on 20th July 2014.
  • The commission is open to any young musician or collaborators age 18 – 25 who are resident in the West Midlands (Please Note: it’s not necessary that performers should meet this criteria).
  • The piece can involve collaborations with other art forms (dance, film etc).


How to apply 

To apply, please return a completed application including 3 examples of your work by 24th May 2014 to:

Vanessa Ryan-Smith Programming Assistant


The Drum Arts Centre

144 Potters Lane




If you have any questions regarding the commission please contact:

Martin Cox, Programme & Arts Manager, 0121 333 2425


Commission Opportunity

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