InterplayNow music commissions 2019


We are offering six micro-commissions as part of the Sheffield based InterplayNow cross cultural music and webcasting project. This crossover music commission project has been developed and is run by the Virtual Migrants artists collective. If you are interested, please read the following brief and fill in the form which you will find at the end or <<CLICK HERE>>

InterplayNow Music Commission Brief

Six musicians will be invited to collaborate in three pairs, each pair to create a new piece of music. Each pair will be selected for the potential for cross-cultural and cross-genre creation. Musicians may apply individually or as a pair.

The pieces will be premiered at our event titled ‘Greater Than The Sum’ at Theatre Deli on the 9th of October.

Key considerations:

Applications will be most positively received from musicians who identify as working in a specific tradition but this will be broadly interpreted and can include folk forms, hybrid forms, experimental forms, electronica, MCing…. please look at our InterplayNow YouTube channel for examples (search for ‘InterplayNow’ as one word without a space).

Musicians will need to be able to demonstrate professional experience which could include previous commissions, a body of publicly available work, a history of collaboration and of performing live.

As part of the purpose of the InterplayNow project is to develop cross-cultural music making in Sheffield, music commission applicants must be able to demonstrate a strong connection with and commitment to music making in Sheffield whether through residence, practice and/or heritage.

We are seeking cross-cultural collaborations so applications from pairs of musicians working in the same genre or from the same heritage will not be accepted.

The works created must be wholly original, and be receiving their premiere on the 9th October. They must not have been performed, broadcast or previewed in whole or in part prior to this date, unless in the course of publicising the InterplayNow project through our recognised online channels. Successful applicants will be expected to agree to a maximum of three interviews with InterplayNow project participants, and for those interviews to be broadcast.

Pieces must be performable live by each pair of musicians, who will need to appear in person on the night of the 9th October. Multi-instrumentalists are welcome, but regrettably we cannot provide further resources such as additional musicians, choirs, orchestral accompaniment etc. In very limited circumstances we may able to provide a third musician – this would need to be discussed well in advance.

While the pieces need not be any specific length, we do not expect pieces to be of more than around ten minutes duration given the scale of the commission.

Music commission pieces must be suitable for performing to family audiences. Use of languages other than English in any vocal work is positively welcomed. Instrumental work is equally acceptable.

The final performance event will be filmed and audio recorded. Successful applicants must agree to license their work to Virtual Migrants for webcasting and broadcast in a variety of formats in perpetuity. All applicants will otherwise retain copyright of their work and the right to be identified as the joint author of each piece.

Women are especially welcome to apply, in recognition of the historical imbalance which we would like to try and address as far as possible.

We have negotiated for commissioned musicians to also have the support of SADACCA studios for meeting, rehearsing and recording.  This will be subject to availability and limited to fair use of their resources.

In addition to the music commission, we have an opportunity for three musicians to develop work with the InterplayNow Collective of musicians through a one-off workshop at our regular session on Thursdays (12 – 2pm) (see below for a description of this group). Please let us know if you are interested in this. This will not affect the outcome of your application either way.


The fee for the commission is £500

The fee for the workshop is £100

Both are inclusive of all costs.

How to apply

Please apply online at outlining your interest in this work (500 words) and how you think you are suited to it. Please also include a 100 word description of your connection to Sheffield. Applications must be submitted by 5pm on August 5th. Please include contact details and links to at least 3 pieces of work online, including at least one of live performance. Please don’t submit more than 5 in total. Please notify us of any live performances you have during August (it will not affect your application if you have none during this period).


Shortlisted music commission applicants will be notified by August 9th, and invited to discuss their proposal further with the project Curator Aidan Jolly and Video Director Kooj Chuhan via Skype or similar. We regret that we may not be able to notify applicants who are not shortlisted, however we hope that if this first endeaviour is successful it will lead to further opportunities and possibilities.

Successful applicants will be notified by August 30th. We anticipate that some discussion will take place prior towardsidentifying the most interesting pairing of musicians. No applicants will be asked to take on a pairing they feel is not workable.

Access statement

Virtual Migrants is committed to working in a non-discriminatory and inclusive manner. Applications may be submitted by video or sound file uploaded to a suitable platform, no more than 3 minutes in length. Please notify us at if you wish to apply in this format. Theatre Deli is fully accessible.

About InterplayNow

‘Interplay Now’ enables new musical collaborations across different cultures.

We aim to bridge divides, generate artistic innovation and develop organisational skills among local people. Interplay is developing an open crossover music and webcasting collective, and these three micro-commissions, connecting unusual pairs of Sheffield based musicians, are the next stage in this process.

Interplay hopes to catalyse the future evolution and understanding of musical crossover. We will use educative webcasting to develop audiences and influence musical and creative practice.

We are only just beginning: our first live presentation on 20th June 2019 at Theatre Deli preceded a performance by Avital Raz at Sheffield’s Migration Matters festival during Refugee Week. You can see more of our work including our promotional video here:

Please consider subscribing.

Interplay Now is an amazing project only just begun, run by Virtual Migrants in collaboration with Sheffield Refugee Council. We are also generously supported by SADACCA Studios who provide a fantastic space for us to work in. Other partners include Theatre Deli (Sheffield) and Koni Music, we are also grateful for financial support from Awards For All and the Arts Council England.

About Virtual Migrants

Virtual Migrants was established in 1998 to create high quality work in a variety of media. We work with communities concerned with racial equity, issues of migrant support, and environmental justice. Our core activities include creating socially engaged exhibitions and events, creating and touring performances; developing and running workshops, training, and educational programmes; facilitating collaboration and networks between artists, communities, and academics; and professional development for creative people, especially supporting career development for BAME artists. Over the years we have produced interactive media art, film and music such as the “Terminal Frontiers” exhibition that has been shown in galleries across the UK and abroad, we have collaborated with UK-based artists and communities at all levels and geographies, have published educational resources about refuge and immigration, have created a series of performance works entitled “Passenger”, and have produced a major publication, “Exhale”, as a DVD-CD-booklet box set covering five years of our productions. Our 2015 national touring production ‘Continent Chop Chop’ toured to 8 venues in the UK and featured collaborations with international artists. It linked narratives of climate change to the broader issues of poverty, race and social justice. All our projects connect localised communities with wider issues of concern, and include participatory workshops and artist development at their core.


Please fill in the following if you would like to apply for a music commission.

Please confirm that you have read the full brief for the commission:

Please supply links to recent and current work (no more than 5):

Once you have filled in the above information, click on ‘SUBMIT’ below. Thank you.

music micro commission