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Video: Disabled musicians take centre stage to unveil world premiere of NonZeroSum in Derry-Londonderry

The Acoustronic ensemble, made up of disabled and non-disabled musicians from Derry-Londonderry, joined the renowned Benyounes Quartet at the Walled City Music Festival recently to perform the world premiere of cutting-edge composition, NonZeroSum, supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Composed by Professor Frank Lyons, the piece was commissioned through the PRSF Beyond Borders initiative, a co-commissioning and touring programme run in partnership with  Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Wales. 

The important initiative enables music creators in England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to produce exceptional new material to be performed in at least three of these countries. 

Frank Lyons, Professor of Music, Ulster University Magee, Chair of Walled City Music Festival and composer of NonZeroSum, said, “I’ve been working on a project entitled Inclusive Creativity which aims to level the playing field in performance and composition for disabled musicians by developing new technologies and methodologies for their use.  

"Over the past two years, we have explored and exemplified the practice through local ensemble Acoustronic, made up of disabled and non-disabled musicians, who meet weekly to perform and compose music in Derry-Londonderry."

"We are now taking this a step further with the creation of an inclusive 9-piece ensemble comprising musicians from the Benyounes String Quartet and Acoustronic for which I have composed my new work, NonZeroSum, commissioned by PRSF Beyond Borders, an exhilarating challenge! We’re delighted to be touring this new piece with the ensemble to Dublin and London in the Autumn.”

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added, “Advances in digital technology are changing the way in which music is accessed and created.  This innovative piece by Frank Lyons means there are no barriers to high-quality music making for these musicians with disabilities.  The Arts Council is proud to support the commissioning of this inclusive piece through the Beyond Borders programme and look forward to it touring this autumn.”

Tour dates will be released in due course at www.inclusivecreativity.com

For information and opportunities related to Beyond Borders, visit www.artscouncil-ni.org

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