Horniman appoints new Musicians in Residence

The Horniman Museum and Gardens has appointed the first three artists in its new Musicians in Residence programme, celebrating the musical scenes of south London through the creation of new music.

Made possible thanks to prize money received from Art Fund as winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022, the Horniman’s Musicians in Residence programme offers six six-month residences over the next two years, linking early career musicians with its Musical Instrument collection as a stimulus for them to create new work.

This new work will be showcased in a series of live concerts held at the Horniman, as well as recorded new music and digital content. A joint work in progress Hear it Live! performance takes place at the Horniman on Thursday 7 September at 3.30pm.

Building on the success of the Horniman’s 696 Project, a key aim of the residency is to bring to the forefront artists and expressions of music from cultures, communities and peoples that have been historically underrepresented within museums like the Horniman.

The Musicians in Residence

The first three Musicians in Residence to be appointed are:

  • Bloomer, a singer, producer and hair artist from Thornton Heath
  • Pouya Ehsaei, a musician, producer, sound artist and radio host based in Peckham working with electronic music hardware
  • Shola, an Afro-house, Amapiano and Afro-fusion music producer based in Lewisham

Bloomer

Bloomer (Faith-Melody Ramautar) is a singer, producer, hair-artist based in Thornton Heath. She is drawn to both bold and unusual expressions of culture, and sees the spiritual in the accidental and the unexpected. Growing up singing in Pentecostal gospel churches, she has an emotional connection with music and a distinct sense of style, shown in part through expressive digital content.

I’m so excited and honoured to be a part of the Horniman residency. I can't wait to create art in a space where archives of vinyls, books and historic instruments dating back decades and centuries ago live.
Bloomer

Pouya Ehsaei

Pouya Ehsaei is a musician, producer, sound artist and radio host based in Peckham working with electronic hardware including mixing desks, synthesisers and FX units. Highly collaborative, he regularly works with a diverse range of instrumentalists, DJs and vocalists and has a talent for bringing together different styles in the spirit of fusion, synthesis, radicalism and experimentalism.

The residency at the Horniman will give me access to a vast collection of objects, musical instruments and textbooks which will allow me to research, explore and play in order to create a new body of work in response to the Horniman collection and also acquire the knowledge of how to curate objects and stories in order to convey my ideas and expressions more effectively.
Pouya Ehsaei

Shola

Shola (Shola Dayo) is an Afro-fusion, Amapiano and Afro-house producer based in Lewisham. She has a contemporary sound and collaborative approach, working with artists both in the UK and Nigeria. A talented music producer and digital synthesiser with a passion for detail, she wants to motivate a future generation of female producers in the local area.

I'm looking forward to learning more about the Museum's impact and involvement with local communities. We've already been told about some sessions the Museum does with schools and universities which was really good to know! I'm also looking forward to collaborating with the other creatives and staff.
Shola

The musicians will work with the Horniman’s Youth Engagement Producer, Rudi Schmidt and Assistant Curator of Musical Collections and Cultures, Saava Benjamin Busenze Balagadde to create new music, live performances and community engagement workshops. The musicians will each also appoint their own digital creative to produce visual content, to bring to life the music they create during their residency.

We had a great response to our call out and a high standard of applicants but these three artists really stood out to us for their originality, musical style and passion for collaboration. We have appointed three very different artists who use a variety of mediums and we are really looking forward to working with them and seeing what they will produce. We are extremely grateful to Art Fund for our Art Fund Museum of the Year prize money which has enabled us to launch this exciting residency and build on our work engaging early career artists with our Musical Instrument collection.
Rudi Schmidt

A call-out for the second round of the Musicians in Residence programme takes place in early 2024.