Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists

Summer 2021

Recently, I received an email from somebody whose name I did not recognise. (No, I promise, this isn’t the start of a new storytelling piece). The email mentioned that the mystery sender had tried to call me on the phone multiple times but to no avail. (At the time, I was hiding out in deep Northumberland, where telephone signal is notoriously poor–at least on my network provider 3 (grumblegrumble)–and I had not yet discovered the conveniences of WiFi calling. In other words, my phone had inadvertently been off for a couple of months. 

I called the number back, and a friendly voice informed me that the foundation she represented would like to gift me an ACTUAL REAL-LIFE AWARD for making funny tunes and oddball pieces. Convinced this was an updated version of the Nigerian Prince scam, I waited for the catch… Just what proportion exactly of my nan’s retirement would I have to send her to unlock this ‘award’? Unbelievably, none whatsoever! And so it transpires that for the coming year, I am honoured and grateful to be one of the recipients of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s awards for artists in the composition section (or department?). This is particularly exciting because I have a foot-long list of odd, small pieces to write that I think would be tricky to attract other competitive funding for; they’re super interesting to me and I’m sure will add up to something pretty cool, but they’re not particularly flashy, and I don’t quite know the final form they’ll take yet. (Above is a photo of a wall in my house of stuff to do–there’s enough of it to take a decent while). PHF: thank you very much indeed! I now need to update that dry line in the ‘about’ section…


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