Selected collaboration for the 2022 Picture Gallery Composer-in-Residence Scheme
About the music creator
Fiz Markham is a mature MMus student whose composing career in 2015 when she commenced her undergraduate music degree. Her work Circular Frustration (an open score work) was performed in early 2020 at Royal Holloway as part of its New Music Collective programme. As a result, Fiz became one of CoMA’s Next Generation composers. The work was inspired by her frustration with elderly relatives rejecting much needed help. Her work Six Sentences in a Woman's Life pays homage to a woman living with dementia and includes references to music the woman loves.
Fiz is a keen and able chamber choir singer, singing with top UK choirs, English Chamber Choir and Joyful Company of Singers. Fiz is delighted to have the opportunity to be a Picture Gallery Composer in Residence. Fiz has attended and performed in many events in this gallery and is looking forward to creating music relevant to that space and interesting for audiences and the singers in the university's excellent Chapel Choir.
When selected for this opportunity, Fiz comments: "My one bugbear in composing for voice is finding suitable texts, so being able to work with Agnieszka Studzińska and respond to her text is a very stimulating prospect. Also, the Picture Gallery and the Chapel Choir are delightful core experiences of my time at Royal Holloway so it is an honour to be asked to create music in homage to that space and to be able to hear it performed by such fine singers."
About the creative writer
Agnieszka Studzińska has an MA in Creative Writing from the UEA. Her first debut collection, Snow Calling was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award 2010. Her second collection, What Things Are is published by Eyewear Publishing (2014). Her most recent collection is called Branches of a House (Shearsman Books 2021). She is currently in the final stages of her PhD at Royal Holloway University of London exploring how the image of the house is appropriated in contemporary American poetry. Her poetry engages in liminal spaces, houses, ancestry, and departs from notions of hauntology. She teaches creative writing for The Poetry School, among other educational institutions.
On being selected for this opportunity, she comments: "The project presents a brilliant cross-disciplinary adventure. This is an opportunity to explore that dynamic relationship between reading, hearing, seeing, and question the language of these disciplines and my translation of them. I am really looking forward to developing a poetics that embraces such spaces, and offer alternative ways of reading narratives and sensing the world!"
Image of Fiz Markham & Agnieszka Studzińska