We avoid using gender in any marketing, so rather than identifying us as 'female composers' or 'woman/women composers,' we ask just to be called 'composers'. It's part of a strategy of trying to normalise the presence of women and non-binary people in composition and other music jobs. (Sometimes we talk about our own experiences in relation to gender but we prefer that gender is not used to promote our work.)
Gemma Peacocke is a composer from Hamilton, New Zealand. She grew up composing as a strategy to avoid practicing the violin. Her multimedia song cycle setting poems by Afghan women, Waves & Lines, is adapted from Eliza Griswold’s book I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan. Waves & Lines premiered in 2017 at Roulette Intermedium and has been performed at Australia’s Melbourne Recital Centre, National Sawdust in New York, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and it has been released as a studio album on the New Amsterdam label. Gemma’s music has been performed and commissioned by the Rochester Philharmonic, Third Coast Percussion, PUBLIQuartet, Rubiks Collective, cellist Nick Photinos, and Alarm Will Sound. www.gemmapeacocke.com
Maria Kaoutzani is a composer from Limassol, Cyprus, currently based in Chicago, IL, where she is a PhD candidate and a Lindsay Graduate Fellow in Music Composition at the University of Chicago. Her works have been performed in Europe, the US, Canada and Latin America, by ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Spektral Quartet, Longleash Trio and Imani Winds, and at festivals such as New Music On The Point, Valencia International Performance Academy, International Symposium for New Music, among others. mariakaoutzani.com
Shelley Washington writes music to fulfil one calling: to move. With an eclectic palette, Washington tells stories focusing on exploring emotions and intentions by finding their root cause. Using driving, rhythmic riffs paired with indelible melodies, she creates a sound dialogue for the public and personal discourse. She performs regularly as a vocalist and saxophonist, primarily on baritone saxophone, and has performed and recorded throughout the Midwest and East Coast- anything from Baroque to Screamo. www.shelleywashington.com
Founded in 2017, US-based composer collective Kinds of Kings is a group of multifaceted composers committed to building a positive and supportive community around the creation and experience of new music. The collective is focussed on amplifying and advocating for the voices of historically-marginalized people and producing immersive and inclusive work.
For the 2019-2020 season, Kinds of Kings is an Artist-in-Residence at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York. Described as, “distinguished young creators who work in diverse styles,” (The New Yorker) the collective’s 2019-2020 concert series, Equilibrium and Disturbance, features Rubiks Collective (Melbourne, Australia), ~Nois saxophone quartet (Chicago), Isabelle O’Connell (New York), Nouveau Classical Project (New York), and Real Loud (New York). Kinds of Kings has previously had portrait concerts with New York-based chamber groups Metropolis Ensemble and Desdemona Ensemble, the ZAFA Collective in Chicago, and the St Louis Symphony as part of the orchestra’s Pulitzer Series. In January 2021 the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird will premiere a new concerto by the collective.
Kinds of Kings is Gemma Peacocke (New Zealand/Brooklyn NY), Shelley Washington (United States/Princeton NJ), and Maria Kaoutzani (Cyprus/Chicago IL).
For its 2019-2020 season, composer collective Kinds of Kings will explore the idea of Equilibrium and Disturbance with an Artist Residency at Brooklyn’s prestigious National Sawdust venue. Featuring new works by the collective’s members – Gemma Peacocke, Shelley Washington, and Maria Kaoutzani – Kinds of Kings has curated a concert series at National Sawdust and Roulette Intermedium, and is partnering with National Sawdust to provide open-access professional development events for underrepresented voices in the wider New York community. At the beginning of the season the collective will launch its inaugural Bouman Fellowship with the aim of boosting the work of early-career composers.
Described by The New Yorker as “distinguished young creators who work in diverse styles,” Kinds of Kings is a collective of multifaceted composers. The collective aims to advocate for underrepresented voices and to build a positive and supportive community around the creation and experience of new music.
During the residency, Kinds of Kings will collaborate with four national and international chamber ensembles and soloists, and will work with theatre director Benita de Wit as well as video artists to create immersive concert experiences. Programs will include joint portrait concerts featuring large-scale experimental works developed over the course of the residency as well as concerts featuring new work by the composers. The concert series will culminate in an evening-length group work on the idea of home and displacement with award-winning Australian ensemble Rubiks Collective.
As part of its commitment to amplifying the work of early-career composers, the collective has developed its first advocacy initiative to be an integral part of the residency. Named after scientist Katie Bouman – whose work contributed to the first-ever photographing of a black hole – the Bouman Fellowship provides mentorship, a commissioning grant, and a premiere alongside Kinds of Kings at National Sawdust. The 2019-20 Bouman composer fellows are Mason Bynes, Andrew Rodriguez, and Cassie Wieland.