Blue Touch Paper
New music meets different art forms in alternative spaces

Blue Touch Paper is where we light the fuse of new work, with different art forms in alternative spaces. These events run parallel to our work in the concert hall.

In the 2015/16 season we premiere a work by Samantha Fernando at Southwark Playhouse, composed around five short stories; we collaborate with pioneering curator and conductor Ilan Volkov at The Coronet Theatre; and we partner with Art on the Underground to develop music that celebrates the Victoria Line with composer Matt Rogers


2014/15 marked an evolution of the Blue Touch Paper programme into a main programming strand, taking us to BFI Southbank for a series of sci-fi film collaborations, then on to White Cube Bermondsey for a partnership with artist Christian Marclay. In previous seasons the programme developed new work by giving composers and inter-disciplinary collaborators the time, space and funding to instigate new projects. We have sought to identify and share examples of best practice in multidisciplinary collaboration, by working closely with the Research and Academic Development team at Guildhall School of Music & Drama to evaluate the journey that each partnership embarked upon. Our Blue Touch Paper commissions have included:


Shiva Feshareki (composer) & Haroon Mirza (artist): Surround sound piece for prepared turntables and mixed ensemble

Eve Harrison (composer) & David Boultbee (visual artist): When the Lights Go Out
An engaging piece of contemporary music and light artwork that invites an audience to interact and participate using their smartphone.

Gavin Higgins (composer) & Finn Beames (director): Uncle Dima 
A piece using new music and conventions from the horror genre to create an immersive concert experience.

Their work was previewed at our New Work Night, in May 2014 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.



Edward Jessen (composer) & Joseph Alford (director): Gallup Memo
Redefining the relationship of music to drama, through a scene adapted from an early 1940s radio play first broadcast by Orson Welles.

Luke Carver Goss (composer) & Jacob Polley (writer): Ballads of Blood
Calling on the power of traditional ballad form to tell the dark, contemporary tale of a teenage stabbing on London’s streets.

Dan Stern (composer) & Aurelian Koch (artist): I Know Waiting
Exploring the passing of time through live music, pre-recorded sound and use of physical space, inspired by the recent stories of two South Africans.

Their work was previewed at a New Work Night in May 2013 at Village Underground in Shoreditch.



Steve Potter (composer) & Kélina Gotman (writer/dramaturg): 100 Combat Troupes
A music-theatre piece staging the urgency and ambivalence of dreaming other possible worlds, from the technicolor fantasies of Disney to the anarchist trenches.

Elspeth Brooke (composer), Seonaid Goody (puppeteer) & Anna Jones (director): Half of Me
A re-imagining of the Greek myth of Persephone and Demeter, which experiments with the creation of highly varied musical, sound and visual worlds to tell this epic tale by way of an original story through the arts of puppetry, live music and electronics.

Philip Venables (composer) & Steven J Fowler (poet): They are not like us
An exploration of boxing, a form of violence sanctioned by society, through the use of music and poetry.

Their work was previewed at Village Underground in May 2012.

If you are a promoter interested in finding out more about our Blue Touch Paper commissions, or if there are other ways that you are interested to get involved in the programme, please contact or call 020 7239 9340.



Feb 11 2016 - 7:30pm


Feb 12 2016 - 7:30pm