Making Space

Turning My Cello Round - Bela Emerson

Artist Residencies & Projects (17 June to 21 June 2024)
Fabrica’s June Making Space has been awarded to musician and sound artist Bela Emerson. Bela is currently exploring how musical composition and relational movement can link to her more established practice of musical improvisation, as part of a year of activity she is undertaking to develop her creative practice.

Bela is an artist with an established full-time professional sound and music practice that has a strong basis in improvisation, listening, and responsiveness.

Since 2013, her primary focus has been her community practice and her support of others’ wellbeing: founding a community music organisation (Brighton & Hove Music for Connection) and freelancing as a musician in healthcare (with Wishing Well). Since 2023, with the support of an ACE Developing Your Creative Practice Award, she is giving greater emphasis to shaping her personal creative practice alongside her community-facing practice.

Bela’s Making Space project at Fabrica is giving her the opportunity to create a concrete conclusion to her year of creative investigation and will include a presentation of a composed work-in-progress piece, an invitation to movement, and a discussion with a small audience 6-8pm on Wednesday 19 June 2024. More information about the event and how to buy tickets can be found here.

Over the four days of her residency Bela will be:

Working with the acoustics of the space using acoustic cello, electric cello and pedals.

Exploring the space as a sonic artist and as a moving body.

Working on short piece for performance: creating cello loops and interacting with those as sound-maker and movement-maker: exploring themes such as space and slowness, emergence and attention.

Collaborating with filmmaker Sarah West in the space.

About The Artist

Bela has been playing cello for most of her life, “I'm a neurodivergent musician who has experienced a mixture of informal and formal education, including at Goldsmiths. Most of what I’ve learned has been through doing and reflecting: this is an ongoing process. As a performer, I’ve been commissioned for national BBC Radio 1, 3 and 4, played live to 15,000 people with Liam Gallagher and with a junk percussion orchestra in Sydney Opera House, and composed for acrobats Mimbre and filmmaker Tereza Buskova. I founded Brighton & Hove Music for Connection, which is celebrating its 10th birthday in 2024. As a community musician working in healthcare, I work with 80-100 people each week supporting them to connect, feel joy, and find peace”.

Bela Making Space
For more information about visiting us please see our Plan Your Visit page.

“Having worked in creativity and healthcare for over a decade I was feeling quite wrung out creatively. I was fortunate enough to attend a retreat at Snape Maltings in March 2023 for musicians working in challenging circumstances, and out of that made a successful grant application to support my creative development and its sustainability through working with sound, movement, embodiment, and listening. I am mainly working with Contact Improvisation (CI) teachers and movement facilitators to explore this, which is leading to a deeper and more flexible sense of myself as an artist that encompasses ‘musician’ and ‘community artist'. A key question I am exploring this year is ‘who is this work for?'”

Bela Emerson
Arts council england

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