Announcing Artist-in-Residence Bekah Simms
September 16, 2022

Announcing Artist-in-Residence Bekah Simms

Recently nominated for the prestigious Gaudeamus Award in Holland, with Crash’s recording of metamold being the nominated work, Bekah Simms joins Crash Ensemble as Artist-in-Residence. Bekah has received a commission award from the Canada Council for the Arts to create a new work for Crash Ensemble and we are thrilled.

Crash Ensemble have played Bekah’s work as recently as last Sunday - Stone or Rot for cello, double bass and electronics and before that metamold, which was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University for three ensembles: Eighth Blackbird, New York New Music Ensemble and Crash Ensemble.

A few words from our Artistic Director Kate Ellis:

“Bekah is a brilliant artist. We’re very lucky to be able to immerse ourselves in her unique sound world over the next few years and to take the time to collaborate on this new commission.”

A few words from Bekah Simms:

“I’m ecstatic and honoured to be joining Crash as an artist in residence. Since first connecting with them through the 2019 Barlow prize-commissioned piece metamold, I’ve been continually inspired by their dynamic sound, generous collaborative spirit, and unbridled enthusiasm for the music of today’s composers. I feel completely artistically supported by them, and can’t wait to collaborate on a new concert-length work with them over the next couple of years (supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.)”

Bekah Simms hails from St. John's, Newfoundland and is currently based in Glasgow after nine years living and working in Toronto. Her varied musical output has been heralded as “cacophonous, jarring, oppressive — and totally engrossing!” (CBC Music) and lauded for its "sheer range of ingenious material, expressive range and sonic complexity" (The Journal of Music.) Propelled equally by fascination and terror toward the universe, her work is often filtered through the personal lens of her anxiety, resulting in nervous, messy, and frequently heavy musical landscapes. Recent interests in just intonation and virtual instruments have resulted in increasingly lush and strange harmonic environments.

Bekah's music has been widely performed across North America and Europe. Commissioning ensembles include some of the top interpreters of contemporary music internationally, including Crash Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, and l’Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal. Bekah has been the recipient of over 35 awards, competitive selections, and prizes, including the 2019 Barlow Prize. The resulting work, "metamold," was nominated for the 2022 Gaudeamus Award. Works from her debut album “impurity chains” were nominated in both 2019 and 2020 for the JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year. Her music has thrice been included in the Canadian Section's official submission to World Music Days (2016, 2019, & 2021), and in 2016 the CBC included her among their annual 30 hot classical musicians under 30.

As of September 2022, Bekah is a Lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, following previous academic positions at the University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario. Her principal teachers during academic studies were Gary Kulesha and Andrew Staniland, alongside significant private study with Clara Iannotta and Martin Bédard.

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