Adopt a Composer 2017/18

Lindsay and Esmeralda

Adopt a Composer Scheme

The premiere performance of Esmeralda's composition, "the other ocean" took place on November 18th at the Attenborough Centre, University of Sussex, before a large appreciative audience. Lindsay and Esmeralda celebrated the success of an excellent collaboration.

The Fretful Federation Mandolin Orchestra is thrilled to announce that they have been selected for the Adopt a Composer Scheme 2017/2018. One of seven groups to have come through the competitive process, they have been paired with composer, Esmeralda Conde Ruiz. They now begin a journey together which will result in a brand new piece of music written especially for them and eventually available to the world! The premiere of the work next year will be recorded and aired by BBC Radio 3. We will be mentored by Fraser Trainer who has been involved in the scheme for a number of years.
Esmeralda is a multi-award winning composer and conductor.
In 2015 she won the award for ‘Best Original Music’ at Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and ‘Award of Excellence for Best Score’ at Indie Fest Film Awards for her unique soundtrack of British short film ‘Cusp’. Additionally she runs interdisciplinary choral projects, conducting a 500 strong choir of community voices at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall and collaborating with leading composers, contemporary artists and musicians all over the world including David Lang, Matthew Herbert, Susan Philipsz, Peter Liversidge, Mira Calix and many others.
The launch on September 30th was attended by Lindsay and Jacky who were excited to meet Esmeralda and Fraser along with the six other composers and representatives from the other music groups. Presentations were given by previous winners of this amazing scheme. For more information see -
This scheme offers leisure-time musicians the chance to work directly with a composer, become actively involved in the creative process and contribute to the development of new music. The composer, in return, has the opportunity to form a close working relationship with the ensemble – with the time to respond to the groups personalities and interests; an opportunity not always possible in professional commissions.
Adopt a Composer is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music (the national agency for new music), in association with BBC Radio 3, and funded by PRS Foundation and the Philip and Dorothy Green Music Trust. For the second time Creative Scotland has provided additional funding for a Scottish project.

Read Lindsay's blog about this here :-
Esmeralda's is here :-


Esmeralda Conde Ruiz and The Fretful Federation Mandolin Orchestra announce the
World premiere of 'The other ocean’, a unique silent film and musical accompaniment
performed live creating a musical and visual journey through time. The performance takes place
at Brighton’s Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts on November 18th as part of this
year’s Cinecity Film Festival.
Esmeralda Conde Ruiz has worked with Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton
to select seven pieces from its collection and used them to create the new film and score. The
film fuses moving images of people and places from the region with the orchestra’s interests in
childhood memories.
Esmeralda Conde Ruiz will be in conversation before the performance with Screen Archive
South East’s Director Dr Frank Gray and the Mandolin Orchestra’s Conductor and Artistic
Director Lindsay Stoner about the project’s process and the nature of the collaboration.

Esmeralda Conde Ruiz says:
I created ‘The other ocean’ to explore memories through music and images. We all might see
the same image but it will trigger a complete different memory and that duality fascinates me.
What makes the piece so special for me is the combination of real memories from Brighton and
the South East combined with memories of the Fretful Federation Mandolin Orchestra, who all
live in the region. The show will be a unique opportunity for the audience to connect with their
own memories in exciting new ways.

Frank Gray, Director of Screen Archive South East says:
For over 25 years, we have developed a public collection of regional films for educational and
creative use. Working with artists is always an exciting journey of discovery for us as each project
presents a new opportunity to see one or more of our films very differently. In this case, ‘The
other ocean' re-purposes seven silent films made from 1927 to 1954 through Esmeralda’s
creation of a new film compilation, her new score and its interpretation by the FFMO. This
unique live cinema event presents a remarkable and innovative fusion of moving images with a
new soundscape. Who knows how its alchemy will affect our senses and our memories.

Lindsay Stoner Fretful Federation Mandolin Orchestra Conductor and Artistic Director
says: This is a wonderful opportunity thanks to Making Music and a fabulous musical journey for
the orchestra. We are thrilled to be working with Esmeralda and look forward to sharing her
music and creative vision on 18th November. We have never worked with film before and are
grateful to SASE for all of their hard work and input with this project. It will be an unforgettable
event and a major achievement for us.

See our events page for more details.


We have now had our first workshop with Esmeralda and Fraser. The idea was for us to get to know each other better and to explore the possibilities for our instruments as Esmeralda had not worked with them before. We all had an opportunity to make suggestions about the piece she writes for us and to give her ideas as to what we might enjoy playing. We finished off with some good socialising over some excellent refreshments.