Now in its eighth round, we present the latest cohort of our flagship talent development programme, hothouse. For the next six months, we’ll be working with six mid-career artists, going on a deep dive into how and why they make their music. As with all hothouse artists, we hope they’ll emerge from the experience with a profound understanding of their own values, a boost in confidence and a clarity of vision.
Through group and 1-1 sessions, paid music development time and a work-in-progress showcase, the artists will overcome barriers and unearth undiscovered potential.
Hothouse is unlike any other artist development programme. It’s not a predetermined or one-size-fits-all approach, and each round is designed around the selected artists. Hothouse is a career intervention to support their personal and professional growth in unexpected and life-changing ways.
Find out more about each of the rising stars by hovering over their image below.
Ella Ronen is a singer-songwriter, poet, & community leader. With her unique blend of poignancy, vulnerability, & strength she invites her audience to explore the depths of their own emotions. Her music is a mix of poetry & storytelling, & each of her live performances is a ceremony of sorts. By sharing the stories of her life, Ella strives to inspire her audience to find their own voice & embrace their own personal journey. Based in Zurich, Ronen is our first international hothouse artist & joins as part of our Constellations exchange programme.
Ben Cottrell is a conductor, composer, arranger, & producer best known for his work with Beats & Pieces Big Band, which he founded in 2008. The band has toured extensively in UK, Europe, & North America, & recently released long-awaited 4th album Good Days to widespread acclaim. As conductor &/or arranger Ben has worked with artists & organisations such as Mike Westbrook, Laura Mvula & Everything Everything. Known for his work with large ensembles, Ben will be using his time on hothouse to unveil smaller scale sounds.
Olivia Cuttill is a Manchester-born trumpet player, composer & lyricist. Emerging from a musical family, the sounds of jazz, blues & funk are deeply rooted in Olivia's music. Melodies inspired by her favourites, from Joni Mitchell to Louis Armstrong, are carefully woven into her compositions. Olivia's approach to composition & improvisation are one & the same: built with conviction, captivation & character. Most importantly, Olivia’s music tells a story; & it’s this storytelling element that she’ll be looking at in more detail with us.
William Robert Davidson is a pianist based in Todmorden Lancashire. He studied Jazz at Hull University & self-released his first EP White Flags in February 2022. Since then, he formed Atatu Trio with Frasher Hinchliffe & Adrian Lawrence & began experimenting with the introduction of spoken poetry into the classic piano trio sound, always playing by ear, & merging it further with Latin, Brazilian, free improvisation & hip-hop influences. He’ll be exploring this concept further throughout his time on hothouse.
Lou is an award-winning vocalist, sound & performance artist from Sheffield. She is also one of Sound & Music's New Voices 2022 Composers. Lou’s work gives language to her alienating & disorientating experiences of being a neurodivergent woman. It communicates her synaesthetic experience of sound, hyperfocus & sensory overload. Her works have been released on Accidental Records, Earlid & The Women Composers Collective. Lou will be using hothouse to refocus on the power of her voice as a wayfinding device.
Ben Gaunt is a UK-based composer, sonic artist, & improviser. He has been nominated for an Ivor Novello Award & a British Composer Award. His music is performed frequently in the UK & around the world, & he has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, London Sinfonietta, Psappha, & many other outstanding professional musicians. Recently, Ben has shifted his practice to focus on field recording, foley, electroacoustic music, & improvisation.