Berlin Fellowship 2021 — Music

Oliver Thurley

*1988 in Cambridge (UK)
lives in Leeds (UK)


Oliver Thurley writes music that is quiet and disquieting. His work, both acoustic and electronic, offers intimate and radically restrained listening, and focuses on the fragility of sounds, bodies, spaces, and musical instruments. Oliver received the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis for composition at the Darmstadt Summer Courses 2018. His music has recently been performed internationally by Plus-Minus ensemble, Ensemble Nikel, Adapter Ensemble, Riot Ensemble, Klaus Lang, Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir, Heather Roche, and Seth Parker Woods.


During my residency I will compose a new work for a small chamber ensemble, as well as developing sketches for smaller line-ups as I meet new collaborators. Berlin and the Akademie der Künste presents a large number of other musicians and artists in my field, and I plan to make full use of this chance to meet and work with them during my time in the city. I will also use this time to develop a new element in my practice: exploring the electronic manipulation of field recordings. In my compositions, I am interested in small sounds: tiny fluctuations of pitch, the texture and grain of a sound breaking apart, or the momentary flickers and pauses of different elements. The role of manipulated recordings of this context will offer a new dimension of detail and ‘grafted’ space to my work, and I hope to present these during my stay.