In Episode 4 of the Future-Proof Artist podcast series, Simon Preston talks to Rosie Kay and composer Annie Mahtani about their many years of working together and the joy of collaborating on Rosie’s latest work, Rosie Kay’s Fantasia.

In this podcast, Rosie and Annie reflect on their 15 years of working together, their earliest conversations about sound, their mutual and abiding respect for each other as artists and researchers and why they believe their collaborations have challenged and inspired them in equal measure.

Rosie and Annie began working together in 2004 when Annie joined the creative team to compose music for RKDC’s Asylum and has since produced the scores for Supernova, There is Hope, 5 SOLDIERS, 10 SOLDIERS, MK ULTRA and now Rosie Kay’s Fantasia.

“As a composer I work more with sound than I do with instrumental music … my interest and intrigue with the organic nature of sounds whether that is sourced from an instrument or sourced from a saucepan or sourced from nature is what drives my love and desire to compose.” Annie says.

Contrasting Baroque virtuosic movement with deeper, darker themes of romanticism with the Beethoven and Vaughan Williams, Kay was keen to explore the currently unfashionable aesthetic concept of beauty in her latest work.  

“At this time politically in the world I wanted to kind of pull away from just misery about everything and really try and study pleasure and joy and musicality and beauty.”

Together they share their experiences of creating a soundtrack that travels through centuries and cultures, revelling in the beauty of the material and the pleasure and pain of their creative process and why they are now ready to sit back and join their audiences in enjoying the show!

Annie Mahtani is an electroacoustic composer, sound artist performer working and living in Birmingham (UK). She is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Birmingham and co-director of SOUNDkitchen, a Birmingham-based collective of curators, producers and performers of live electronic music and sound art.