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May Monthly Meet-up: meet the composer and musician who has worked with acts as diverse as Taylor Swift, Dizzee Rascal, and Dr John

We are excited to announce our next Monthly Meet-up will take place on Thursday 16th May at 7pm. It will feature headline guest, Ben Somers. Ben is a visually impaired composer, arranger, session player, and educator who has worked with pop artists such as Seal, Dizzee Rascal, and Taylor Swift, and jazz artists including Jazz artists Dr John and Melt Yourself Down.

This session will be of particular interest for aspiring composers and session musicians, although of course everyone is welcome. The Meet-up will take place on Zoom at – register below.

Ben writes: “In the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of my heroes and also develop some new heroes amongst my peers. My primary instruments are Double Bass, Saxophone and Voice, and he plays across the genres of Pop, Jazz, Folk and Roots music, with specialist interests in Bluegrass, New Orleans Jazz, Old Time, Alpine Folk, Western Swing and Celtic Folk. The commonalities between these musical styles are collaborative musicianship and community tradition. I am drawn to music that is both immediate and complex: joyful and compelling to audiences, without compromising on artistic expression and nuance.

I have created four ensembles through which to explore my interests, composing original music for each as well as celebrating traditional repertoire. My compositions require musicians to listen and interact closely with one another whilst bringing their own voice and influences the performance.

As an educator, I aim to develop musicians as both sympathetic and individual; encouraging students to find their own unique sound as well as an understanding of how to sit and blend with their fellow players.”

In the Meet-up Session, Ben will be sharing experience from his work, including:

  • Finding his voice creatively and in the workplace.
  • The importance of community in music.
  • Touring, recording, and navigating a professional music career with a visual impairment.
  • Composing, arranging and band leading.

This will be a relaxed, informal discussion and audience participation is encouraged. We will be prioritising questions submitted in advance of the event, so we advise that you contact us with any questions you may have so that we can ensure that they are included in the discussion. We hope that there will also be time for Q&A, so that you have the opportunity to ask any questions that may occur to you during the session.

Please note that this session will be recorded and published on podcasting platforms, so if you contribute during the session, you are consenting to appearing in the recording. This session is open to all ages, but we advise that children or young people wishing to attend the session should be accompanied by an adult.

Register for this Meet-up Session

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About the Meet-up Sessions

Sound Without Sight is a community-led initiative, which collates and commissions resources to support blind and partially sighted musicians, audio engineers, voiceover artists, and other industry professionals to thrive. We want Sound Without Sight to grow into a thriving community that showcases the work of blind and partially sighted creatives, and how they navigated the industry to find themselves in their current role. 

Starting in February 2024, we will be curating monthly virtual Meet-up Sessions, which will bring together established professionals, community members who are just starting out, and everybody in between, creating a space to share knowledge, solutions, and tips for success. 

The sessions will be open, informal, and supportive – we hope that all attendees will feel comfortable to ask questions as well as share advice. Please sign up via the link at the end of this page, as spaces are limited.

How will the Meet-ups be structured?

  1. Each session will begin with a live interview between a headline guest speaker or panel and members of the Sound Without Sight team. The host will ask curated questions, including relevant ones submitted in advance by the community. 
  2. We will then open up to questions and discussion between attendees, which could be about anything related to music or audio. 
  3. Finally, we will round off the session by playing out audio submissions and sharing updates from community members. Got a new release coming out? Tried something new or achieved something that you’d like to share? Let us know at least a week before the session and we’ll carve out time to shout about it!

When and where?

Third Thursday of the month, 7:00pm UK time. Sessions will take place on Zoom and last around an hour, followed by some open Q&A time.

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