Wins British Composer Award for 'My Secret Heart'

Mira Calix 

Wins British Composer Award for 'My Secret Heart'

Calix won the award for her composition My Secret Heart, in the community and education category, which the judges described as "transformational, capturing raw humanity and giving voice to the disenfranchised in a sound-world which is original, absorbing and unsettling".

Touted as the classical equivalent of the Mercury Prize, an award at the British Composer Awards is yet another fantastic achievement for 'My Secret Heart' which was commissioned by Streetwise Opera, and included sound designer Dave Sheppard and visual artists Flat-E on the creative team. As well as her nomination, Mira Calix has been honoured with a grant by the Arts Council of England. The grant will fund a new project, Exchange and Return, which will see her working alongside celebrated British composers Larry Gloves and Tansy Davis.

The award was presented at an event in London hosted by BASCA (The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), the Performing Rights Society and BBC Radio 3. A programme about the awards was broadcast on Radio 3 last night - those in the UK can listen again here.

The organisers called My Secret Heart ‘transformational’.

More information about 'My Secret Heart':

My Secret Heart is a commission by homeless charity, Streetwise Opera ( of a music and film installation written by electronic composer and Warp artist Mira Calix, video artists Flat-e and sound designer Dave Sheppard. They worked with around 100 Streetwise performers from across the UK to create a unique work that is being shown around the world.

The new piece is inspired by the Allegri’s 17th-century choral work Miserere Mei, a piece so protected by the Vatican that they put an embargo on it. Mira Calix and Flat-e have used the theme of secrecy to explore movements and singing with Streetwise’s participants to create this new century-leaping work.

The piece exists as an immersive installation on a purpose-built 360 degree screen with surround sound and as a 7-minute film. The installation was premiered live at the Royal Festival Hall including a staging featuring a cast of 100 and is now touring to galleries, festivals and cinemas across the world through 2009 as an installation and film.

Forthcoming dates:
9 - 15th January / Newcastle/ Discovery Museum
February / Newcastle / Northern Stage
March / Paris