APRA NZ congratulates the 2009 Professional Development Award winners, pictured above: Jessica Hansell, Samuel Holloway & Grayson Gilmour.
APRA New Zealand present the PDAs biennially, recognising excellence in three compositional genres: Classical, Pop Contemporary and Film & TV. The recipients each receive $12,000 cash to advance their careers through study or travel, plus: a Gibson guitar courtesy of Gibson Guitar Corp.
The independent PDA judging committee were impressed by the high level of exceptional applications and are very confident in the selection of the three recipients; both in terms of their individual achievements to date and also the professional development plans they had outlined. They are each exciting talents, who have immense potential for the future.
Film & TV: Grayson Gilmour
"...Grayson has extreme potential with a big career in the making. He is an exciting talent and one to watch as he moves into the area of composing for film and television..."
Grayson Gilmour has made quite an impact for someone that is yet to turn 25. Hailing from Palmerston North, Grayson began his solo recordings at age 16 and hasn’t stopped since. By 2005 album #3 ‘Phantom Limbs’ was so well received in throughout Australasia - Grayson had to say goodbye to his signature self-assembled CDs and have the album re-mastered and pressed. By now Grayson has more than one project on the go, most notably as the lead singer for the world touring So So Modern – an eclectic 4-piece whose sound NME describes as “puzzle pop”. Known for his compositional electroacoustic studies creating textures, arrangements and interludes, he has already received a nod from the NZ Film Commission to compose for a new feature film. Grayson intends to focus his passion for different types of music and forms of composition into the specific field of scoring for film & television. With his PDA, Grayson will be able to attend the Nordic Youth Film Festival and the Sound Design & Music course at Media Lab Helsinki.
Classical: Samuel Holloway
"... Samuel's strength is his creativity. He is a creative spark and a free thinker, who has an absolute commitment to classical music..."
Samuel Holloway is an Auckland-based composer and teacher, lecturing at both The University of Auckland and Unitec. His musical work has been performed by prominent artists and ensembles, including the NZ Trio, 175 East, the Luxembourg Sinfonietta and the NZ Symphony Orchestra. Samuel has also received numerous awards highlighting his outstanding work, most notably in Hong Kong where he was awarded first prize in the 2007 ACL Young Composer Competition for his work Stapes. From July 2007-July 2008 he was the Composer in Residence at the Lilburn Residence in Wellington. With several works in the pipeline for 2009 premieres, Samuel intends to use his PDA towards overseas trips: the first being the Asian Contemporary Music Festival in Korea. The second will include attendance at festivals and workshops such as Ostrava Days and Royaumont’s Voix Nouvelles; collaborative work with performers in Luxemburg and Los Angeles and to Huddersfield to discuss the possibility of further study.
Pop Contemporary: Jessica Hansell
"...Jessica is a great talent with incredible motivation. She is a masterful lyricist with a great insight into everyday life. Jessica is a force of nature..."
Coco Solid is producer, rapper and musician Jessica Hansell. The Auckland-raised Maori/German/Samoan femcee has produced 5 critically acclaimed albums since 2004. Coco Solids infamous sound, as the bio states: “is a mix of psychedelic raps, 80's electro, booty-bass, dancehall, grime, punk and experimental noize. Mix this with slow-burn politics, cut-throat jokes and a trademark monotone wit... well you have yourself a cult following, an internationally innovative band and a dense band bio.” When they toured Europe and the US with 2005 album Denim & Leather; London's Time Out likened them to MIA, while German crowds packed out super clubs and the LA art scene applauded their "droll" lyrics. With more accolades from her peers that you can poke a stick at – including having her work covered by Princess Superstar – Jessica plans to use her PDA by basing herself in Berlin for two months to collaborate with renowned hip-hop producer Robin Hannibal. Jessica will also collaborate with Portuguese rapper MC Violet and work on further tracks with Princess Superstar in New York later in the year.
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