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Composer Biography

Ruth Lee is a composer and harpist currently based in Sheffield and Lincolnshire. Interested in mythology, nature and anthropology, she explores primarily acoustic and electro-acoustic soundworlds, ranging from traditional western notation to graphic scores based on photography and in-situ sketches. Frequently driven by narratives, sometimes found and at other times self-created, she has been described as a ‘musical story-teller’ with ‘her own inner voice’ (Sioned Williams, UKHA Review). Ruth currently enjoys creating work for solo and chamber groups, as well as collaborating with artists in other mediums to create multi-disciplinary works. She is a graduate of the University of York (First-Class BA Hons. Music 2019) where she was awarded The Wilfrid Mellers Prize for Music.

Ruth was shortlisted for The Night With… Call for Scores in 2019, working with The Hermes Experiment on her piece ‘Storm Ending’, and regularly composes and performs with The Arc Project. She recently collaborated with Lore Lixenberg on the piece ‘Krummholz’ for voice and prepared harp: an exploration of the krummholz zone, in light of the effect of climate change and the wildlife the zone supports. Other recent work includes collaboration with poets and spoken word performers to create multi-media audio-visual pieces. Ruth’s music for chamber ensemble has been performed by her all-female trio ‘Phantasia’ as well as by The Chimera Ensemble on numerous occasions. Her work often fuses folk and contemporary classical styles and techniques, sometimes incorporating loop machine, and frequently including improvision in either the performance or the compositional process.

Selected by the United Kingdom Harp Association as an Emerging Artist of 2020-2021, much of her compositional output to date includes the pedal harp or clarsach. Ruth performed her piece ‘Dyr’, winner of the Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award 2019, at the Virtual Edinburgh International Harp Festival and will be performing a recital featuring her own compositions at the World Harp Congress 2022. Other accolades include First Prize at The Future Blend Project, First Prize at the Wales Harp Composition Competition and Winner of the Open/Under 25yrs category at the East Coast Musician of the Year.

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