Helen Ottaway

Helen founded Artmusic in 1999 with arts administrator Steve Ehrlicher.  With artists from other disciplines she has created a body of indoor and outdoor site-specific installation and performance work.

Born in Oxford (1956), Helen studied music at University of London, Goldsmiths’ College. She participated in courses and projects led by John Cage, also appearing in Peter Greenaway’s film on the composer (Channel 4).

As composer/performer Helen has collaborated with a wide range of artists including theatre director/composer Graeme Miller (Dungeness 1987), artists Deborah Thomas (Red Velvet Piece, 1998), Roswitha Gerlitz (Moment of Being, 2004), performance artist Franko B (I’m Thinking of You, 2008-9), theatre company 30 Bird (Chodzenie-Siberia, 2011) and sound designer Alastair Goolden (1999 – present)

Commissions include two String Quartets (Nottinghamshire County Council, 1998 and Bath Film Festival 2003); title and incidental music for the documentary The River, (BBC2 1999), and A Suite of Somerset Apples for Harpsichord (Frome Festival, 2006). She was the composer for In Praise of Trees (Salisbury Festival and English Nature), creating the choral work The Echoing Green (premiere Salisbury Cathedral, 2002). Her piano piece, Green/yellow features in the soundtrack for DV8’s production Can We Talk About This. In Autumn 2017 she took part in the Sura Medura International Artists Residency in Sri Lanka, creating sketches for new work about loss and the sea.

Helen was the curator of LISTEN, A season of sound art hosted by Black Swan Arts in Frome.  The season took place over 6 weeks in the summer of 2019 and showcased the work of local, national and international artists.  Visit the LISTEN wbsite here.

In 2019 Helen was commissioned by Inside Out Dorset to create Wind and Unwind, a new piece for musical box and voice for Dorset Moon in Sherborne Abbey.  In 2020 she is working on a commission for String Octet from Shipley Arts Festival to celebrate the return of White Storks to Sussex and a work for solo piano for award winning Palestinian-Jordanian pianist Iyad Sughayer.

Visit Helen’s blog.