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People Watch

Stef is busy writing a new opera, ‘People Watch’, for the Streetwise Opera performers, which will premiere at the opening night of Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival on July 21st. “Step in to the intimate world of people watching TV, where daily lives, secrets, relationships and dreams are gently revealed. Created by director Bill Bankes-Jones and composer Stef Conner with the London Streetwise Opera performers, this darkly humorous and tender new work cuts through all the noise in our lives to get to what really matters – the hope that springs from our connection to the people around us.”

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The Flood: New music in Old Babylonian

‘The Flood’, the debut album by the Lyre Ensemble, is now available to buy on CD, complete with full translations, and ships anywhere in the world.  The music is also available to download on amazon. The Flood is the first full-length album of cutting-edge new music in ancient Babylonian and Sumerian languages. Accompanied by the reconstructed 4500-year-old Gold Lyre of Ur, Stef’s sung Mesopotamian poetry oozes, swoops, lurches and wails its way from gentle incantations for baby quietening and poems in praise of mothers to the snarling curses of dying monsters and deathly threats of an enraged Goddess!


The product of an eclectic collection of influences and a powerful imagination, Stef Conner’s music breathes new life into ancient texts and forges channels of empathy into the deep past. She is fascinated by the innate musicality of language and sees composition as a way of crystallizing the emotive power of words; inspired in particular by ancient poetry, folklore and lost oral traditions, she draws a wealth of organic, rich and original musical material from the forms of poetry and the sounds of speech.

Although rooted in the classical tradition, her musical language is distorted into something utterly different through the vivid palette of sounds that have been absorbed into her style, from ancient Korean court music, Zhou Dynasty bronze bells, medieval chant, English folksong and Anglo-Saxon poetry to Spectralism, free improvisation, experimental music and post-tonal harmony.

Her work has been performed in China, Europe, the USA and the UK, at venues including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, York Minster, Lichfield Cathedral and the Royal Festival Hall, as well as on BBC and international Radio. Performers of her music include The Esoterics, Queens’ College Choir, The Unthanks, Juice, The Kreutzer Quartet, The Nieuw Ensemble, The Renaissance Singers, Cadenza, Dark Inventions, John Potter, members of Ensemble 10/10 and the Philharmonia Orchestra. She has been awarded several prizes for her work, including the RPS Composition Prize in 2011, and was named one of the Evening Standards 1000 Most Influential Londoners in 2014. She is the current Composer in Residence with Streetwise Opera, a charity which uses music to help homeless people make positive changes in their lives.  Read more…