About Bastard Assignments

“Bastard Assignments are a welcome reminder of the value of risk in artistic creation” – Tim Rutherford-Johnson, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik

“one of the most exciting forces in contemporary music” – Financial Times

Bastard Assignments are Timothy Cape, Edward Henderson, Caitlin Rowley and Josh Spear, four composer-performers making experimental music. We work collaboratively and have developed a shared practice that encompasses concert music, movement work, online pieces, text, video, improvisation and performativity. We organise performances in London and show work across the UK and internationally.

In 2020 we performed at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and then, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, embarked on an exploratory body of work we called Lockdown Jams. These were pieces made remotely over the internet both by us, and a wide range of practitioners who we commissioned with the support of Arts Council England’s COVID Relief Fund.

In 2019 we performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, Spor Festival in Århus, and Konsertserien Periferien in Oslo, alongside two showcase performances of our work in London and multiple broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. 2018’s highlights included touring to the USA to work with Mocrep in Chicago. We were a resident ensemble on Snape Maltings’ Open Space scheme from 2017-2019.

Previous years have seen Bastard Assignments perform at hcmf//, Royal Academy of Arts, LCMF, Weisslich, in Copenhagen and Århus with AUT, Frontiers Festival in Birmingham, VIRTUALLYREALITY in Manchester and Nonclassical. Our performances at Southbank Centre and Wellcome Collection were broadcast live on BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now programme.

Bastard Assignments has been featured in articles and profiles in the Guardian, the Telegraph, Financial Times, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and The Wire magazine, and been reviewed in The Spectator, the Quietus and the Evening Standard.

Our work is supported by Arts Council England and PRSF. From 2017-19 we were in residence at Snape Maltings as part of their Open Space programme. In 2016 and 2018 we received British Council Artists’ International Development Grants for performances in Berlin and Munich in Germany, and Chicago in USA. Earlier projects received funding from the Sound and Music Composer Curator scheme.

Photograph of Bastard Assignments
Stylists/art direction: Harry Evans and Robert George Sanders; Photos: Frederick Goff