Final Two Quick Questions: Ryan Latimer

Better late than never (on the third day of our tour!) here is the fifth and final edition of our two question series. This time it is our Composer-in-association for 2015 Ryan Latimer. His work King is second work of Ryan’s that we have commissioned and performed.
Pick up your tickets now for our gig at the Warehouse tomorrow evening:

WUE: In what way does your piece respond to the ‘On & Off’ theme?

Ryan: The dialecticism suggested in Steen-Anderson’s title is also a common feature of my own work more generally, as it is for many others. I use the term ‘dialectic’ simply because the notions of ‘On And Off And To And Fro’ are not just contrasting ideas but are intrinsically related and relative to one another; they’re connected precisely because of their direct opposition. At the risk of becoming too technical, there are, in many types of music, examples of these binary relationships – tonic/dominant, major/minor, call/response, antecedent/consequence and so on. The majority of my piece playfully brings into contention these various devises and explores their functional (and dysfunctional) properties. However, this isn’t entirely what the piece is about and there’s a small twist in the tale towards the end, which extends this notion beyond the purely musical.

WUE: What music are you into at the moment?

Ryan: A composer friend (I’m not sure how these differ from normal friends) recently recommended to me a book called ‘The Arab Avant-Garde: Music, Politics, Modernity’, which has unveiled to me a seriously exciting wealth of radical music making happening throughout the Middle East. Ranging from heavy metal, hip hop, musical theatre, sound installation, jazz and cross-discipline collaboration, all of this work engages profoundly with the socio-political realities of its home regions, in a way I feel much of western ‘art music’ does not. It’s been quite a liberating experience discovering this stuff; I’d recommend it.

Here is a retrospective exhibition of the work of Egyptian artist and musician Ahmed Basiony, who was killed during the 2011 political uprisings in Cairo:

On and Off and To and Fro Tour 2015

The Workers Union Ensemble met on Saturday and Sunday the 14 and 15th of February for intense tour rehearsals. The weekend was filled with love (naturally- it was Valentines day!), filming, Skyping Mr Steen Andersen, and of course new music.

Here is a video showing what we got up to, and advertises our gig on Saturday the 21st of February at the Warehouse in Waterloo.

Tickets are available to purchase now at:



On And Off And To And Fro – WUE 2015 Tour

Featuring Simon Steen-Andersons’ On And Off And To And Fro and new works by Jay Capperauld, Ryan Latimer, Benjamin Oliver, Mic Spencer and Kate Whitley.

Tickets are available to purchase now at:

We look forward to seeing you there.

WUE (with the generous support of Sound and Music’s Composer-Curator Programme for 2014/2015,  funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.)



Workers Union are delighted to announce that we have been selected for Sound and Music’s Composer-Curator Programme for 2014/2015, which is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

The Workers Union Ensemble (WUE) present a programme of five new work developed in response to Simon Steen-Andersen’s On And Off And To And Fro (2008) for soprano saxophone, double bass, vibraphone and three players with megaphones. The new pieces might be a direct response to Steen-­Andersen’s piece or could be a more tangential reaction to the title and will be performed alongside On And Off And To And Fro in a mini-­tour of England. The composers featured will include three twentysomething emerging stars Ryan Latimer (WUE Composer ­In ­Association), Kate Whitley and Jay Capperauld (winner of the WUE Heidi Cupp Award 2013) as well as two slightly older heads Benjamin Oliver (conductor of the WUE) and Scottish composer Mic Spencer.



Firstly we would like to thank everyone that came to our LSO St. Luke’s gig on the 9th of November and generously gave to our Commissioning Fund. We raised a whopping £200 and this money will go directly to commissioning a new work for the ensemble. This means that you, the audience, have had a direct involvement to future works performed by the ensemble and for that we want to say an enormous thank you and shall keep you updated with who shall receive the commission and let you see the piece taking shape. Photos –  taken by the wonderful Markus Kinch of Film41 – from the above gig are available to view by clicking here.

Finally, lots of people have given fantastic feedback about the ensemble in the last few months and we wanted to share all these kind comments with you. So please take a look at our new What people say about WUE page.

Our next venture is this Sunday, working with young composers at Northamptonshire Music & Performing Arts Trust – we look forward to working with all the students this weekend.

With best wishes,


Birmingham ‘Frontiers’ Recordings

We are currently recuperating and planning our 2014 adventures after our fantastic October and November mini-tour! Thanks to everyone that supported our gigs in Southampton, Birmingham and at LSO St. Luke’s and to all the composers that wrote us pieces. Recordings etc are just starting to come in. The following Soundcloud playlist is from our gig at the Birmingham Conservatoire on 29th October 2013. All photos are by Markus Kinch of Film41 from rehearsals at our LSO gig. More to come…!

Workers Union Mini Tour and Promo Vid

Hi everyone,

We’ve just got back from a brilliant (and also very tiring) mini tour to Southampton Turner Sims and Birmingham Conservatoire.

We had such a nice time working with some brilliant young players in Southampton, playing Polansky’s ‘Ensembles of Note’. One of the students ended up playing the synth part in the premier of Matthew Kaner’s work when the weather prevented the fantastic (and well travelled by the time he arrived), Aaron from getting there on time!

Below is a short snapshot of what we have been up to, whilst also promoting the culmination of this PRSF funded project at St. Luke’s on November the 9th 2013. Please let us know what you think!

We hope you enjoy the video, and really look forward to seeing everyone on the 9th to help us decide the winner of our Call for Works competition.

Until then,


Workers Union Ensemble at LSO St Luke’s, 9th November 2013

Here is the poster for our concert on the 9th of November.

Lots of premieres from composers including Joe Cutler, Matthew Kaner and Daniel Saleeb. Not forgetting also, the four chosen pieces from our ‘Call for Works’ will be given their first outing, and a winner announced by YOU, the audience.

We hope you can join us!

Tickets available from:

Poster designed by Claire Evison, to see more of her work visit


The Workers Union at Nonclassical – CHANGE OF VENUE!

Workers Union Ensemble @ Nonclassical
Wednesday, 4 September, 2013
8:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
71 Shacklewell Lane
London, UK E8 2EB
Other Info
We are delighted to have been invited to play at the Nonclassical Club Night at The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston. We are pleased to have the wonderful Yshani Perinpanayagam guesting on piano.

Programme will include works by Laurence Crane, Matthew Shlomowitz, Joe Cutler, Daniel Saleeb, Benjamin Oliver, Ryan Latimer and Seán Clancy.

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Call for Works 2013 Shortlist Announcement

We are delighted to announce the four shortlisted composers from our Call for Works 2013 are Jay Capperauld, George Christofi, David Kirkland Garner and Amber Priestley. We will perform their new works at our LSO St Luke’s Concert on 9th November where the audience will decide who wins the Heidi Cupp Award. Well done to the four composers and many thanks to all of the 85 composers from around the world who submitted pieces.