66 Days marks 400 years: Multimedia project plots course for Mayflower’s epic voyage

Four hundred years since the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, four composers from nonclassical, the London-based music promoter, record label and events producer, will present a multimedia piece that takes journeys, migration and cultural identities as its themes.

The project, which has been commissioned by the City of London Corporation for its ‘Our City Together’ programme, will stretch across 66 days – the duration of the Mayflower’s journey to North America.

Each of the four composers from nonclassical will collaborate with another artist - Lola de la Mata with Britta Thie; Blasio Kavuma with Jess Nash; Dan Samsa with Alison D’Souza; and Yfat Soul Zisso with Sasha Balmazi-Owen.

The works will be premiered at on 16 September at 6pm, marking the day the Mayflower set sail, carrying her passengers – often referred to as the ‘Pilgrim Fathers’ - who were escaping religious persecution under James I’s reign.

Wendy Hyde, Chair, City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“Nonclassical’s composers and their fellow artists have been set a unique challenge, and it will be fascinating to experience how they have come together for this work, as part of the ‘Our City Together’ cultural programme.

“Several months in the planning and with the aim of revealing its course over more than two months, this project will make full creative use of animation, video, visual art and sound, and take people on their own particular journey.”

Gabriel Prokofiev, composer and founder of nonclassical, said:

“Nonclassical’s composers have taken very personal connections to this voyage and, rather than try to connect directly with the experiences of the Mayflower pilgrims or those whose lives were changed by their arrival in America, they found connected themes on their doorsteps in London, Birmingham, and in their own families.

“By doing so, they are highlighting the shared, universal, and human experience of travel and migration, and the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower becomes a broader symbol for how the world has seemingly got smaller over the last four centuries.

“Hopefully, we are gradually reaching an increasingly better level of understanding, respect, and humility towards each other.”

The City of London Corporation is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £100m every year.

In partnership with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra, and Museum of London, the City Corporation is leading the development of Culture Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate, a multi-million-pound initiative to create a new cultural and creative destination for London. As part of this, the City Corporation is providing a £197m investment in the new Museum of London, which will open in West Smithfield in 2024, and £6.8m to support the development of the proposed Centre for Music.


Notes for Editors:

Media enquiries:

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer (Arts & Culture), City of London Corporation

M: +44 (0) 7795 333060


About Our City Together:

Our City Together is a digital collaboration bringing free programming to local, national and international audiences. The platform features an inspiring, positive and thoughtful mix of archive and contemporary digital content including podcasts, playlists, artworks, photography, films, talks and museum collections. The project is a collaboration between the City Corporation, Barbican Centre, Museum of London, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London Symphony Orchestra, Tower Bridge, Culture Mile, London Metropolitan Archives and Keats House.

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. / @visitthecity

About nonclassical:

nonclassical is a music promoter, record label and events producer presenting the best new classical, experimental and electronic music. Crossing genre and defying convention, we develop, produce and promote innovative music – supporting emerging artists and bringing new music to new audiences. Founded in 2004 by composer Gabriel Prokofiev, nonclassical began as a club night focused on presenting new music in non-traditional performance spaces. We have since presented events across the UK and worldwide, and our record label is home to artists including Tansy Davies, Aïsha Orazbayeva, Gabriel Prokofiev, Langham Research Centre, Tom Richards and many more. / / @nonclassical

Artists’ biographies:

Lola de la Mata

Associate Composer Lola de la Mata is a London born French/Spanish composer, artist and musician (violin/voice/electronics). Her collaborative practice explores the experienced as embodied sound through the relationships between the bodies of the instrument, the performer and the architecture. Lola likes to challenge the one directional concert experience by placing performers around the ‘concert space’, writing for the body of the musician as well as the instrument for a more embodied sound. Her scores have been performed by Cecilia Bignall, Ensemble Entropy, Tre Voci, Distractfold Ensemble, and a CoMA trio featuring Aisha Orazbayeva. Lola’s music has been broadcasted on BBC Radio 3 and Resonance FM.

Britta Thie

Britta Thie is a director, artist, actor and model based in Germany. Her work has been shown in exhibitions at Anthology Film Archives, (New York), Mumok (Vienna), Auto Italia (London), the Sandy Brown Gallery (Berlin), the KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), the Kunstverein Göttingen, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the Julia Stoschek Collection Berlin.

Blasio Kavuma

Associate Composer Blasio Kavuma is a composer, arranger and curator based in London. He is an active collaborator and curator over numerous platforms, including film, visual art and performance art. His work has been performed by ensembles and soloists in the U.K, U.S and Japan, and his music has featured on BBC Radio 3. Drawing equally from classical and popular musical traditions, Blasio has developed a sound-world full of rhythmic vitality and stylistic versatility, and is committed to championing forward-thinking music that is accessible to a wider audience.

Jess Nash

Jess is a freelance illustrator based in the South East. Inspired by culture, history and narrative, Jess has had the pleasure of drawing for clients such as gal-dem, The Good Journal and Penguin Random House.

Dan Samsa

South East London composer, performer, producer and DJ Dan Samsa is particularly fascinated with connecting his classical music experience with his deep connection to London’s diverse music scene. As a DJ, he’s performed at leading UK nightclubs and has supported international acts, including DJ Yoda and The Scratch Perverts. He is currently curating the London360 festival where he’ll be debuting his second album, featuring a 360 degree sound system, brass ensembles, vocalists, drums, piano and drum machine.

Alison D'Souza

Alison completed her undergraduate degree at the Royal College of Music in 2009 and then her MA at the Royal Academy of Music in 2011 studying under Martin Outram. Since graduating Alison has been juggling an exciting schedule of freelance opportunities and musical projects as an orchestral and chamber music player. Touring to India with Anglo Indian music productions for a new Bollywood film release and again on an orchestra tour for a private Indian wedding in Udaipur. She won a place on Chipping Campden Academy Festival Orchestra and in the same year performed with the British Heritage orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. Alison sailed the Med several times with different cruise lines as part of Graffiti Classics company (a high energy live performance and dance comedy show). Alison has also performed with major orchestras such as the London Contemporary Orchestra and Multi-Story Orchestra.

Yfat Soul Zisso

Soul has had her work performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the Fidelio Trio. Her interests range from the use of different microtonal sound worlds and textures to children’s books and the exploration of various extended techniques. She is currently studying for a PhD that focuses on creating a quarter-tone compositional language suitable for western singers to learn.

Sasha Balmazi-Owen

Sasha Balmazi-Owen is a British film & theatre maker. He has worked across Europe, fusing opera, music and video. During his studies at Kingston School of Fine Art, Sasha collaborated with composer Rolf Hind (Piano/Dance, 2015), and director Loré Lixenberg (The Fool, 2016). He directed a short opera-film for Random Acts in 2018, ‘Death Visits Mererid’, and made his theatre directing debut on ‘Physical Education’ - a collaboration with Robert Reid Allan at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham.

Sasha has worked with notable companies and artists, including Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, ICA, Channel 4, Royal Opera House, Copenhagen Opera House, Mahogany Opera Group, St John Smith’s Square, David Toop, Jonathan Goddard and Zoë Martlew.