Emma Welton is a composer and performs on violin and viola. With Icebreaker she has performed contemporary music internationally, including at New York City’s Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre, with Brian Eno at the Brighton International Festival, and in London’s Science Museum Imax cinema.
Emma co-curates with Tony Whitehead A Quiet Night In, music nights exploring the creative possibilities in quiet/silence. In summer 2021 A Quiet Night In was commissioned by Exeter’s Outside the Box Festival to make at the end of the day, a devised piece for humans sounding with an outdoor habitat. In 2017 A Quiet Night In performance was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio’s 3 ‘Exposure’, hosted by Verity Sharp, in a concert showcasing new and experimental music.
Emma has a listening practice which includes leading creative listening workshops and walks. Her Exeter Sound Walks were shortlisted by Walk-Listen-Create for the Sound Walk September award in 2020 and are featured in 2022’s Art Week Exeter and Cygnet Theatre’s Dream Festival, and in BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on 14th June 2022, a Sound Walk and interview with Mishal Husain.
Emma is a Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra musician, touring with many BSO chamber groups, and co-leading with Hugh Nankivell BSO’s Exeter Family Orchestra.
Emma is an activist composer whose practice is driven by the climate emergency and our place in it, combining recordings, live instruments and tools/objects, and sometimes eliciting audience participation. In recent years she has created and performed new music for Scare the Horses, the Agatha Christie International Festival, for the film Ouroboros Dumnonii, a living musical sculpture for Torbay’s Eyeview festival, a collection of commissioned videos and podcasts on sound, listening and walking and a short field recording videoThe tree inhales and stills the air’s fibrillating breath, holding it in wood that takes a tree’s perspective, eavesdropping on musicians practising inside their houses (commissioned by Cine Sisters SW).
Emma studied music at Manchester and York Universities.