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  • Nina Perry

Celebrating 2 years of full-time creative freelancing & still developing as an academic!

It's been two whole years since I deleted Bournemouth from my weather app, ceased juggling academia and returned to full-time creative freelance life. This time last year I expressed my gratitude for the talented, inspiring kind people I had worked with during the first year out of academia (and into the pandemic), and this year I want to do the same, but also I want to say a little about developing academic work and interests.

Much gratitude for all the collaborations and projects in the last 12 months, in this blog I'm going to focus on the last six months, 2020 cheers are shared in a previous blog here

and early 2021 here .

The last six months have been marked by the gradual emergence from lockdown, and the joy I've experienced coming together with inspiring people in person, to create and perform. Above is a photo taken at the Dream (ing) field Lab retreat in June, it's been incredible being part of the creative team on this project, which culminated in an immersive installation "another garden (will be our city)" on 12th September 2021 at Toynbee Studios - part of Artsadmin What Shall we Build Here festival.

For the installation I created a soundscape composition " rhythm of rest" - made from found sounds gathered at the retreat, and "what will I grow" - interviews recorded with the women and femmes at the end of the retreat. Now available on soundcloud, to snooze to..


In 2021 I've been developing more consulting work, this has come in various forms, acting as an executive producer on radio productions; supporting companies develop BBC pitches, carrying out music research and advising companies new to podcasting how they might develop their ideas. It's been really satisfying using my arts, media and academic knowledge in this way, and seeing projects get off the ground and flourish. I've written more about this work here.


In July, I had the good fortune to spot a tweet from London Bubble theatre who were looking for a South London based composer and sound designer. I have long been a fan of London Bubble, and the performance work of theres that I have seen locally in my community - so I jumped at the chance! South London Stories LIVE was performed by the Young Peoples Theatre on consecutive weekends in different outdoor locations, or rather, that was the plan.. As you can see the from the pictures we had beautiful weather for the rehearsal, the performance was another matter - as the heavens opened! The gallant performers and crew carrying on regardless to the very end. It was a truly enLIVEning live performance.


In May I was invited to take part on a academic panel "What career? Doing practice research beyond the PhD? and then the following month, the organiser of the event Dr Sophie Hope from Birkbeck University asked me to take part in the corkscrew podcast to discuss my practice-based research and PhD. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage with PhD students and the academics on the panel at the chase event, and the deep dive with Sophie in the podcast, which brought back lots of memories of working on my PhD. Although I am a visiting fellow at Bournemouth, there haven't been many opportunities to engage with academia since I left my part-time post in 2019, perhaps if the pandemic hadn't happened there would have been more, and I feel a restlessness for all the research which I've not yet been able to grow. For those versed in academic processes, I have submitted practice outputs to the REF, and I am very much enjoying conversing with academic colleagues on a forthcoming commission I received from BBC Radio 3 which is based on part of my PhD research - during my podcast chat with Sophie she suggests that maybe I could submit this production as a journal article - wouldn't that be great! I would love to develop more academic work and research, and hope to find a way to do so in the coming weeks and months..


Experience and research from academia continues to inform my life and work - I'm delighted now that the restrictions are beginning to ease that in-person dance and yoga classes along with other forms of movement activities can resume, so I've relaunched my Sounds Physical course for conscious dance teachers and movement therapists to explore sound, body and environment. More details HERE starting in November online.


It's given me great pleasure looking back with gratitude at these past collaborations and projects, and am looking forward to new collaborations and projects ahead..!

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