RNCM PRiSM Lucy Hale Doctoral Composer Appointed

Megan Steinberg appointed RNCM PRiSM Lucy Hale Doctoral Composer in Association with Drake Music

21 July 2021

Megan told us:

“I am very excited to work with Drake Music and PRiSM to compose new music for remarkable performers. There is nothing else I would rather be doing with my time and creativity. I will be taking this opportunity to build and promote accessible methods of music-making with Disabled musicians, using experimentation and machine learning.

Drake Music are an outstanding organisation whose work has included supporting the development of new instruments that put the performer at the heart of the design. These new works will put the performer at the heart of the music. It is a thrilling opportunity to compose for new instruments, with so many questions to ask and so many sounds to discover.

The project will be built upon a foundation of accessibility and inclusivity, with opportunities for many musicians to get involved and collaborate. As much as I hope for an environment to explore and express my own experiences; I equally hope to help establish inclusive spaces for all Disabled, D/deaf, neurodiverse, and underrepresented artists to be able do the same.”

This studentship was conceived and designed by Lucy Hale, an extraordinarily talented composer committed to building repertoire and support for Disabled musicians. Lucy’s drive and talent, as well as her lived experience of Disability, meant that she was able to see the incredible untapped creative potential afforded by non-traditional accessible musical instruments and technology. She understood the vital need to build repertoire and performance practice around those instruments so that the musical ambitions of those who play them can be fully realised. Tragically, Lucy passed away earlier this year and was not able to complete her ambitious plans. This award is offered in her name.

We’re really pleased that RNCM, PRiSM and Drake Music want to take Lucy’s Doctoral Proposal forward. Her proposal is full of ideas about music and disability that were very close to her heart and rooted in her experience and she would not have wanted it to be lost. Lu was self-effacing and generous and would have been pleased.

Lucy’s parents, Nicky Hale and John Mellor

Lucy was a wonderful student of composition and set a shining example to all around her. I hope that her imagination of vision and curiosity for the world can live on in this brilliant new PhD that will be happening here in the RNCM, the place that she was so passionate about and where she created such memorable work.

Adam Gorb, Head of Composition, RNCM

Megan Steinberg Biography

Megan Steinberg by Sam Walton samwaltonphotography.com

Megan Steinberg is an experimental composer and abstract turntablist based in London. She works with found sound, chance procedures, graphic scores, quietness and microtonality.

Originally a jazz guitarist, Megan studied Composition at Brunel University where she fell into experimental music. After discovering free improv using objects, violin and cello, in 2016 she began performing free improv and experimental music for single-deck, analogue turntable.

She has composed for incredible performers including Heather Roche, Juice Vocal Ensemble, Distractfold, Apartment House and Lore Lixenberg. In 2016, she was awarded the FI Williams Prize for Composition for her piece The Dying Sakura Tree. Her music has been performed at Kings Place and IKLECTIK in London, Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam, and Arts by the Sea Festival in Bournemouth, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Resonance FM and NTS.

Megan is a dedicated advocate for accessibility and representation in new music. When she’s not making noise with instruments, found audio or vinyl records, she is most likely discussing video games, architecture, feminism, environmentalism and mental health.



We are delighted that Megan has accepted the place on the Lucy Hale Collaborative Doctoral Award and are very much looking forward to working with her over the coming years. Her application was very exciting, covering vital areas in Disability, music and technology and we can’t wait to see the outcome of her research.

Tim Yates, Programme Leader, Research and Development, Drake Music

We are thrilled by the prospect of working closely with both Megan and Drake Music as we explore and contribute to this important research area. We are very grateful to the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership for their invaluable support through an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in Lucy’s name.

Emily Howard, Director PRiSM