Verity Standen is a composer, performer and musical director based in Bristol, UK. Her work primarily explores the human voice and how it can be celebrated and transformed through live performance. Her performance pieces have been presented in theatres and concert venues, galleries and museums, dance festivals and live art programmes, village halls and cafes. Wherever it is performed, music is always at the heart of Verity’s work; she creates sound worlds, often using intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony, and allows the audience to interpret mood and narrative for themselves.
Verity’s immersive choral piece HUG (in which each audience member is blindfolded and hugged by a singer) won the Off West End TBC Award 2016 and was nominated for The Arches Brick Award and a Total Theatre Award. As well as continuing to surprise and enchant audiences around the UK, HUG begins an international tour this summer, forming a new choir to perform the piece in each location. Time Out describe the piece as ‘the most immediate, visceral experience of music as human expression possible… like an antenna to heaven’.
Mmm Hmmm is Verity’s celebrated piece of a cappella song theatre. Three exceptional female voices jump between sound worlds and lyrical styles, while holding a magnifying glass up to snapshots of everyday life. WhatsOnStage call the show ‘a paean to the wonders of the human voice’.
And Symphony – Verity’s short piece for individual audience members that blends live voice with the unusual sounds of multiple tuning forks – has just completed a run at Mayfest and will be popping up elsewhere over the coming months.
Between tour dates for these current projects Verity is currently composing a large-scale dance opera, in collaboration with choreographer Dan Canham, set to premiere in 2017. She is also exploring ideas with public art producers Situations for a choral piece about conscientious objectors in English Heritage sites, and recording a soundtrack for an independent documentary.