Compositions for Actions 2024: lipsync serenades for soft occasions

Compositions for Actions 2024: lipsync serenades for soft occasions

Artists Tze Yeung Ho, Kholod Hawash and Josh Spear have been chosen as the recipients of the Compositions for Actions 2024 Open Call grant. Their project lipsync serenades for soft occasions will take place in London between October and November.

Composer Tze Yeung Ho (Helsinki) and textile artist Kholod Hawash (Espoo) are collaborating to create an interdisciplinary performance piece based on two original love songs created for the project together with British performance artist and DJ Josh Spear (Oslo/London). As Spear takes main stage for the work as a lipsync artist, Hawash’s embroidered garment will reflect the dynamic personality of the live performer through various symbolisms tied to the theme of queer love in  the meeting of influences borrowed from Arabic mythology, a reimagined continental European renaissance and contemporary Finnish fashion. This exchange of metaphors in the visual, textual  and musical contexts between the three collaborating artists will be crucial in the initial phase of  this interdisciplinary work.


Tze Yeung Ho is a Norwegian composer based in Helsinki. Yeung’s music is created at the crossroads of understanding, reflecting his multilingual upbringing. His works explore the territories of speech, translation in language, dramaturgy and poetics. Working with Scandinavian, Finno-Ugric and Chinese poetry and prose, his music treads on the fragile landscapes of (mis)communication through (un)spoken words. Close collaboration with living writers, storytellers and word-based artists is integral to his practice. His creations usually result in some form of music theatre.

Tze Yeung holds a doctoral degree (PhD) from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and a master’s degree from the Norwegian Academy of Music. He has held lectures and talks at the Estonian Arts Academy, Mahidol University (Thailand), Sibelius Academy (Finland), SOUND 59 festival (Russia) and the highSCORE festival (Italy). He is an organiser and founder of the OSLOFONI project and a board member of the Periferien – nyMusikk Oslo concert series. He is also currently an Endringsagent (Impact Agent) for Music Norway, a vice board member in INN and a member of the ECCO working group in ECSA (European Composers and Songwriters’ Alliance). Yeung chaired the Norwegian chapter of the UNM (Ung Nordisk Musikk) festival between 2018 and 2021. Yeung is also a selected participant of Nordic Noise art collective.

Kholod Hawash was born in Basra, Iraq in 1977 and lives and works in Espoo, Finland. For many years she was working as an illustrator of  children’s books for major publishers in Iraq.  

Hawash uses the textile craft technique of jodaleia, the Arabic term for quilting. Traditionally, Iraqi quilts are created from re-used textiles that are sewn together by hand and used to cover and protect furniture and walls.  Hawash gets her inspiration from memories of her mother’s quilting,  Iraqi folklore and its myths and legends, as well as animals and nature in the rich archaeological landscape where she grew up. The motifs are dominated  by strong feminist beliefs and our human longing for and right to freedom and self-determination. Her colourful visual stories emerge stitch by stitch, the present and the past converging in a magical universe. 

Josh Spear is a composer-performer, sound designer, and researcher with a diverse portfolio spanning experimental composition, performance, and sound installations. Based in between Oslo and London, Spear’s academic and professional journey in music has been marked by rigorous study, innovative projects, and achievements in both educational and professional spheres. 

Spear’s work continues to evolve through various compositions and sound design projects. Highlights include receiving a writing grant from Dramatikkens Hus for ‘How now brown cow’ (2023) which is a lipsync piece that will premiere at KLANG in Copenhagen, and a commission for a music theatre piece by Bastard Assignments for Wigmore Hall & Borealis (2025–26) with additional performances in UK and Poland. Spear is also creating a new solo Accordion work with and for Andreas Borregaard to premiere at the MINU festival, Copenhagen (2024). He has developed sound designs for a range of projects, from geolocated sound installations like “Spel på Ingøya” supported by Nordic Culture Point and Kulturråd (2024–25), to dance and theatrical productions such as ‘How to Survive Your Mother’ at Kings Head Theatre, London (2024). 

Compositions for Actions

The theme for the Compositions for Actions, 2024 was artistic and socially focused projects that address the democratisation and participatory aspects of performing arts and/or contemporary arts as well as to support Finnish and Finland-based professional artists and artist groups and their international collaborators to perform arts and/or contemporary arts that address the topics of equality, diversity and inclusion. The two selected projects for 2024 are Dormancy, Reseeding, Resistance by Anastasia (A) Khodyreva and lipsync serenades for soft occasions by Tze Yeung Ho, Kholod Hawash and Josh Spear.

Image: Textile work (detail), ‘The Altersea Opera’, Nordic Pavilion, Venice, 2024. Textile work © Kholod Hawash (Image credit: My Matson and Moderna Museet).

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