Ruari Paterson-Achenbach is a composer, artist and performer from Charlton in South-East London. In their music they want to provide sonic performative experiences which challenge assumptions about music and sound from a uniquely celebratory queer perspective. They want to invite discussion, exploring and amplifying voices which have been silenced and excluded in an act of sonic resistance through noise.
Ruari’s work is multidisciplinary in concept and nature, obfuscating boundaries between music and fine art, between popular and classical traditions. Ruari is currently a ‘New Creative’ for the Institute of Contemporary arts, with their piece ‘The Lesbian Families Sound Archive’ being co-commissioned by the ICA, BBC and NTS. As a composer they have worked with a variety of ensembles, visual artists and writers, including the Juice Vocal Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and No Dice Collective. Ruari frequently collaborates with makers of Fine Art, Film and Theatre, with these collaborations being key to their development as an artist. Ruari’s multimedia film and audio works Encompass and Without were both exhibited as part of the 2018 Queens’ Arts Festival and the John Hughes Arts Festival, and Encompass was also selected for inclusion at the Royal Musical Association 2018 Annual Conference and performed by the Bristol University Loudspeaker Orchestra.
Ruari recently graduated from a music degree at the University of Cambridge, Girton College, with their academic work and curatorial and performance practice being deeply integral to each other. For their finals Ruari curated and performed a vocal recital around queering vocal practice, including works by LGBTQ+ composers in styles ranging from Cabaret to contemporary classical music resulting in an empowering piece of performance art. Ruari’s dissertation focused on queer performativity and temporality in the sonic and visual work of popular musicians. For their attempts to improve inclusion and accessibility in the music faculty, Ruari was nominated for an Outstanding Student Contribution to Education Award.
With composer Joanna Ward Ruari is part of ‘The Mermaid Café’, a creative collective specialising in performing, curating and commissioning creative works. They look to organise multidisciplinary events to act as vehicles for the promotion of contemporary creative practice, as well as aiming to create a progressive creative environment which reacts against the historically exclusive and elitist nature of western art forms.