Cydonie Banting is a composer and ethnomusicologist
Recent commissions include The Gate of Dawn for the Presteigne Festival, Through a Glass, Darkly for the Barbican’s Sound Unbound series, and Introit for Choir & Organ
Cydonie studied composition with Robert Saxton at Worcester College, Oxford, and with Gary Carpenter at the Royal Academy of Music, where the CHROMA Ensemble premiered Reflections for mixed ensemble based on folk songs from south-western Uganda. Her violin duet Crane Songs won the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Robert M Stevenson Prize in 2017 and has been arranged for the 2023 Presteigne Festival for violin and viola. Bringing Ugandan musical source materials into dialogue with concert music idioms, the piece formed part of a creative gift exchange between the composer and local community. This approached was developed further in The Small Hunter for piano trio, commissioned by the Romsey Chamber Music Festival 2017, and led to Cydonie writing music in the field that involved the community, drawing in insights and critiques by the people for whom the music was written.
Cydonie’s doctoral project, funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership at King’s College London, advances learning to compose as a methodological tool for field research in an ethnography of local music-making in Kanjobe, Uganda. In so doing, it confronts the moral and ethical challenges posed by conducting research in and about a formerly colonised place. In 2017 Cydonie was a Global Research Grant Scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, leading and organising the KCL/UNC Joint Graduate Music Conference for three years. In 2019 she held a Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress and presented conference papers at the Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting in Bloomington, USA, and the Symposium in Honour of Akin Euba in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2021 Cydonie worked as a postgraduate research assistant on an EDI project ‘Towards Global Histories of Music Curriculums’ funded by King’s Race Equality and Inclusion Fund.
Cydonie returned to the Academy in 2021 as the Composition and Contemporary Music Administrator and was appointed Research Manager in 2023.