Trio Of Men

Trio of Men create music-based projects and performances...

Trio of Men (Hugh Nankivell, Steve Sowden, Ben Ballard) make music-based projects & performances which use theatre, projected video and narrative. They are dedicated to making work which imaginatively and successfully engages communities and audiences. Projects have included: Ignition (a community theatre narrative in the Shetland Islands - for the National Theatre of Scotland), Earth Echoes (a UNESCO opera about the Anthropocene) and Long Time Coming (a song-cycle with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra & road-builders Galliford Try). 

As three musician/performers, they sing in 7/8 time about Oliver Heaviside, they recreate Beck’s ‘Song Reader’ album, perform their own songs about illness and neighbours, sing new adaptions from the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs and write instant songs with festival goers (WOMAD 2015, EOTR 2017). They are the house band for the FRANK Water charity and wrote/performed their ‘Saturated’ single.

Hugh piano stretch.JPG

hugh nankivell

Keyboards, viola and vocals. Hugh is a curious composer/performer who wrote the music for the opening ceremony of Milton Keynes’s ‘Concrete Cows’ when he was a teenager and has not looked back since. He has composed large-scale pieces for Opera North, Dartmoor National Park, UNESCO, The National Theatre of Scotland (award winning!) and has led several Anglo-Japanese projects. He currently spends a lot of time with the under 4’s and the over 80‘s. His paternal grandmother was a cousin of Ivor Gurney, which probably accounts for the eccentric and compulsive song-writing.



Steve Sowden

Guitar, ukulele, vocals, electrics and editing - Steve writes/arranges music and makes films. Among numerous odd ventures, he has made a choral piece for 8 screens and 16 audio channels (Philharmonia Orchestra's Universe of Sound tour), fronted bands (as an opening act for Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Television), directed/produced video/music for a 21st Century ‘Peepshow' box and is currently (finally) finishing up his own Dartmoor-centric independent film: Mote's Pinch. 

Ben Biog Pic.JPG

Ben ballard

Percussion, cajon, ukulele, spoons and assorted oddments. Ben has been playing percussion and drums since he was 12. An incessant tapper and roving multi-instrumentalist, he has performed and provided workshops to thousands of people at places like Notting Hill Carnival, Womad Festival, Cornbury Festival, the London 2012 Olympic Festival and an after school club on a wet Wednesday night somewhere on outskirts of Plymouth. He still struggles to play songs in 7/8...