Rather than rewarding an existing work, the Ô£50,000 award goes to support the a yet-to-be-created music project. Perhaps for that reason, the projects of the three finalists all resembled art installations more than concert works.
Finer's project is titled Score for a Hole in the Ground. He will dig a shaft with bowls of different sizes suspended within; as rain falls, it will cause the bowls to ring and change their timbre as they fill and spill water into the bowls below. The resulting sound will be carried 20 feet above the surface by a brass horn.
A founding member of the Irish rock band the Pogues, Finer has more recently expanded into film, photography, art, and performance art. He recently completed a two-year term as artist-in-residence at Oxford's astrophysics department.
He has until September 2006 to present his work.
The other finalists were composer Terry Mann, who proposed recording every cathedral bell in the U.K. for a piece of installation art, and composer and producer Craig Vear, who wanted to capture live sounds from a buoy off the coast of southwestern England and then feed them into an installation at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
The judges for the award included percussionist Evelyn Glennie, film composer Annue Dudley, comedian Stewart Lee, BBC host Verity Sharp, and Aniruddha Das of the electronica group Asian Dub Foundation.