Concerts, Performances and Screenings

Concert 2 – Cadman TV Studio – Tuesday 7th May – 1.00-2.30pm

Nikos Stavropoulos: Karst Grotto

Nikos Stavropoulos (b. 1975) is a composer of predominantly acousmatic and mixed music. His works are performed and acknowledged internationally (Bourges, 2000,2002, Metamorphose, Brussels 2002,2008,2016, SCRIME, Bordeaux 2003, Musica Miso, Potrugal, 2004, Punto de Encuentro Canarias International Electroacoustic Composition Competition 2008, Destellos Foundation 2015, 2016, Open Circuit 2016). Other interests include the performance practice of electroacoustic music, multichannel practices and teaching music and music technology. He joined the Music, Sound & Performance Group at Leeds Beckett University in 2006 and is a founding member of the Echochroma New Music Research Group, a member of the Irish, Sound, Science and Technology Association (ISSTA) and the Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association (HELMCA).

Karst Grotto (Stereo or multichannel / acousmatic) The title, chosen for its onomatopoeic qualities and its direct references to landscape qualities as well as geological spatial structures and processes, reflects the sound world of the work. Karst Grotto is dealign with the idea of acoustic microspace and aural intimacy and is investigating spaces whose aural architecture is not accessible to the listener unless it is mediated by recording technology. The recordings of source materials were conducted using small electret condenser microphones in a 5.1 Polyhymnia pentagon configuration. The work, which was composed at the studios of the Department of Music Technology & Acoustics in Crete and the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology in Zurich, is the result of ongoing investigation into capturing and working with spatiality in acoustic micro space.

Rosalia Soria: TABU

Rosalía is a Mexican electroacoustic composer and electronics engineer. She is currently a member of the Mexican National System of Art Creators. Her research is focused on multi-channel composition using state-space models for sound synthesis and transformations. She studied composition at the “Conservatorio de las Rosas” in Michoacán Mexico. She completed a MSc in Electrical Engineering at the UMSNH University in Mexico in 2010. In 2012 she received the prestigious PDS award from the University of Manchester, where she completed a PhD in Music at the NOVARS Research Centre in 2016. She has presented her works in various international festivals such as the Ars Electronica, “Sines and Squares Festival”, MANTIS festival at the University of Manchester, SONORITIES festival in United Kingdom and Kling Gut 2018 in Germany. Currently she is working on a portfolio of electroacoustic works addressing racism in Mexico.

It has been said that music is a universal language. Unfortunately this saying is not necessarily true. Musical expression and its understanding is influenced by cultural codes and personal preferences. To be able to engage broader audiences a context needs to be created. How to engage our listeners’s attention? In electroacoustic music one answer could be “by creating context”, by providing the “something to hold on to” that is not necessarily an element of music such as harmony, timbre or rhythm, but rather a topic of common interest in a society. In this paper author presents her approach to engaging broader audiences with “TABÚ”, an 8-channel tape piece addressing racism in Mexico. This topic is very sensitive as in daily life people are being discriminated because of having indigenous origins, yet everyone denies it. The challenge for this piece was: how to make it accessible to broader audiences while keeping it within the electroacoustic genre? The author presents her approach on how to use recorded interviews to create context and further engagement. The paper also presents her decisions regarding aesthetics, material selection, format, and structure. She also shares how the piece was received by Mexican society and international audiences.

John Young: Three spaces in mid-air

Three Spaces in MId-Air (2017) Stereo acousmatic music Form, writes Nicholas Bourriaud, is ‘structural unity imitating a world.’ I have responded to this idea with Three Spaces in Mid-Air, which is designed as a continuous work in three discrete sections. Each explores the idea of spectral space through interaction and coalescence of sonic strata, as three-dimensional objects ‘suspended’ before the listener. The work’s three sections also address the compression of form, each aiming to embody the atmosphere of a self-contained ‘world’—evoking implications of direction, tension and release while balancing states of stasis and motion. Three Spaces in Mid-Air was premiered on June 21, 2017 at the Project(ion) Room, Brussels, and gained second prize in the 2017 Destellos Competition, Mar del Plata, Argentina.

John Young is a composer whose output includes multi-channel acousmatic pieces, large-scale radiophonic work, and music combining instruments and electroacoustic sounds. His music focuses on the use computer technology to transform, disassemble and reassemble sounds in new ways to create sonic drama and musical development. Some of his recent work has used oral history and archival recordings in a narrative-based approach to electroacoustic music. John is currently Professor of Composition in the Institute for Sonic Creativity at De Montfort University, Leicester, having previously been Senior Lecturer and Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Recent works include the 22.2 channel Abwesenheit (2017) created for the Vienna Acousmonium, Magnetic Resonance (2017) in collaboration with pianist Xenia Pestova (University of Nottingham) and Andrew McPherson (Queen Mary University London), Spirit for orchestra and electroacoustic sounds (2018) commissioned and premiered by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (New Zealand) and the 16 channel acousmatic Sweet Anticipation, premiered at Sound Junction in Sheffield (2018). Two solo discs of his work are available on the Empreintes Digitales label: La limite du bruit and Lieu-temps

Nicola Fumo Frattegiani: Polvere Nera

The totality of the acoustic material. Excavated, mutilated. Sublimated and deposited. The One that is fragmented and reduced to dust. Chalk blocks engraved and carved through the space and elasticity of time.Polvere nera is divided into four sections, bounded by sudden stops and static poses, in which there is an incessant dialogue between two opposing formal poles: bands and points. In the end the dialogue becomes union through a process of massification of the material that does not however cancel the intrinsic differences of the models employed.Polvere nera was constructed using noise, synthesis sounds and percussive sounds.

Born in Perugia, Nicola Fumo Frattegiani graduated from D.A.M.S. (Academy of Arts Music and Show) at the University of Bologna, with a thesis on Luigi Nono’s work “Intolleranza 1960”. Later he has advanced Master’s degree on “The musical cultures of 1900’s” at the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, and a bachelor’s degree on “Electronic Music and New Technologies” at the “Francesco Morlacchi” Conservatory of Music of Perugia. Currently Nicola Fumo Frattegiani is attending the Master’s degree of “Electronic Music and New Technologies” at the “Licinio Refice” Conservatory of Music in Frosinone. His works have been presented at various national and international festivals, including BFE / RMA, Noisefloor Festival (UK), Synchresis (Spain), Evimus (Germany), MUSLAB (Brazil), ICMC (South Korea), NYCEMF (USA) , SMC (Cyprus), XXII CIM, Architecture Biennale of Venice (Italy). Author and performer, his research deals with electroacoustic music, soundtracks of images, video, sound theater and sound exhbition. Since 2016, Nicola collaborates with Alessandro Fiordelmondo in several productions of live electroacoustic music, with whom he experimented many types of generation and manipulation of sound dimension. Both are part of the Ensemble A23, a research group in the field of sound installations.

Anna Terzaroli: Memento

Memento is acousmatic and electroacoustic music. It is based on synthesized and processed sounds and built by combination, overlapping and counterpoint of voices in a polyphonic texture leading to develop the musical idea of the author.

Anna Terzaroli studied Electronic Music and Composition at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music in Rome, as a composer she is dedicated to contemporary acoustic and electroacoustic music. Her original works are selected and performed in concerts and festivals in Italy and abroad. In addition to the Composition activity, she carries out her Research activity. Her artistic-scientific research works are selected and presented in national and international conferences. She is a member of the AIMI (Italian Computer Music Association) board.

Ewan Stafani: Black Drums Rolled

Black drums rolled Musically, the work explores the disruption and abrupt termination of repeated patterns to suggest short episodes of pulses and rhythms that are never fully resolved or developed. Most of the sounds in the work come from recordings that I made from inside an upright piano, and inside a clock. These sources are juxtaposed with short samples of Baroque string orchestra. Patches in Reaktor and Max were used to create spatial movement (in the 8-channel version) and rhythmic modulation of playback position within each sound. The title of the piece comes from a line in Norman MacCaig’s poem ‘Sounds of the Day’, where the dark sounds in the poem, and silence that follows them represent the intense pain of grief and loss. The relevant extract from the poem is: When the black drums rolled, it was water falling sixty feet into itself. When the door scraped shut, it was the end of all the sounds there are. You left me beside the quietest fire in the world. (Norman MacCaig)

Ewan Stefani is a composer, musician and academic based in the UK. He has been composing with synthesizers, computers and tape recorders since the 1980s. As a composer and performer in the last few years he has worked closely with a broad cross-section of collaborators including Christophe de Bezenac, Stephen Altoft, Paul Hession, Will Baldry, and Centre de vidéo-danse de Bourgogne. His solo pieces have been performed on BBC Radio 3 and at various international conferences and festivals.

Simon Emmerson – Digswell Tapes Remix

Digswell Tapes (originally created in 1973) is an open-form work, which defines time proportions and electronic modulation systems. In the 1970s I created versions for percussion, short-wave radio, and radio with viola. The album ‘Digswell Duets’ (1978) with Lol Coxhill (sop sax) is a (very free) version. Digswell Tapes I is for short-wave radio with modulation systems and delays. Three separate ‘events’ from the most disordered to the most structured are found with the radio and trapped on a loop during the course of the piece. Shorter or longer segments of this material are fed via the processing on to the delay system, points become lines, lines become heterophony and polyphony. The original versions of Digswell Tapes were performed from 1973-1979. I made a new edition in 2005 replacing the EMS Synthi AKS and tape loop/delay with a MAX/MSP patch. Tonight’s version is a remix using original shortwave recordings from three performances in the 1970s – Birmingham (1976), Edinburgh (1978), Loughborough (1979) – mixed with some materials live ‘off air’.
Simon Emmerson came to De Montfort as Research Professor in November 2004 after many years as Electroacoustic Music Studio Director at City University, London. He originally studied sciences and music education at Cambridge before completing a PhD in Electronic Music at City. As a composer he is committed to live performance with electronics and has now forty years of work reflecting the changing technology of music; commissions include works for the Smith Quartet, Philip Sheppard (electric cello), Philip Mead (piano) with the Royal Northern College of Music Brass Quintet, Darragh Morgan (violin) and Keynote+ (Jane Chapman and Kate Ryder – harpsichord and piano) and Sond’Ar-te Ensemble (Lisbon). He has also completed purely electroacoustic commissions from the IMEB (Bourges), the GRM (Paris) and the Inventionen Festival (Berlin).  CDs of his works have been issued by Continuum (1993) and Sargasso (2007 and 2008).  He contributed to and edited The Language of Electroacoustic Music in 1986 (Macmillan, still in print) and Music, Electronic Media and Culture(Ashgate (now Routledge), 2000).  His book Living Electronic Music was published by Ashgate (now Routledge) in 2007. As an outcome of a major AHRC-supported project (2010-2013), he was co-editor and contributor to Expanding the Horizon of Electroacoustic Music Analysis (CUP, 2016) and has contributed many further papers and chapters to publications on live electronics, performance, listening, and gender. He has also contributed to Computer Music Journal, Contemporary Music Review and the Journal of New Music Research.  He was founder Secretary of EMAS (The Electroacoustic Music Association of Great Britain) in 1979, and served on the Board of Sonic Arts Network from its inception until 2004.  He was a Trustee of its successor organisation ‘Sound and Music’ 2008-2013.  In 2009-2010 he was DAAD Edgar Varese Visiting Professor at the TU, Berlin. He was visiting Professor and Composer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (Perth) in November 2016. He gave the keynote addresses at the Australasian Computer Music Conference 2011 (Auckland) and the International Computer Music Conference 2011 (Huddersfield), Music Science Technology 2012 (São Paulo), WOCMAT 2012 (Taiwan), Audiomostly 2014 (Aalborg), AHEM 2016 (London), BEAST Feast 2017 (Birmingham).

Javier Alejandro Garavaglia: Momente for viola and FFT based electronics

MOMENTE was specially commissioned by the 15. Internationales Klangkunstfest Berlin (6. – 9. September 2018) M O M E N T, and had its World Premiere on 08.09.2018 in Berlin, Germany. The composition features different “moments” where a single main musical theme appears in different versions and variations (and in its complete form only towards the middle of the piece). Each of these “moments” features the musical theme (or parts of it) in the viola with live-electronics in unique musical characteristics, which are not repeated in the same manner anywhere else in the composition. The piece makes strong usage of spectral (FFT-based) DSP processes, continuing the trend of my last pieces for live-electronics, starting with DUO SPECTRALIS for Viola and Tárogató (2015). The spatial dimension of the live-electronics is of much importance in the entire composition, using not only ambisonics in the octophonic set-up, but also Granular Spatialisation a system of my own creation for the fast circulation of sound in different speaker arrays.

Dr Javier Alejandro Garavaglia Composer and performer (viola/electronics) born in Buenos Aires, Argentina; he shares also the Italian and German citizenships. He lives between London (UK) and Köln (Germany). Compositions regularly performed in Europe, the Americas and Asia comprise: acousmatic/audiovisual music and compositions for solo instrument, ensembles & big orchestra with and/or without the inclusion of electronic media/live-electronics. Electroacoustic works on commercially available CD releases (Germany, USA, Argentina, Denmark). Research published in journals, books and online in Spanish, German and English. World leadership in the practice of full-automation of live-electronics. Current research in spatial audio: Granular Spatialisation – sound diffusion for High-Density Loudspeaker Arrays (HDLA), with compositions, a long article in Vol. 40:4 – Computer Music Journal and a paper for the ICMC 2016.

Concert 3 – Cadman TV Studio – Tuesday 7th May – 6.00-7.00pm

Nicola Fumo Frattegiani: Gusseisen

Gusseisen. Literarly “iron casting”. The metamorphosis of bodily form. The opposition of the material states. The white-hot and bright liquid which conceals yet magnifies a colourless hardness ready to endure time. The movement becomes stasis. An individual conflict founded on the ineluctable mental solitude, harbinger of potential chimerical scenarios. The epiphany of memories or fantasies, as well as desires and denials is founded on strips of never-ending antinomies. The alternation becomes a mass which submerges and deforms the facets of identity and of its vital and absolute uniqueness within a progressive internal tension. At the end of the voyage the mass resurfaces affirming its own being, resolving itself.

Pablo Garcia Valenzuela: Mufonia de Beat

“Mufonía de Beat” is a 3D instrument creation (midi controlled drum pads and keyboards) and composition project. I believe new music must come with new instruments. Multichannel systems are, essentially, new instruments. But live sound diffusion, a traditional way of using multichannel systems, has two problems for me: it assumes a rather “static” 3D scene with minimal movement and it is severely limited (humanly limited) when sound movement is attempted. Therefore, since we can be very good at sound localization, according to the MAA (Minimal Audible Angle), which is not achieved via live sound diffusion, automated spatial composition seems to be the right option if we really want the explore the limits and/or real potentials of our spatial perception and spatial discrimination in sound. But, furthermore, when we create 3D instruments that react to our performance in a complex spatial way, we may add a human factor that should result in a better and warmer communication with the audience. This is part of the essence of this project. However, another important factor is rhythm. I am going back to rhythm, which is such a basic force in human perception. But in this case it is about rhythm within sound (so rhythm extracted from sound sources and their “behaviour”). This, when combined with multichannel systems that explore the full 3D nature of human hearing, will perhaps allow us to maintain part of the essence of spectral and experimental composition and approach and engage further with Pop/mass audiences (thus expanding the reach of electroacoustic music). The latter, in fact, has been at the core of my work since several years now.

Pablo García-Valenzuela (Pablo Gav) was born in Mexico City in 1973. He holds a PhD in electroacoustic composition (1998-2003) from City University, London, UK, after studies with Simon Emmerson, Javier Alvarez and Denis Smalley. He has received grants for studies abroad from the British Council (1996-97), the Mexican Arts Council (FONCA, 1998-2001) and gained national and international distinctions for his music such as the Prix de la règion d’Aquitaine in SCRIME 2000, Bordeaux, France, the 3rd prize in the Luigi Russolo awards, Italy 2001 (for Piano T), a Postdoctoral research grant in multichannel sound from UNAM (2005-2007) and the P.A.P.I.A.M 2008 from CNA/CMM for his 15.4 multichannel composition and sound design project. Since 2011 he a recipient of the prestigious SNCA award for composition in Mexico. He now devotes his time to exploring the language of 3D Music through symphonies for full orchestra and eletroacoustic 3D sound systems and via his own experimental rock project.

Duncan Chapman and Mike McInerney: Mode of Engagement: Shakuhachi and live electronics

Modes of Engagement for Electronic Music: A performance for shakuhachi and live electronics “Difficult” “inaccessible” “irrelevant” are terms often applied to many musics utilising electronics. However, the same technologies (and often the very same tools and processes) are used in much of the music that dominates popular culture. The challenge lies then not in the materials or processes themselves but in finding a contextual bridge that perhaps links them into established traditions of reception. Quiet Knot – a performance project for shakuhachi and live electronics – begins from a place rooted in the modalities of electronic music and attempts to expand outwards from this place towards gestures, forms and sonic experiences that are more overtly human, or ‘humanistic’. In Forming Form (2016), John Young proposes four primary modes of electronic music expression: rhetoric, moment form, morphic form and narrative. Quiet Knot engages with these four formal processes in a fashion that sites them between their natural electro-acoustic habitation and the more overtly acoustic realm of shakuhachi performance. This overlap arises because the relatively unique language of the Zen shakuhachi repertoire of Hon Kyoku is coincidentally filled with analogous practices, albeit for different reasons and with their own set of expectations, notably a philosophy of ‘noise’, ‘nuance’ and a pre-technological aesthetics of ‘local /field’, once described by Simon Emmerson as a ‘primary distinction in terminology’ for live electronic music.

Duncan Chapman is a composer and sound artist who regularly works with leading music organisations throughout the world. Much of his work results in sound installations, recordings and live performances. Recent projects include co-directing large-scale performance projects for Casa da Música (Porto) and at the 2018 Sonophilia festival in Lincoln. Other projects include Dark Januaries, an annual personal composition project with Isabel Jones ; Rising Breath with Stewart Collinson and Mike McInerney Performances with Supriya Nagarajan (Manasamitra) for the Lullabies project in the UK and at the Ultima Festival (Oslo); the Kamppi “Chapel of Silence” (Helsinki) and orchestration of Indian lullabies (Iceland Symphony Orchestra). The audio-visual piece Mode 5 Down the Mountain was selected for the 2016 Drone Cinema Festival and released on a Silent Records compilation. Duncan is a contributor to courses at De Montfort & York Universities and has been involved in many music education development projects with Sonic Arts Network (Sonic Postcards) Sound and Music (Minute of Listening, Listen Imagine Compose) and Aberdeen, Goldsmiths and Limerick Universities. Current projects include: performance at HCMF further work with the Lullabies project in the UK and Portugal, ongoing work with De Montfort University on the pan-Eu Interfaces project and mentoring two composers (for Sound and Music) writing pieces for the Paraorchestra.

Mike McInerney ( is a shakuhachi player and electro-acoustic composer. His Logothetis Ensemble electro-acoustic quartet were the featured music artists at the 2017 UNESCO World Humanities Conference. Other recent events include new music for shakuhachi and Aum guitar at Plymouth University Music Week 2018 and a touring performance for shakuhachi, drones and Carnatic singer with Duncan Chapman and singer Supriya Nagarajan. Mike is subject lead in music composition with Plymouth University.

Concert 4 – Cadman TV Studio – Wednesday 8th May – 16.15-17.45

Neal Spowage: Monk

Monk (2019) is an experimental live electronic music performance that explores ways of engaging with an audience using the familiar, the ritualistic and the totemic. At the centre is the use of evocative objects, rituals and moments of absurdity that are bound together by a collection of minute movements, each one of which holds the intertwining relationships between the audience, performer, sound and instrument in the air as if they were supported on silken spider-webs. I am guided by the physical objects and how they act upon each other in their network of relationships and I support my work with the theories of Tim Ingold (lines and blobs), Sanda Erdelez (information encountering) Andy Clark (extended mind). Monk is also a personal ritual and coda, finally lying to rest an instrument that I have played for over thirty years.

Dr Neal Spowage is a musician and artist based in Leicester, UK. He was born in the northern UK steel town of Scunthorpe, where he lived and worked until 1997. He was well known in the local music scene working with the likes of Duncan Chapman and Steve Bird and playing guitar and drums in many local bands and ensembles including The Beadles, Enchanting Alice, Mothers Fury and Speed Needle. He was a regular ‘carpet sitter’ at the Baths Hall indie rock disco and at the now famous Lincoln Imp venue. He was involved in producing a fanzine for The Beadles and he also spent time with local hackers and software pirates, using Amiga Star Tracker samplers and sequencers to compose music for ‘demos’. In 1997, he spent a year in Derby studying for an Art Foundation before moving on to Leicester to study a BA in Multimedia Design where he took great interest in human-machine interaction and sound design. He began to DJ on the local Leicester indie and goth scene under the pseudonym of DJ Lostlittlerobot and ran a night called the Psycho Candy Club with fellow DJ Flowersdie (Jeremy Wiltshire). The night ran for four-ish years (2003-2007-ish) in various venues, finishing with a 2 ½ year stint at the legendary but now defunct Leicester venue ‘The Attic’ on Free Lane. Around this time Neal also DJ’d at the more ‘Rocky’ Merciless Retribution club night and played synths (namely his trusty Emu Orbit) in electro band Conspiracy who released a single ‘Electric Bitch’. A fetish video was filmed for this track in The Attic but the band drifted apart and the footage was never edited to completion. In 2006 Neal joined Post Punk Goth band The Screaming Banshee Aircrew within days of them finalizing the mix on their second album ‘When All is Said and Done’. This led to him finding himself in the bizarre situation of being included on the artwork and member roster of said album without ever having played on note on the recording. By 2009 Neal had co-written, co-produced and appeared on the recording of their third album SUGAR (Produced and engineered by Jim Spencer at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire), which was released worldwide on the Resurrection Records label. The band split in 2010 leaving a raft of unrecorded songs for a never to be produced fourth album that now only exists as Youtube fan recordings of their final shows. Immediately after the Screaming Banshee Aircrew disbanded in 2010, Neal joined the Nottingham based indie band Luxury Stranger and toured with them across Europe supporting the Chameleons Vox. The touring schedule was merciless and Neal found he had to choose between Luxury Stranger and his experimental work. In the summer of 2011 Neal arranged to meet Choreographer/Dancer Danai Pappa at the BEAM festival of electronic music at Brunel University. This meeting expedited his departure from Luxury Stranger and Danai and Neal have since developed a long-term working relationship creating performances together, most recently on their collaboration ‘Ariel Ariel’ in 2018. While in the Screaming Banshee Aircrew then Luxury Stranger, Neal studied his Masters, then PhD in Electronic Music Performance at De Montfort University under Simon Emmerson and John Richards. This led to him joining the degree programmes experimental music collective, The Dirty Electronics Ensemble, in 2007, with which he still works and performs. Currently, he makes, hacks and appropriates technology for use as performance tools for electronic music performance. The results of these endeavours are electronic junk sculptures, assemblages and combines that are his instruments. He then composes and devises live works for these instruments, allowing the form of the junk sculpture to dictate the actions of the user as a ‘score’ of sorts. He uses this paradigm to explore human to human interaction [collaborative practice], human to object interaction and human to technology interaction. During his time in various bands and ensembles, Neal has supported and worked with many musicians, choreographers and artists including Michele Danjoux, Anat Ben David (Chicks On Speed), Mark Wastell, Audrey Riley (Virginia Astley band) Ania Sadkowska, John Richards (Sand), Leigh Landy, Joanna Moy (March Violets), Merzbow, Antonio De La Fe, The Agony Art Collective, Jan Jun, Duncan Chapman, Anna Meredith, Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle), Craig Vear (Wolfgang Press/Renegade Soundwave), Rolf Ghelar (Karlheinz Stochausen) and Jim Spence (Johnny Marr/The Cribs/Black Grape) . He has also presented his experimental solo work and papers at numerous conferences including ISSTA (2017) in Dundalk, Sounding Out the Space (2017) in Dublin, Art and Sound (2017) in Leicester, BEAM Festival Brunel University (2011), Sound and Music Computing Conference Copenhagen (2012) and Fascinate Falmouth Conference (2013). He has had papers published at New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference Brisbane (2016), New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference Pittsburgh (2009) and some of his instruments appear in the Nic Collins book Handmade Electronic Music (2009) 2nd Edition. He has been a resident artist at STEIM, Amsterdam (2010), been a visiting researcher at Newcastle Culture Lab (2011) and given artist talks and seminars at STEIM (2011), UEA Norwich (2009) and Bournemouth University (2012)

Agata Kubiak and Simon Zagorski-Thomas: Shutting the unstable DAW (Violin and electronics)

Shutting the Unstable DAW (StUDAW) is a piece for violin and electronics by Simon Zagorski- Thomas. It was commissioned by violinist, Agata Kubiak, in early 2018 and first performed on the 10th of May 2018 at the London College of Music. The piece reflects the conference theme in two ways. Firstly, in a more direct sense, the piece explores the ways in which repetition can provide a ‘way in’ for listeners. The pun in the title refers to the fact that both pitch and rhythm are simultaneously stable and unstable throughout the piece. Although there is stable tempo and pulse and the pitch gestures that the violinist plays frequently recur due to the electronic looping, there is no tonal centre and phrases of different lengths are constantly shifting against each other to undermine any sense of meter. The only composed elements of the piece are the electronic settings that control the looping and audio FX, and a set of verbal instructions from the composer for the performer to improvise relatively sparsely combining percussive sounds with constantly shifting slides or glissandi. The sense of a constant tempo and the repetition provided by the looping create a structural coherence that makes these ‘non-traditional’ musical gestures more accessible. The second way in which the piece reflects the conference theme is more tangential. ‘Challenging’ music not only faces the problems of audience engagement. Composers also face the problem of finding performers interested in engaging with ‘difficult’ works. StUDAW was created through an experimental collaboration process whereby the performer was engaged in the creative process and, therefore, more invested in the piece. The lecture element of the lecture/recital will discuss the ways in which performers contribute to the composition process in a more general sense, using StUDAW as a case study.

Simon Zagorski-Thomas is a professor at the London College of Music, University of West London, and founder and chair of the 21st Century Music Practice Research Network. He was the cofounder of the Art of Record Production conference, now in its fourteenth year, and, until 2017, was also cochair of the Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production. He worked as a composer, sound engineer, and producer, and at present is researching twenty-first-century musical practice. His books include, with Simon Frith, The Art of Record Production (2012), and the Musicology of Record Production (2014), winner of the 2015 IASPM Book Prize. Agata Kubiak -Born in Poland, Agata started her music education at the age of 6. Agata completed her BMus at London College of Music with a First Class Honours in 2011. Since graduating she has toured Europe and Asia with Avizo String Quartet, I Maestri Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra of India. She completed PgDip in Music Performance with a distinction in 2014. Agata is currently a lecturer at LCM and a PhD candidate researching creativity and new music in classically trained string players. She performs regularly as a soloist and with the Konvalia String Quartet. She is also a jazz musician. She was a finalist in the Riga Jazz Stage international jazz competition and got included in top 20 female jazz singers by the european jazz magazine Jazz Forum.

Sarah Watts: Three pieces for bass clarinet (composers: Miroslav Spasov, Sohrab Uduman and Tom Williams)

Sarah Watts has been collaborating with Miroslav Spasov, Sohrab Uduman and Tom Williams on new works for Contrabass Clarinet and Electronics. All three works are valuable and unique additions to the limited repertoire for Contrabass Clarinet and has all been the result of collaboration and discovery.

Sarah Watts – Contrabass Clarinet Sarah Watts studied clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music. She then decided to specialise in the bass clarinet and continued her studies at the Rotterdam Conservatorium, funded by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and a Leverhulme Trust Studentship. Sarah was awarded the Exxon prize for the best classical music student in Rotterdam. Successes include: Winner, UK Howarth Clarinet Competition 2000; Winner, Hawkes Clarinet Prize (RAM) 2001; Winner, Sir Arthur Bliss Chamber Music Prize (RAM) 2000; Winner of wind section and Faber Prize, UK Performing Australian Music competition, 2001 (her clarinet and bass clarinet recital was broadcast on ABC radio); Finalist, Wind section, Royal Overseas League Competition 2000. Sarah specialises on the bass clarinet and has gained an international reputation as an artist, teacher and researcher on the instrument. She has performed solo repertoire across the UK, Ireland, Asia, Europe and the Americas and has attracted composers including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Piers Hellawell and William Sweeney to write works for her. In January 2003, Sarah performed a solo bass clarinet recital in London’s Purcell Room as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artist Series. Sarah teaches bass clarinet at the Royal Northern College of Music and clarinet at Nottingham University. She is currently Director of MA Performance at Sheffield University. Sarah hosts bass clarinet and clarinet courses on the Isle of Raasay in Scotland and runs and tutors on other wind chamber music courses in the UK and France. She has given workshops on bass clarinet technique at many establishments including the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, The Royal Welsh College of Music, The Royal Northern College of Music, The Royal Irish Academy of Music, Keele University and Edinburgh University. Sarah performs with Hard Rain Ensemble, rarescale and SCAW. Sarah has completed a PhD in bass clarinet multiphonic analysis at Keele University and has published ‘Spectral Immersions; A Comprehensive Guide to the Theory and Practice of Bass Clarinet Multiphonics’ via Metropolis publishers. In 2018, Hyperion released a CD of Sarah performing the Duet-Concertino, by Strauss with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In 2016, she was made an associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London. Sarah is a Selmer artist, a Vandoren UK artist and a Silverstein Ligature artist. Miroslav Spasov: Gained his Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Calgary where he taught composition, electroacoustic composition, and musicianship during 2002-2003. He was chair of the Department of Music at Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta where he taught music technology, composition, orchestration, 20th century music analysis and directed the chamber music ensemble. He joined the Music Department at Keele in 2005 where he teaches Electroacoustic Music, Electroacoustic Composition, and Computer Music Techniques. Since 1990, his works have been performed in festivals and solo concerts both in Europe and North America. These include the International Festival Ostrava New Music Days, Czech Republic, the Bartok Seminar and Festival in Szombathely, Hungary, Ammermen Centre for Arts and Technology (USA), and others. Among other awards, his composition Metaanthropos/Evolutio I for flute and electronics, won the first prize in the Second International Computer Music Competition Pierre Schaeffer, 1999, and was subsequently performed in Italy, France, and Netherlands. His orchestra piece à gauche, à droite, en haut was awarded an honorable mention in the 10e Concours International de Composition Musicale de Besancon (2000), France. Research Interests include: Electroacoustic Composition, in particular the interaction between acoustic instruments and computer platforms; Acoustic Composition; Semiotics and Cognition applied to audiovisual creative processes. Sohrab Uduman: Sohrab Uduman was born in Sri-Lanka in 1962. He began his musical life as a clarinettist, at the University of Surrey, and went on to study composition at the University of Birmingham with Vic Hoyland and Jonty Harrison . His music has received several awards, including an international prize at the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music, The Bourges International Competition for Electro-acoustic Music, the George Butterworth Award, the Oskar Back Foundation Prize for Young European Composers and first prize in the Prix Annelie de Man 2012 Composer’s Competition . Sohrab Uduman’s music has featured at many festivals, including the Oxford Festival of Contemporary Music, The Spitalfields Festival, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Cheltenham International Festival of Music, Darmstadt , Britten Festival Brugges and Agora Festival at the Centre Georges Pompidou Paris. Recent works include Tracing metamorphoses for string quartet and live computer transformation commissioned by the Institute de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) for the Arditti Quartet. Current projects include a series of compositions for instruments and real-time computer processing; these include Breath across autumnal ground for harpsichord and live electronics, performed at the Spitz, London and Ausruf for quarter-tone trumpet and live electronics, which received its first performance at St. Pauls, Huddersfield in October 2007. He was Lecturer in Composition at the University of Durham from 1991-1996 and currently works in the Department of Music & Music Technology at the University of Keele where he is Programmes Director of Music and Music Technology. Uduman was appointed as Reader at Keele in February 2010. Future plans include: a forthcoming performance at the Sound and Music Cutting Edge concert series in London of Breath across autumnal ground; a collaborative work with a colleague on a song cycle which will explore the fusion of traditional materials and form with contemporary compositional praxis and a composition for the Radcliffe Bell duo. Uduman is also interested in working with artists from other media and is currently working on a project making use of film and drawing. The resulting work Derriere le miroir with live drawing by Jon Barraclough was performed at the King’s Place, London in June 2012. Mostly recently, Uduman was selected as the winner of OPUS2016 , Britten Sinfonia’s open submission scheme for unrepresented composers. He received a commission to write a new work for piano trio for the orchestra’s award-winning At Lunch series to be premiered in December 2016. Tom Williams: Tom Williams is an award-winning composer. His music has received numerous international performances and broadcasts; including BBC Radio 3, SEAMUS (Miami & Iowa), Sonorities (Belfast), EMMF (Kansas & Chicago), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Expo (Manchester and Scarborough), ACMC (Wellington and Brisbane), Futura (France), Weimar, Sonus and TES (Canada), NYCEMF (New York in 2011/13/16/17) and at ICMC conferences (NYC, Barcelona, New Orleans, Ljubljana, Belfast); and he has written for dance, theatre and education. In the 1993 ALEA III competition Ironwork for piano and tape was a prizewinner; Break was a finalist of 2004 Musica Nova, and Shelter received an honourable mention at Bourge, IMEB, 2006. In 2010, Can won the medal of the Senato della Repubblica Italiana Music Contest “Città di Udine”. Works include the dance video work, Voice (a retracing) ( and Leaf for hulusi, and electronics, and the acousmatic work, Wire & Wind. Dart for cello and electronics, premiered in New York in 2013, and since performed at ICMC, NYCEMF and IFAI and SEAMUS (USA) has been released on Albany Records (2015) played by New York cellist Madeleine Shapiro; Dart was a finalist for the British Composer Awards 2013, Sonic Art Category. In 2016 he completed the song cycle with live electronics for the acclaimed soprano, Juliana Janes Yaffé, Meditations on a Landscape (words from the poetry of PennyAnne Windsor). The cycle has been performed at, INTIME, and at THIS 2017 in Leeds, and has performances lined up at NYCEMF 2017, New York in June, and at Sound+Environment 2017, University of Hull. Current projects include collaborations with the 360 film maker, Sarah Jones; the clarinettist extraordinaire, Sarah Watts, on a new work for contra bass clarinet and electronics; and the pianist Julian Hellaby. Currently, he is Principal Lecturer in Composition and is the Course Director for BA Music Composition and he leads Music within the School of Media and Performing Arts at Coventry University. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has taught music, music technology and composition at Keele University, Salford University, Boston University, RNCM, and Northampton University. He founded and leads the experimental music research group at Coventry, INTIME and since 2011 chair of the annual INTIME Symposium. He is now co-leader of In-FoRM – a practice-based music research forum and online repository. He studied music at Huddersfield University (BA Hons) and composition at Keele University (MA) and has a doctorate in composition (DMA) from Boston University, Massachusetts. His composition tutors included: Rolf Gehlhaar, Margaret Lucy Wilkins, Roger Marsh, John Casken and Richard Cornell.

Installations – Cadman TV Studio Foyer – both days

Calum Wilton: Audio-Visual Composition for Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is an example of a very recent technology that has transformed the way that people interact with media, allowing for an immersive experience where a user can be placed inside the world of a game or video. Devices such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift come in the form of a headset, with both featuring two high-resolution screens (one for each eye). These headsets feature sophisticated motion tracking technology, which allows the user to “look around” and interact in the artificial virtual reality world. However, with the exception of music videos such as Squarepusher’s “Stor Eiglass” and games such as “Beat Saber” and “Thumper”, virtual reality has had surprisingly little to do with music thus far. The piece is presented as a 360-degree video for virtual reality and was created with Ableton Live and Adobe After Effects. Both audio and visuals were created by the author and were intended to represent a modern-day extension of the concepts of Visual Music, firstly by the use of 3D computer generated visuals and secondly by creating this content in an immersive fashion for use with cutting-edge virtual reality technology. Inspired by Visual Music artists such as Oskar Fischinger and Mary Ellen Bute, as well as 1990s computer games and the “demoscene” subculture, the piece features animated coloured shapes moving around the user in time to an ambient dub techno soundtrack. The creation of this piece is documented in a dissertation which comprises of each step of the composition and research process, from the overall project planning stages and influences to the production of the music and virtual reality visuals. This can be found at

Calum Wilton is a music producer, DJ and Visual Music composer from Staffordshire, UK. He studied Music Technology (BSc) and Music Production (MA) at Staffordshire University. His work and research consist of audio-visual composition and performance, with a recent focus on contemporary expanded viewing formats such as virtual and augmented reality. In addition to his studies, Calum has performed music internationally and released productions on several labels.

Matthew Barnard: Woche (with apologies to Ruttman and Brock)

“Ruttmann’s film could scarcely be used to guide a stranger arriving in Berlin for the first time. It summarises far more the memories and residual moods of a traveller leaving that city. If nevertheless the film contains a characterisation of the city, it is not in the shots themselves, but through their montage and rhythm.” Anonymous OR “Barnard’s piece could scarcely be used to guide a stranger arriving in London for the first time. It summarises far more the memories and residual moods of a traveller leaving that city. If nevertheless the piece contains a characterisation of the city, it is not in the sounds themselves, but through their montage and rhythm.” ____ Using material recorded binaurally over a week long visit to London, Woche… aims, with reference to both Walter Ruttmann’s ‘Wochenende’ (1930), ‘Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt’ (1927) and Timothy Brock’s 1995 soundtrack for ‘Berlin:…’, to communicate on some level the pace and rhythm of the city, and the fleeting experiences of a visitor. The dynamic between the deteriorated tape of ‘Wochenende’ and the clarity of the binaural space is explored in an overt exchange of events. The gestural contours of the 1930 analogue original is mimicked and reinterpreted, extrapolating the syntax into the contrasting digital binaural space. Movements: Greenwich I Musical Chairs City Symphony Slides A Soundwalk I Too Many People I Brock and the Escalator Greenwich II Toilet Break A Ruttmann A Soundwalk II Too many People II

Matt Barnard (b. 1984) is a composer primarily interested in the spatial parameter of sound in both binaural and ambisonic domains. He previously studied under Joseph Anderson, and is now a lecturer and researcher at the University of Hull and member of the Hull ElectroAcoustic Resonance Orchestra (HEARO).