Popular Music & Interactive Systems Concert Programme

7pm Wednesday 9th May | TV Studio, College Rd |  Staffordshire University

Andrew Spackman / Nimzo Indian: Free For All


‘Free For All’ started as an online experiment in free improvisation and collaboration. For this iteration of ‘Free For All’ Andrew creates a live free improvised piece, responding in real time to found sound. Nothing is rehearsed or pre ordained, and his live responses are generated through intuitive and instinctive responses to the sounds and rhythmic elements that randomly emerge. Essentially this is a process of collage in real-time.

Andrew Spackman started making experimental music back in 1997 under the moniker the Zoom Quartet (collaborating during that time with Mark Springer from Rip Rig and Panic and the High Llamas), after a 10 year hiatus working in visual arts, he returned to music in 2011 as both electronics project Nimzo-Indian as well as more overtly experimental noise project SAD MAN. SAD MAN has been played on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction, BBC 6 Music, Resonance FM and NTS Radio. Andrew Spackman has released several albums as both Nimzo-Indian and SAD MAN both through the experimental jazz and avant grade Belgium based OFF Recordings as well as through his own FATSUMA label.


ALOES presents COMP


COMP is an audiovisual performance which draws upon a compositional dialog between a performer and digital visuals-system. For the sonic component several handcrafted digital and analog instruments are layered and looped to create atmospheric soundscapes with melodic elements. By combining ambient structures with pop-like melodies and occasional crude beats we aim to create experimental music which engages an audience and surprises as a structured composition. The visuals are inspired by the specific way used to notate the compositions for the instruments. We are working with machine learning systems to recognise audio cues and with particle visuals to create a digital translation of hand-drawn images. This combination creates a dynamic score system that serves both as projected visuals and as a compositional guideline for the sonic performance.

ALOES is a newly formed audiovisual project by new media artist Alex van Giersbergen and experimental instrument-builder/composer Marloes van Son. With ALOES they combine efforts to present atmospheric soundscapes with melodic elements which interact with particle based visuals.

Erik Nyström: Spheroid

Erik Nyström

Spheroid is a live computer music work which uses improvised performance and algorithmic processes to create spatial texture. The spine of the work is a snowballing irregular loop which synthesises, sequences, deforms and attracts material as it revolves in symbiosis with performance. The piece is informed by the idea of a synthetic ecology, where unnamed organisms elasticate and reposition categorical conceptions of species, nature, and technology in a posthuman morphogenesis. The work was created as part of a Leverhulme Fellowship at BEAST, University of Birmingham, researching synthesis of spatial texture.

Erik Nyström’s output includes live computer music, electroacoustic works, and sound installations. His current work explores synthesis, space, and human-computer performance. He is currently a Leverhulme Research Fellow at Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre, University of Birmingham, working on a project which develops an aesthetic and technological model for multi-channel music based entirely on live spatial texture synthesis processes and algorithms. He performs worldwide and his music has been published by empreintes DIGITALes.


James Dooley: formuls


formuls is an immersive audiovisual performance exploring the synergistic relationship between sound, visual and light projection. During improvised performance primary sounds and visuals are layered and sculpted into a kaleidoscopic mesh of finely tuned noise, pulsating rhythms and responsive abstract visuals and light projections. Generative algorithms are programmed and manipulated by three touch interfaces, causing the audiovisuals to continually evolve through time. Without the use of existing samples and presets, audiovisuals are synthesised, sequenced, sliced, and manipulated in a variety of ways, with the visualisations responding to the ever evolving timbral qualities of the synthesised sounds.

A digital artist based in Birmingham, UK, James Dooley’s audiovisual interaction design examines approaches to combining audio, visual and environmental elements to create emergent forms. His works have been exhibited internationally at festivals including: SPECTRA (MY), SonADA (UK), Electric Nights (GR), Slingshot (US). Recent works include formuls an algorithmically controlled audiovisual performance; #medianatures an interactive work examining our increasing reliance upon technology and its future ecological impact (commissioned by TATA Consultancy); esthesis an AHRC commissioned audiovisual performance exploring hand-gesture controlled sound sculpting.