DMU Leicester

edited February 2018 in Electronic
2018.02.28 - 23:00 C.E.T. Electronic Frequencies:

The first of a series about sound art and music from the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre of De Montfort University. Composers: James Andean, Mike Blow, Robin Parmar, Virginie Viel, Neal Spowage and John Young.

James Andean is a musician and sound artist. He is active as both a composer and a performer in a range of fields, including electroacoustic music, improvisation, sound art, and audiovisuals. He is a founding member of several groups and ensembles, including Rank Ensemble, LOS duo, and VCA. He has performed throughout Europe and North America, and his works have been presented around the world. He is a lecturer at the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre of De Montfort University.

Mike Blow is a UK based sound artist and academic. Mike works with sound, electricity and physical objects to create interactive installations and unique instruments. Awarded a PhD in sonic art from Oxford Brookes University and currently working with the Music Technology and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University.
Mikes current interests concern the idea of ‘automatic music’. This implies setting up frameworks within which musical composition can occur entirely or partly through the influence of outside forces. Examples are interactive installations which respond to (or are played by) the audience, weather-driven work, and improvised performance using systems that are partially out of control. Automatic music encapsulates ideas of generative systems, self organisation and feedback which have been of interest to me since my master’s study in artificial life in the early 2000’s.

Robin Parmar is an intermedia artist whose practice incorporates electroacoustic composition, installations, improvisation, radiophonics, sonic ecology, poetry, and photography. Works have appeared in Ireland, England, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Canada, and elsewhere. Occasional Lecturer at DMARC, University of Limerick Treasurer for Irish, Sound, Science, and Technology Association (ISSTA)
Doctoral student at De Montfort University’s Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTI)

Virginie Viel is a composer of electroacoustic music and visual artist.
She used to practice photography, video and audiovisual installations to compose imaginary places and landscapes. She started to compose soundscapes during her Master in visual communication at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Caen, France (2008). In 2008, she moved to Brussels to study acousmatic composition at the Conservatoire Royal de Mons, Belgium. She obtained a Master in acousmatic and electroacoustic composition in 2014. Since then, Virginie is interested in exploring the relationship between visual and musical domains. In 2014, she started a research at De Montfort University in Leicester (UK). Her PhD investigates the impact of visual arts practice on acousmatic composition. She is part of Séneçon, a collective of composers based in Brussels and a member of the Belgian organisation FeBeME-BeFEM. She has collaborated with various artists and composers on musical and audiovisual projects in France, Belgium and Greece. Her works have been played in Europe, America, Japan and Australia.

Neal Spowage is an artist and associate of The Dirty Electronics Ensemble in Leicester, Agony Art in London, the DAP LAB at Brunel and the SOMA project in Birmingham. He designs and builds Sculptural Electronic Musical Instruments then composes works for them using the disciplines of Dance, Video Art and Live Art. Neal’s research interests include collaborative relationships, negotiating expertise between disciplines, sound as an artefact of movement, interaction, objects as totems, junk sculpture, ritual, choreography and gender dynamics in performance. He sometimes composes sound art in the studio and he is an experienced rock musician who released a commercial CD album, SUGAR (2009), on Resurrection Records with the Screaming Banshee Aircrew.

John Young is Professor of Composition the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester, having previously been Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His output includes multi-channel electroacoustic pieces, large-scale radiophonic work, and music combining instruments and electroacoustic sounds.  His music focuses on the use computer technology to transform and combine sounds in innovative ways to create sonic drama and musical development. In his work as a sound artist he composes largely with his own field recordings, using these as windows on experience and creating new, imaginative worlds by embedding them in networks of digitally realised sound design.

1/ James Andean: Déchirure, 2013. 07:35
Déchirure: a tearing, a painful separation… This piece involves a number of ‘déchirures’, both musical as well as Aigurative (personal separations: the plaintive cry of the distant train, etc…) although the only literal ‘tearing’ is saved for the Ainal phrase. It is also a reference to the sound materials: through the act of recording, these have been ripped from the world and moment which birthed them, to be reappropriated through the creative act in the creation of this piece. This work was composed for the Presque Rien 2013 project, for which sounds from Luc Ferrari’s archives were made available to composers for the composition of new works.

2/ Mike Blow: Choose Your Weapon, 2018. 04’46
A single take improvisation on a Klangorium lunetta synth, edited for length and with minor post-production. The Klangorium is a project by Elliot Williams which brings together several CMOS logic chips on a single board and allows them to be patched together in a manner similar to a modular synth. In this piece, the circuit came alive and sparred with me for half an hour. The addition of the 4015 shift register to the patch suddenly resulted in only semi-controllable swoops, crackles and swathes of noise, which would respond to my input only to then head off on their own trajectories once again. It is still not clear who won.

3/ Robin Parmar: Perturbation, 2012. 09’06
Parmar’s practice is rooted in field recordings drawn from his daily life, which are then subject to various spectral and temporal transformations. Sources biotic and abiotic, artificial and otherwise, are reconfigured to emphasise our embedded situation in a network of connections and flows. “Perturbation” creates an imaginary realm of mete orological and ecological forces from a limited palette of sound sources.

4/ Virginie Viel: An Ocean on the moon, 2017. 10’21
An Ocean on the moon is an acousmatic piece that explores the maritime theme through the evolution of a soft yet shiny, joyful and destructive instrumental netting texture.
A particular emphasis is placed on the diversity of sensations that may overwhelm a viewer in front of the sea, between memories of joyful moments, lonely wander and sudden fear. This piece is an evocation of visual and kinetic experiences of the sea.
Through this project, I have studied the rich expressivity of the instrumental gesture, sometimes methodical, sometimes impulsive. I have also explored the composer’s gesture which at each stage of the creative process works on the fludity of the drawn gesture, curved, voluptuous, and sometimes extrem. This project results from a collaboration with several instrumentalists who performed musical sequences based on visual images and video clips, and with Alex Retsis, a composer who processed some of those instrumental performances.
This piece has been partly composed at the Ionian University, located in Corfu, Greece and has been completed at the Music Technology and Innovation Centre, at De Montfort University, located in Leicester, United Kingdom. I thank very much Theodoros Lotis for his warm welcome at the Ionian University, for his listening and support during the accomplishment of this project. I also thank Andreas Mniestris, Dionissis Batjakis for their help, and I thank the beautiful people and talented musicians who participate to this project : Alex Retsis, Elesa Papakosta-Smyri, Giorgos Stavridis, Rrezarta Krougia, Sevastianos Motorinos, Niki Kokkoli, Ektoras Remsak, Nafsika Karagianaki, Stelios Michas-Eglezos and Sofia Ketentzian.

5/ Niel Spowage: Crafting Anatamies, 2015 07’52
This piece was commissioned specifically to accompany an exhibit, by fashion designer Ania Sadkowska, at the ‘Crafting Anatomies’ Exhibition at Nottingham’s Bonnigton Gallery from 7th January to 4th February 2015. It was played on a loop over headphones and a section was later used in her award winning short fashion film ‘Dis-Comforting’. It was compiled from interviews, in English, that Ania recorded for her PhD. I stitched them into a sound-art work that retained their content, context and meaning on the theme of fashion and the older man.

6/ John Young: Apparitions, 2016. 17’20 
Apparitions attempts to articulate a very personal response to the evocative qualities of four sounds, recorded in different locations.
• A freight train blasting its horns while passing through a small US town;
• Part of the intoned Ave Maria from a church in Florence;
• An ensemble of hunting horns from Cathédrale Saint-Étienne in Bourges and;
• An evening chorus of cicadas from near Bolzano in Italy. 
In addition, an impulse response of a single hand clap recorded in Gustav Mahler’s composing hut in Dobbiaco/Toblach (also in Northern Italy) participates in much of the audio processing.
His use of field recordings stems from a desire to reflect creatively on everyday experiences of the world. By taking recognisable sounds from real events and embedding them within a network of transformations I aim to enhance their imagery and expressive power : windows on the imagination that become more evocative than the original recordings could be alone.
The attempt to amalgamate the particular sonic images in Apparitions emerged from an emotionally charged experience. In 2014 John spent one night in Bowling Green Ohio, where he was to have stayed for two weeks working on a composition project at the Bowling Green State University. Early that evening John had the devastating and disorienting news that his father had died quite suddenly and he made immediate plans to travel to his hometown in New Zealand. What sleep he had that night was broken several times by the horns of freight trains slowly moving through Bowling Green, just a short distance from his 4th floor apartment. John returned there six months later to fulfil his original planned project to find that, as before, trains would wake him with their unpredictable appearances at all hours of the night. Although inextricably linked to the trauma of that night six months earlier his response was that, rather than being a disturbance, the wailing horns of these ‘beings’ took on a curiously comforting presence : a cry marking a moment in their inevitable passage to an unknown other place … solemn, triumphant, yet insouciant. John responded with similar sentiment to the calm, resolving strength projected by the ritual recitation of the intercession ‘Santa Maria, Madre di Dio, prega per noi peccatori, adesso e nell’ora della nostra morte …’ while the intensity evoked in the rich buzz of the Armistice Day horns and the cool haze of evening cicadas seemed to complement the impression of a call receding into a deeper hyper-physical space or spiritual state. In the context of the work, fragments of these sounds become apparitions—as though torn from memory—foreshadowed, supplemented and thrown into relief by timbral colouration, hints of pitch and dynamic spatialisation. The work is in four subtitled sections : Passage (from 0’00’’); Hall of mirrors (from 6’56’’) ; Emergence (from 11’51’’) ; To the ether (from 14’59’’)

Produced for the Concertzender by Roland Kuit


  • edited March 2018
    Fascinating ! - Thank you very much for sharing.

    - I haven't gotten any further than James Andean and his Soundcloud profile with some downloadable stuff.

    Prepared as part of Presque Rien 2013, 'Déchirure' is composed entirely using soundfiles from the archives of Luc Ferrari, kindly made available by Brunhild Ferrari for the creation of new works.

    'Hyvät matkustajat' began life as a 'sonic postcard from Finland', using soundscape field recordings from around the country. This turned out to be only the first stop on its journey, however. The original material was later further developed as material for sonic exploration and spectral transformations, with the external spaces of the original version taking a sharp turn inwards, to chart internal spectral landscapes, together with the soundmarks and soundscapes of its first incarnation.
    Everything in 'Hyvät matkustajat' is made from the original field recordings which first gave birth to the piece.

  • edited March 2018
    2018.03.28  23:00 C.E.T.

    DMU II. The second of a series about sound art and music from the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre of De Montfort University.

    David Holland has a background in rock music but developed an interest in electroacoustic music when studying for a BSc in E-music at Coventry University, where he was awarded the Rolf Gehlhaar Award for electronic music composition. In 2010 he was awarded an AHRC scholarship for a Masters by Research at De Montfort University under the supervision of Leigh Landy. He then completed a PhD at De Montfort University in 2017(funded by the AHRC as part of the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership) in which he investigated whether heightened listening can be used as a pedagogical tool that can enable greater engagement with sound-based music through creative practice. In 2014 his piece ‘The Force’ was a finalist in the Bangor Dylan Thomas Prize for Electroacoustic Composition at Bangor University. He currently teaches on Music Technology degrees at both De Montfort University (Leicester, UK) and Coventry University (UK).

    Leigh Landy holds a Research Chair at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK) where he directs the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre. His scholarship is divided between creative and musicological work. His compositions include several for video, dance and theatre. He has worked extensively with the late playwright, Heiner Müller, the new media artist, Michel Jaffrennou and the composer-performer, Jos Zwaanenburg and was composer in residence for the Dutch National Theatre during its first years of existence. Currently he is artistic director of Idée Fixe – Experimental Sound and Movement Theatre. His publications focus on the studies of electroacoustic music, including the notion of musical dramaturgy, contemporary music in a cross-arts context, access and the contemporary time-based arts, and devising practices in the performing arts. He is editor of “Organised Sound: an international journal of music technology” (Cambridge University Press) and author of five books including “What’s the Matter with Today’s Experimental Music?” and “Experimental Music Notebooks”. “Understanding the Art of Sound Organization” (MIT Press) and “La musique des sons/The Music of Sounds” (Sorbonne MINT/OMF) both appeared in 2007. He directs the ElectroAcoustic Resource Site (EARS) project and is a founding member of the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network (EMS).

    Simon Emmerson is Professor of Music, Technology and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester. Recent commissions include IMEB (Bourges), GRM (Paris) and Inventionen (Berlin) festivals; Darragh Morgan, Philip Mead, the Sond-Arte Ensemble (Lisbon). Recordings of his works are available from Sargasso. Writings include The Language of Electroacoustic Music (Macmillan, 1986), Music, Electronic Media and Culture (Ashgate, 2000), Living Electronic Music (Ashgate, 2007), and recently, editor and contributor with Leigh Landy, Expanding the Horizon of Electroacoustic Music Analysis (CUP 2016). He was founder Secretary of EMAS (The Electroacoustic Music Association of Great Britain) in 1979 and 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. Keynote presentations: ACMC 2011 (Auckland), ICMC 2011 (Huddersfield), Music Science Technology 2012 (São Paulo), WOCMAT 2012 (Taiwan), Audiomostly 2014 (Aalborg), Alternative Histories of Electronic Music 2016 (Science Museum, London), BEASTFEaST 2017. In November-December 2016 he was Visiting Professor and Composer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (Perth) and guest mentor composer at the Soundstream Emerging Composers Forum, Adelaide.

    Steve Jones is a mobile media artist and researcher, with a practice rooted in electronic dance music and UK’s DJ culture. His PhD research is concerned with portable technologies, employing the ‘Carry Principle’ as a protocol for sound, music and performance. As a member of the proto-techno duo A Man Called Adam, his recordings range from early works on Giles Peterson’s cult Acid Jazz label, Chicago’s house music label Prescription Records, to the multi-million selling Café del Mar series. He produces music for film, television and commercials, as well as creating sound design for museum and 3D mapping projects. He expresses a firm belief in promoting inclusivity and creativity for everyone through the cultural adhesive of music and sound via mobile devices.

    Amit D Patel, aka Dushume, is an experimental noise artist/musician from Leicester who is influenced by Asian underground music and DJ culture. His work focuses on performing and improvising with purpose built do-it-yourself instruments, and how looping techniques, re-mixing and re-editing approaches can shape studio works. Lack and loss of control are central to his work. He is currently undertaking a PhD, “The workbench, studio and live practice: new modes of electronic music making”, at the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

    Peter Batchelor is a composer and sound artist living in Birmingham, UK. Predominantly working with fixed media, his output ranges from two-channel ‘tape’ compositions for concert diffusion to large-scale multi-channel installation work. Compositions have received recognition from such sources as the Concours de musique electroacoustique de Bourges and the International ElectroAcoustic Music Contest of São Paulo and have been performed internationally. He is currently a lecturer and member of the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester.

    Simon Atkinson has lived and worked in Leicester since 2000, where he is an Associate Professor at De Montfort University.  He is a member of the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, and for many years led the subject in various roles.  Initially trained as a ‘classical’ musician, he became engaged with contemporary music at a relatively young age, and his work is primarily in musical composition made possible through digital technologies. However, he has worked in a diverse and eclectic range of artistic projects, mediums and contexts over the years.  He is also committed to making a contribution to the wider understanding and appreciation of contemporary music, particularly electroacoustic and experimental electronic musics.  This influences the thrust of his scholarly work, as well as forming the impetus behind past work in concert production and promotion, cross-art form collaboration, and community arts projects.  He was a founding member of the Scottish acousmatic group invisibEARts and he co-directs the AHRC and UNESCO-funded Electroacoustic Resource Site (EARS) project, which is hosted at De Montfort. He previously studied composition with Denis Smalley at UEA, completed a doctorate in music at University of Edinburgh, and was a guest composer at EMS Stockholm and IUA/Phonos Foundation, Barcelona. His recent work includes a commission for INA-GRM (Nocturne aquatique) a commission for SEAMS (Society for Electroacoustic Music in Sweden), a cycle of works called interiorities that explore lowercase aesthetics, and a commission from Dirty Electronics for a noise-based piece made with a prototype of the recently released Mute Synth II instrument (a movement from this works appears on a Mute CD which accompanies the instrument). He has also developed a long-term collaboration with live-digital dance practitioner Kerry Francksen with whom he has presented a series of collaborative intermedia events.

    1/ Taligare, Dave Holland, 2018, 8’12’
    Talasgair was made from recordings made in Talisker bay on the Isle of Skye. The main material consists of recordings made of the sea and barnacles on the rocks at low tide. While much of the material has been transformed through processing, characteristics of the source sounds are present throughout, with the rising and falling of waves being a major theme of the piece. The sound of the barnacles is also a prominent feature with the intention of immersing the listener in ‘barnacle showers’ that slowly transform into something more abstract towards the end. The piece was inspired by the grandeur and elemental rawness of the relationship between the landscape and ocean and is informed by memories of standing ‘on the shore where the great white mouth opens between two hard jaws’ (from Sorley Maclean’s poem Tràighean). It is an environment that can evoke a feeling of timelessness and the repeating and evolving rhythms are explored throughout.

    2/ To BBC or Not, Leigh Landy, 2008: I. Good Morning 02’23
    8-channel composition, 2nd work in the radio series after Oh là la radio – in 5 movements (to be played separately or at once as a suite) – 2008. Premièred at DMU and then performed globally.
    It is the second sample-based work in Landy’s ’Radio Series and follows the GRM-commissioned ‘Oo là la radio’ (F), ‘To BBC or Not’ (UK), ZKM-commissioned ‘Radio-aktiv’ (D) and ‘China Radio Sound’ (CN, made in collaboration with conservatoire students in Shenyang) and will be followed by a pan-Irish ‘On the Eire’ later this year. A mix of collage, rhythm, counterpoint, humour, earnest thought and a hint of Švankmajer-inspired surrealism …in five parts.

    3/ Aeolian (acousmatic), Simon Emmerson, 2016 10’45’
    Written for Musiques et Recherches (Brussels)
    First performance: 24th February 2016, Espace Senghor, Brussels. Subsequent performances: Leicester, Perth (WA), Birmingham.
    For many years, Simon had ideas for a piece based on the notion of Odyssey, that original story of journey – often frustrated – and eventual return. In recent years it has developed and become a multi-part project, encouraged by several trips to Greece to perform and lecture. One part will be a live electronic piece, a quartet for solo flute player (playing concert flute, piccolo, alto, bass). These instruments produced the source sounds used in the part performed tonight, the acousmatic work Aeolian. This work develops Simon’s idea of ‘concert installation’ – works that are in fact mobile and may run in repeating loops which present shorter constituent ‘moments’ in different orders. For tonight Ihe has created a fixed concert version of about 10 minutes which includes eight short ‘moments’. Reading the Odyssey, sometimes Simon thinks that the many episodes are indeed moments that might have occurred in a different order as Odysseus is continually blown off course at the whim of one god or another, waylaid by a fabled character or faced with an impossible dilemma in how to move forward. With special thanks to Katrin Zenz (flutes) and Apostolos Loufopoulos (who lent them his Athens studio for source recording). Aeolian was first performed at the concert ‘Acousmatics in the UK’ organized by Musiques et Recherches (Brussels) 24th February 2016 and revised for presentation at BEASTFEast 2017 (Birmingham).

    4/ To BBC or Not, Leigh Landy, 2008: II. The News 03’11’

    5/ pasCher, Steve Jones,
    Over the past five years, Steve Jones’ research has been examining the new forms of creativity that utilise mobile media devices – smartphones, tablets and cameras. He uses the Carry Principle as a protocol for his artistic investigations; small, personal, communicative, multifunctional, battery operated and always on (even when powered down). The objective is to repurpose consumer devices to extend the boundaries of musical agency, to act as autonomous performance systems in everyday contexts. The outcome begins to question the spaces associated with electronic music – where it is made, where it is listened to, how it is experienced. Situating/Sounding are a series of sonic improvisations traversing two similar, but very different geographical sites – the UK and France. They are composed in shared public places, walking in the street, travelling or simply waiting. The sound environment is processed on an iPad using a chained group of apps – everything is made in situ, on a single mobile device. Rather than working in the studio with material recorded in the field, the recording, processing and playing all takes place on location. The musician/producer/performer then becomes one person, performing all three functions simultaneously. In addition, the itinerant musician moves through the locations while constructing the performance, augmenting both public and private spaces with electronic sound.
    6/ To BBC or Not, Leigh Landy, 2008: III. A microphone each and no idea what they’re going to say 01’51’
    7/ Crapbox, Amit Patel – Dushume, 2017 03’01’
    Regurgitated, repossessed and re-housed – a discarded instrument lay dormant for nine years, its innards incarcerated and stripped from its skin. The circuit, in the former guise of the ‘Sudofuzz’, is a collection of feedback networks, oscillators and distortion. It was specifically designed for a collaboration between Masami Akita (Merzbow) and the Dirty Electronics Ensemble in 2008. Innards exposed, it has been rehoused in a trinket box bought cheap from a Loros charity shop and aptly with my cancerous zodiac sign firmly in tow. The title for the work, ‘Crapbox’, is a play on the words ‘crab box’.

    8/ To BBC or Not, Leigh Landy, 2008: IV. Musica Nova 02’59’

    9/ Fuse, Pete Bachelor, 2013 09’40’
    From the Kaleidoscope series, Fuse represents a coming-together of sonic particles into effluvial, noisy clusters, and into notionally ‘whole’ real-world soundscapes, albeit sound- scapes which equally involve sonic effluvia (rain on rooftops, fire crackling, accumulated shouts/vuvuzelas at a football match). These in turn dissolve into and meld with each other, yielding cinematically unlikely fusions facilitated entirely by spectromorphological commonality.

    10/ To BBC or Not, Leigh Landy, 2008: V. Etc. 02’45’

    11/ Nocturne, Simon Atkinson, 2000 08’33’
    “L’aile de la vue par tous les vents 
Étend son ombre par la nuit.”
    Paul Éluard
    from Ma mémoire bat les cartes,
    L’Amour la poésie, Défense de savoir


    Produced for the Concerzender by:

  • ^^Thanks !^^

    "Radio Free Berlin made quite an impression on me as I produce programs for the Concerzender's Electronic Frequencies":…roland-kuit-en

    - And Thanks ! ^^
  • It made an impression as we, producers of the Concertzender, can work in all freedom.
    btw. This was not the sound work for the exhibition resonant in the Jewish Museum in Berlin.
    my choice is to post it after the exhibition because I made it for the Libeskind building. Afterwards I will create a SC or YT.
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