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). http://dmu.academia.edu/DavidHolland
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). http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/academic-staff/technology/leigh-landy/leigh-landy.aspx
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. http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/academic-staff/technology/simon-emmerson/simon-emmerson.aspx
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. http://steranko.tumblr.com/ http://www.amancalledadam.com/
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. http://www.dushume.co.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. http://www.peterbatchelor.com/
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. http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/academic-staff/technology/simon-atkinson/simon-atkinson.aspx
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.”
from Ma mémoire bat les cartes,
L’Amour la poésie, Défense de savoir