Foundry Flux selected for SoundMIGRRATIONS

Foundry Flux has been selected for SoundMIGRATIONS and will be presented online alongside various performances throughout 2018. More details to follow: here


Klingler Electroacoustic Residency

I am delighted to announce that the international jury for the Klingler ElectroAcoustic Residency selected me as their resident composer for 2018. I shall be traveling to Ohio at some point between Jan and May to compose a new multi-channel work using the studio shown below. Previous composers on the programme have included Robert Normandeau, Jonty Harrison, John Young and Adrian Moore. It is very exciting to be part of the programme, and I am extremely grateful to Elainie Lillios – who runs the residency programme – and the jury.


Call for papers at launch of CeNMaS

Another composer event taking place at Sheffield University:

The Centre for New Music at Sheffield (CeNMaS) is pleased to announce the call for the Sound Agendas Composers’ Conference 27th-29th April 2018 open to composers in and outside academia.

Presentations are invited in the form of:

• a 20-minute Paper with or without slides/audio/video/handouts (submit a 300-word abstract)

• a 5-minute Point-of-View with optional a single slide (will be grouped with other contributions and into a discussion session – submit a 150-word summary)

• a Poster with audio/video (submit a 150-word description)

More information can be found on Enquiries should be addressed

We look forward to reading your submission and/or welcoming you to Sheffield for this exciting weekend dedicated entirely to matters of current concern to composers and composition.

Invited Speaker: music and philosophy

On Nov 7th, I shall be talking at an event in Leeds called: Aesthetics of Computer Music: Changes in the Nature and Reception of Music. The event, which looks at some of the various ways in which computer music has challenged established notions of creativity, composition, performance, and authorship, is sponsored by the Centre for Aesthetics at The University of Leeds. It features talks by Andy Hamilton, Luke Windsor, and Freya Bailes. The day concludes with a round table discussion. For more information, see:

INAM selected at Destellos Competition

Last night, I found out that INAM was selected at the Destellos Competition in Argentina. It didn’t get any further, but I am delighted to see that Andy Lewis received First Prize for his piece Skyline. The same piece was recently selected by the British ElectroAcoustic Network (BEAN) as one of three works to represent British interests at the International Confederation of Electroacoustic Music AGM, to be held in Moscow in late Sept. The other pieces, chosen by an international jury, were by Andrew Hill and Nikos Stavropoulos.

For more information, see: 

Presentations at Sound+Environment

Last week, I gave a paper at the excellent Sound+Environment conference in Hull. The paper – which was co-authored by Amanda Crawley Jackson – focused on the Foundry project in which 7 composers created works relating to Furnace Park in Sheffield. I later performed my piece – Foundry Flux – in the evening concert. Here is the abstract:

Composing the Plastic City: a reflection on methods, motivations and meanings

In 2015, plastiCities – a network of artists, writers, researchers and academics with an interest in space and spatialities in art – commissioned a series of musical compositions based on a small patch of land on the edge of Sheffield. The patch of land, still home to one of the world’s oldest cementation furnaces, was once situated at the heart of the industrial city centre where it was engaged in the production of blister steel. Following the national decline of this industry, the land lay forgotten and derelict until a recent rediscovery, or re-imagination, of the space produced Furnace Park – a community park that invites reflection upon the changing nature of the city through the act of artistic engagement and activity.

plastiCities launched the commissions as part of their wider artistic agenda: “We believe that voices from the arts have a critical role to play in the ways in which our cities are designed, produced, distributed and lived. We do not treat the city as an object to be represented, but as a more-than representational plastic object, in the sculpting of which we all have a democratic right to intervene.” (plastiCities 2015 p.5). In this context, sound appears to be a perfect medium, particularly when plasticity may be enacted through the combined processes of recording, transforming and composing, as are often found in forms of sound art and electronic music. Despite this, the result of these processes were not intended to embellish the city with yet more public art, and nor were they intended to illuminate ways in which the city’s soundscape might be redressed. Instead, through the process of reflection, creation and engagement, the act of ‘doing’ was intended to encourage individuals to think of the city as artwork in and of itself.

This paper considers the various commissions in light of this project. It starts by elaborating the commission objectives, setting these alongside the aims of plastiCities. It goes on to address the act of composing in this context, paying particular attention to the one of the author’s works Foundry Flux (2015), particularly in terms of the compositional methods and the resulting form of the piece. It finishes by assessing the whole project alongside the stated aims; whilst the process of artistic engagement did (at least in some cases) necessitate (re)engagement with the city, this was often highly personalised and frequently opaque. The aims of the project, however, remain substantive and this paper concludes with a call for a great engagement with the city as a plastic work of art.