Last week Chilean composer and researcher Dr Felipe Otondo visited BU. Felipe, a Senior Lecturer at the Universidad Austral, Chile, gave a fascinating research seminar to the Creative Technology Department discussing his role in the Soundlapse Project.
Soundlpase is an interdisciplinary research initiative funded by the Chilean National Agency for Research and Development, which seeks to highlight the acoustical heritage of wetlands in the south of Chile, and studies these ecosystems‘ unique soundscapes through field recording techniques. As an outcome of the project’s periodic documentation of the “Parque Urbano El Bosque” wetland soundscapes in Valdivia, in 2021 eight sound artists, including BU’s Ambrose Seddon, were commissioned to compose works using these field recordings, available as an album through the Gruenrekorder label.
Along with the research seminar, on Thursday 24th March we hosted a concert of the commissioned works, in the Soundstage, Poole Gateway Building. This was our first loudspeaker concert in this new space, and it was fantastic to be able to finally set up our loudspeaker system and present immersive sound works in our new facilities.
The audience was a mixture of UG students from the BA Music & Sound Production, as well as BU staff, and members of the public. Some of the students assisted with the concert set up, gaining valuable experience of immersive audio systems for live concert performance whilst also meeting and chatting with Felipe.
My music was programmed at two international electroacoustic music festivals this summer. Fleeting Strands (2011) appeared at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF) 2021 in June, this year taking pace online due to the pandemic.
It’s great to see this older composition of mine continuing to be programmed. It is composed from sound recordings made whilst visiting the coasts of Norfolk and Devon. Occasionally the sources are revealed (the sea, rocks, cave ambiences, boatyards, church bells, an open fire), but the music is really concerned with the different spaces encountered on a journey of transformed realities and shifting perspectives.
And in August a more recent composition, Traces of Play (2017), was performed at the prestigious Futura Festival 2021 in Crest, France. Futura is one of the major festivals of electroacoustic music in Europe, and it was an honour to have my music included on the programme.
I am delighted to share the news that an album of my electroacoustic compositions, Espaces éphémères, has recently been published and released through the long-established Canadian independent label empreintes DIGITALes.
This collection features music created before my arrival at BU, along with my 2017 composition Traces of Play. This piece, as practice-based research, aims to deepen understanding of how recurrent sound phenomena might be deployed and developed to create larger-scale musical forms and coherent sound worlds within music compositions. It has featured at international festivals and conferences in New York, Beijing, Brussels, and Montpellier, and was awarded prizes in the Klang! Electroacoustic Composition Competition (France) and the Destellos Composition Competition (Argentina).
The other works on the album have also received international performances and have similarly been awarded in international composition competitions. Audio extracts of all the compositions can be heard via the link above.
It is fantastic to have my music featured on empreintes DIGITALes, and to have my compositions published alongside renowned composers from the field of electroacoustic music.
One of my recent music compositions has just been awarded 2nd prize in the Klang! International Competition of Electroacoustic Composition 2019, Montpellier, France. The list of finalists included many highly-regarded composers, so it was an honour and achievement to have my work selected and awarded during this year’s competition.
The Klang! competition is well established within the field, and the jury this year featured many highly respected practitioners, including Annette Van de Gorne, Jonty Harrison and Denis Smalley.
The awarded work, Traces of Play, is a 4-channel ‘surround sound’ composition, which received it’s concert premiere in France in June 2017, and was recently performed at BEAST FEaST 2019, an international electroacoustic music festival taking place at the University of Birmingham on 2–4 May 2019. At this festival I spatialised this composition over the 64-channel loudspeaker system known as BEAST (Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre), in a programme including works by many highly-respected international artists.
We are delighted to announce that Dr Úna Monaghan will be joining us for a concert of music for harp and electronics in the Allsebrook LT on Wednesday 30th January 2019, at 7pm. All welcome!
Admission is free but please book a seat. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/music-for-harp-and-electronics-with-una-monaghan-at-bu-tickets-55018378451
Úna Monaghan is a harper, composer, researcher and sound artist from Belfast. She is the Rosamund Harding Research Fellow in Music at Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
Her research examines the intersections between Irish traditional music, experimental music practices, improvisation and interactive technologies. She performs with harp and electronics. Her recent work has combined traditional music with bronze sculpture, sound art and movement sensors. Her compositions have been presented on BBC and RTÉ television and radio, in theatre productions, and at international festivals and conferences, such as the International Computer Music Conference, the New York Electroacoustic Music Festival, and at the Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens.
This autumn I have been fortunate to have had my music played in international concerts and festivals in Bangor, Brussels, and Beijing.
My composition ‘Traces of Play’ featured in the Musicacoustica Festival, Beijing, on 26th October, and was peer reviewed and selected by the British Electroacoustic Network to represent the UK at this international festival. Musicacoustica is run by CIME (International Confederation for Electroacoustic Music), and it was an honour to be selected and included in this concert.
On Wednesday 24th October the same composition was a finalist in the Métamorphoses International Acousmatic Music Composition competition, which is part of the L’Espace du Son festival run by Musiques et Recherches, Belgium. This is one of the most esteemed competitions in the field, so it was amazing to be selected as a finalist and to be able to attend the festival.
And on Tuesday 20th November my music featured in the Electroacoustic WALES concert at Theatre Bryn Terfel, Pontio, Bangor, Wales, alongside works by esteemed composers Prof David Berezan and Prof Andrew Lewis. Again, it was an honour to be involved and invited to perform, and we look forward to welcoming David Berezan for a concert here at BU on 27th March 2019.
On Wednesday 17th October special guest Dr Owen Green (University of Huddersfield) joined us for a concert of multi-channel, surround-sound music in the Allsebrook Lecture Theatre. Owen diffused a range of fixed-media musical work from the University of Huddersfield during the first half, beginning with Dr Alex Harker’s guitar-derived Fractures, then on to Dr Elena Hidalgo’s Origen, and concluding with Professor Pierre Alexandre Tremblay’s mesmerising asinglewordisneverenough1.
After a short interval we heard two works featuring performances from Owen – Neither the Time nor the Energy (2015, revised 2018, live, for cardboard and truculent electronics), and an improvised duo featuring bowed cardboard box (Owen Green) and cello (Laura Reid). It was a rich and varied programme, and our thanks go to Owen Green for his inspiring performance and excellent musical selections. Once again, student volunteers from our BSc Music & Sound Production Technology provided crucial help rigging the loudspeaker system. Thanks to all who attended!
This concert was supported by Creative Technology and EMERGE.
The final BU Loudspeaker Orchestra concert of this academic year took place in the Student Hall, Talbot Campus on Wednesday 2nd May 2018. This concert featured a range of electroacoustic music including work from undergraduate students, postgraduate researchers and staff at BU. The concert was a great opportunity for students, researchers and staff to collaborate on and co-create a live music event, and to present their music in a professional context.
Students from the BSc Music and Sound Production Technology course (Creative Technology) contributed a range of high-quality compositions. Many of these pieces were composed from field recordings; some from Bournemouth and Poole, some from London, and others from locations as far afield as Pune, India. The students also rigged the loudspeaker system, and then took part in a diffusion workshop (co-delivered by Ambrose Seddon and Panos Amelides, Creative Technology), learning and rehearsing some fundamental concepts for live multi-channel sound spatialisation in preparation for the concert. The programme also featured music from FMC PGR composer Antonino Chiaramonte and BU lecturer and composer Ambrose Seddon.
The sun setting over the Talbot campus buildings made for a fitting backdrop to the concert. Thanks to all who attended!