Kirsten Hermes

Kirsten’s research focuses on the development of tools that can enhance creativity. The focus of her PhD was to work towards the development of automatic music mixing tools by finding predictors for one important mix parameter, spectral clarity.

Kirsten Hermes joined the University of Westminster in September 2016 as a Senior Lecturer in Music Performance Technology. Prior to this, she undertook an EPRSC funded PhD in Sound Recording and Psychoacoustic Engineering at the University of Surrey. Her research work is contributing towards measuring and modeling the perceived quality of music mixes. The focus in on the parameters influencing the spectral clarity of sounds. Kirsten is also a music producer / electronica artist (http://www.nyokeemusic.com).

For further information on Kirstin’s research, supervision and teaching experience also see:

https://www.westminster.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/directory/hermes-kirsten#research

 

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Sidereal Sound, ‘Time Machines’ and ‘Baby Food’: The Recursive Turn in Coil’s Music from the 1990s

2019

Michael Goddard will present the paper  “Sidereal Sound, ‘Time Machines’ and ‘Baby Food’: The Recursive Turn in Coil’s Music from the 1990s”, at the Recursions: Music and Cybernetics conference  in Edinburgh,  24-25th October, 2019.

About Recursions: Music and Cybernetics conference:

Cybernetic thinking, engineering and pedagogy left indelible marks on the progressive arts and sciences of the late twentieth century. There is now widespread recognition of the role cybernetics played in inspiring many Cold War composers and improvisers, from Cagean experimentalists and Schaefferian acousmaticians to afrofuturists, conceptual artists, ravers and psychedelic rockers. Less widely acknowledged is the extent to which cybernetics shaped the epistemology of late twentieth century music theoretical, pedagogical and ethnographic research, including early iterations of what is now called sound studies, notably in the work of Jacques Attali, Christopher Small, Barry Truax, Charles Keil and Steven Feld. In fact, the impact of cybernetic principles and methodologies on our understanding of music and musicality is ongoing. They permeate the management and outreach discourse of the institutions that support music and music research. They lie at the foundation of recent accounts of cognition and brain function involving predictive processing, dynamic systems theory, and ecological models linking perception with action. They are even gaining a significant foothold in the study of music history, both directly in the computational techniques reshaping corpus studies and network analysis, and indirectly through the ideas of communication and social theorists like Friedrich Kittler, Niklas Luhmann, Michel Serres and Bruno Latour. 

Assessments of the political and scientific value of cybernetics have been as varied as its applications. On one hand, it has been said to offer an open, nondualist alternative to the ontology of modern science (Pickering 2010). On the other, it seems to create the conditions for a permanent revitalization of the modern project, optimizing life, knowledge and society in terms of automated information exchange (Tiqqun 2001).

We seek to gather researchers interested in cultivating a deeper understanding of the ways cybernetics, systems theory and information theory have informed musical practice, theory, policy and industry since the Second World War, with a particular emphasis on perspectives from cultural, social and intellectual history. We are especially interested in proposals that expand the framework of normal musicological inquiry to encompass: the role of cybernetics and information theory in constructions of race, gender, sexuality and/or ability; connections between music and other cultural or scientific practices; ideas and practices inherited from the work of 19th and early 20th century educationalists, scientists and spiritualists; and connections with the management of decolonization and deindustrialization in science, culture and education policy at local, national and/or international levels.

Presented with support from the British Academy and the Reid School of Music, Edinburgh College of Art.

https://recursions.org/

Music Migrations: From Stage to Screen

Friday 4 October 2019, 15.00–20.00

Bringing Britain’s now established Black History Month to Paris, this event is part of a series developed with Professor Martin Evans (University of Sussex) who is currently the lead British expert in the French Migration Museum’s major exhibition Paris-Londres: Music Migrations (1962-1989) at the Palais de la Porte Dorée and Dr Mélanie Torrent (Amiens University) who is a member of the LARCA research network.

Focusing on London and Paris, this exhibition charts the contributions of successive waves of migrants to the national capitals of the gradually decolonizing Empires of Great Britain and France and has been heralded as one of the best exhibitions on popular music.

The film screening and discussion on Friday 4th October 2019 will offer students, researchers and fans the opportunity to see Mykaell Riley’s Bass Culture Documentary and to learn about the hugely important Rock against Racism Carnival of 1978 through his firsthand account. We will also welcome Gary Crosby and Janine Irons founders of Tomorrow’s Warriors, whose impact on the London music scene cannot be overestimated.

Bass Culture

Thursday 25 October 2018

Bass Culture Expo 70/50: UK’s largest ever Jamaican music exhibition highlights Windrush generation’s impact on Britain. This is a four-week exhibition exploring the impact of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture.

The exhibition is staged by Bass Culture Research, a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project set up to explore the impact of Jamaican music in the UK. The project made headlines last year after issuing The Grime Report, which led to the withdrawal of Form 696, a controversial risk assessment form criticised for being discriminatory and targeting genres such as grime.

While Jamaican music has been fundamental to the development of multicultural Britain, its influence has arguably never been recognised. Following recent moves to ramp up police stop and search powers, together with claims that Jamaican-influenced genres such as drill are fuelling gang wars, marginalisation and discrimination risks being on the rise again. Bass Culture 70/50 seeks to challenge these negative interpretations and rather recognise the impact of Jamaican culture on not only the musical canon but on British culture and identity itself.

Partners of the exhibition include the AHRC, Black Cultural Archives, British Library, SOAS, Goldsmiths University, Urbanimage and Camera Press.

Mykaell Riley, Principal Investigator and Director of the Bass Culture Music Unit at the University of Westminster, said “This is the story of the soundtrack to multiculturalism, a hidden history that is still impacting on new music.” All our online chanels are currently being updated.

Mykaell Riley

Background – Mykaell’s career started as a founder member of Steel Pulse. Over the years he has
performed, produced, managed and consulted on many successful artists and their projects. As a professional writer / producer, Mykaell’s work has encompassed TV, Film and Theatre, resulting in over eleven UK top twenty positions, and three UK number ones. He also created The Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra, Britain’s first black pop orchestra – and composed extensively for television including: ITV1, 2,3, the BBC 1&2, SKY and Endemol TV.

Academia — Mykaell’s Head of Music Production, at University of Westminster, He has also worked as external examiner for: Open University (OU), City University, South Themes College, Leeds College of Music, Tech-Music -UK/Dublin and the University of West London. In addition, he’s consulted and or collaborated on projects for; the Mayor of London, Arts council England, The British Museum, The Maritime Museum and the V&A and TV. In 2004, he established The Black Music Research Unit for which he co-authored the first National Jazz report and the Value of Jazz2 for Jazz Services in 2008. He also contributed to the (OU), Black British Jazz report. In 2016, he received the first major (AHRC) award to research on the impact of Jamaican music in Britain and in 2017 his work on the Ticketmaster Grime Report, help change government legislation. Mykaell also sits on the academic board for the Museum of London. This year as curator of the Bass Culture Expo 70/50: the UK’s largest ever Jamaican music exhibition highlighting the Windrush generation’s impact on Britain Mykaell has pulled together the largest collection of images linking the Windrush generation to grime.

Publications
2018 Curator Bass Culture Expo
2017: The State of Play Grime Report
2015: Contributor Black Popular Music in Britain Since 1945:
Contributor ‘Return of the Rudeboy’: photography, film, installation by Dean Chalkley & Harris Elliott.
2013 Contributor The Globalization of Music’s in Transit: Music Migration and Tourism, Simone Krüger, Ruxandra Trandafoiu, Routledge.
2012: Contributor ‘Masters of the Airwaves’: The Rise & Rise of Underground Radio, by Lindsay Wesker &Dave VJ, Every Generation Media ISBN 9780955106880
2008: The Value of Jazz 2 e-publication; re-commission of Jazz Services educational content, funded bythe Heritage Lottery Fund.
2005: ‘The Value of Jazz report’: commissioned as part of Jazz Services educational content, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Research included E-Learning for Multimedia Musicians’.
2001: Researcher contributor for Reggae Explosion Chris Salewicz, Adrian Boot (eds), Virgin Books.

For further information on Mykaell’s research, teaching and supervision experience also see:https://www.westminster.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/directory/riley-mykaell

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Chris Christodoulou

Chris’ research is concerned with the role of accelerated culture in global youth scenes and subcultures, especially electronic dance music. He carried out his PhD thesis, Renegade Hardware: Speed, Technology and Cultural Practice in Drum ‘n’ Bass Music, between 2005 and 2009. He is also a researcher on the Bass Culture project; a three-year Arts Council England-funded research project involving Goldsmiths University and the University of Westminster, whose key aim is to examine the impact of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture.

Additionally, Chris is the Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Practice (CMP) course at the University of Westminster. BA CMP has a specialist interdisciplinary focus and is one of the longest-running undergraduate media courses in the UK. He is interested in contemporary fan communities based on the collecting of obsolete and residual media.

For further information on Chris’ research, supervision and teaching experience also see:

https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/researcher/88669/dr-chris-christodoulou

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Shirley Thompson

Dr Shirley J. Thompson is a multi-award-winning composer, artistic director, music conductor, film maker, violinist. Her visionary productions and innovations have often anticipated creative trends years in advance. She specialises in creating large conceptual music works for the concert hall, the theatrical stage and for film. She obtained a BA in Musicology at the University of Liverpool; an MMus in Composition and Contemporary Music Aesthetics from Goldsmiths’ College, University of London; and a PhD from Brunel University investigating the thesis, Towards A New Aesthetic of Contemporary Composition, where she explored innovative approaches to vocal, operatic and orchestral composition. Dr Thompson’s areas of research interest include: opera composition, especially for the for the solo voice; exploring the role of the spoken word in opera composition; developing music for contemporary dance in concert works and in opera; integrating popular music components in the contemporary classical musical language; integrating multi-media in concert and stage works; developing instrumental ensemble composition and performance for the concert hall; unearthing the work of historical female composers; music composition inspired by scientific discovery.

Dr Shirley J.  Thompson is a renowned international composer with performances of her work at all the major opera houses worldwide further to a 15-year tour of her co-scored ballet PUSH at venues such as La Scala Milan, Sydney Opera House and Marinksy Theatre. She has composed extensively for the orchestra, opera, instrumental ensemble, contemporary dance, TV and film. Thompson also trained at the BBC as a documentary programme maker and worked as a researcher and then director for the BBC, ITV, LWT, Carlton and various Channel 4 companies. Selected compositions include:

New Nation Rising: A 21st Century Symphony for orchestra, youth and adult choirs, spoken word artist, kit and dhol drums which tells the history of London in 5 movements of music from 1066 to the present day. Recorded by the RPO, the concept was latterly assumed as the framework for 2012 Opening Ceremony.

Spirit Songs – orchestral trilogy of 3 songs commissioned by the parliamentary estate and the south Bank centre to commemorate the opening of the exhibition People and Parliament in 2007

PUSH, a Sadler’s Wells commissioned ballet for dancers Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant, who choreographed the production

Mandela Tales a music theatre work for Voice, Speaker, Orchestra and Video to commemorate the birthday of Nelson Mandela and commissioned by the South Bank Centre

Voice of Change for Singers, Speaker and Ensemble marking 100 Days of Barack Obama as US President and commissioned by the South Bank Centre

Heroines of Opera: an opera trilogy for solo voice, speaker and orchestra exploring the lives of hidden heroines and dispelling the myth of the femme fatale. The trilogy includes, Sacred Mountain (Queen Nanny of the Maroons), The Woman Who Refused to Dance (The Woman) and Dido Elizabeth Belle.

The Franklin Effect  is a project where 4 leading international composers and 4 world-leading scientists at King’s College London explore the integration of their research to produce musical works. The 3-year project was instigated by Minerva Scientifica and funded by the Welcome Trust and the Arts Council.

The World is Now Richer meets The Woman Who Refused to Dance is an opera and sculpture installation for the Venice Biennale in 2017 with Sokari Douglas Camp

Lost Women Composers is a major AHRC/BBC Radio 3 project that rediscovers the lives and music of historical female composers. It was announced as an exemplary music project for 2018. Dr Shirley J. Thompson features the work of Florence B. Price.

Thompson has worked with leading classical orchestral performers such as the BBC Singers, the RPO, Philharmonia, South Bank Sinfonia, the LPO, the Shirley Thompson Ensemble, Gemini, the BBC Concert Orchestra Principals, Sadler’s Wells, Ballet Rambert. Swarovski

External Examiner and Internal Examiner for several PhDs and executive member of BASCA, SAM, the BBC Diversity in Composition Working Party, and a Women in Music founder

Recent keynote presentations include: The Sphinx Internationa Festival, Classical Next, Opera and Music theatre Forum, Tedx JA.

Dr Thompson’s musical scores are published by Deuss Publishing; and her music recorded on various recording labels including BBC Music, First Hand Records, and the RPO Label.

For further information about Shirley’s research, supervision and teaching experience also see:

https://www.westminster.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/directory/thompson-shirley

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Rob Toulson

Rob Toulson (Associate)

Rob Toulson is Professor of Creative Industries: Commercial Music at the University of Westminster, London. His research covers both creative and technical fields, being an expert in sound, music production and electronics. His recent AHRC-funded research explores the development of ‘interactive digital music’ to enable new forms of artist-fan interaction, and to test new business models for the music industry. Rob has collaborated with many international organisations in the music industry and commercialised a number of music apps, including the innovative iDrumTune tool and the novel variPlay music platform. He is a successful music producer and studio engineer working across most musical genres, from pop to classical and rock to electronica. In particular, he has worked as recording, mixing and mastering engineer on a number of albums for Mediaeval Baebes, who have previously topped the UK classical album chart.

Rob has experience working in the electronics industry as well as teaching electronics, music production and audio technology in Higher Education. He is Co-Chair of both the Innovation in Music Conference and the Audio Engineering Society European Conference, and a former committee member of the AES British Section. Rob is also director of his own record label and audio software development company, RT Sixty Ltd. He is co-author of ‘Fast and Effective Embedded Systems Design: applying the ARM mbed’ published by Newnes first in 2012, with a Chinese translation in 2014, and a second edition in 2016. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering (1999), a PhD in Digital Signal Processing (2004) and is a certified Chartered Engineer (2009). Rob has designed and delivered a number of research, consultancy and knowledge transfer projects funded by, amongst others, The European Commission, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, NESTA, The Royal Society, The European Regional Development Fund and Innovate UK. He has published numerous patents and journal articles and delivered many academic papers at international conferences, as well as supervising PhD students to completion. He has been an invited keynote speaker at many prestigious events hosted at, for example, the V&A Museum, the Natural History Museum and Dolby Laboratories.

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Music research within CREAM is fundamentally multidisciplinary, investigating all corners of the commercial music industries - from songwriting, production and creative practice, to sound technology and innovation in music business.

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