Aki Purser selected as a participant for this years RBMA in Berlin

Third year student Aki Purser has been selected to participate in this year’s Red Bull Music Academy to be taking place in Berlin. RBMA is an internationally acclaimed event where an eclectic group of emerging artists are given the chance to collaborate, create and learn from a series of sessions led by world-known music producers and industry specialists. The competition is often high and it not unusual to see participants from the Academy becoming professionals soon after their graduation. Aki’s unique approach to sound, image and dance made here stand out and in their own words

‘From the refined piano of Chilly Gonzales to the elegance of modern dance icon Pina Bausch and the precisely engineered music of producer Alva Noto, there is a certain delicacy connecting the influences of Brighton-based artist Akiko Haruna. Trained as a pianist, violinist, flautist and dancer, she is fluent in the rules of music and composition, which she now breaks with her experimental noise output. Akiko’s current project comes after two years as a professional dancer, during which she appeared in music videos for artists including AlunaGeorge and John Newman. Now a full-time music student, Akiko flexes her myriad abilities in her own work, including the 2017 video for “i, omega,” a surreal black-and-white pastiche in which she dances, stretches and smiles eerily at the camera over the glitches and fuzz of her far-out soundscape.’

Well done Aki!

‘resounding’ – a new piece by Jean Martin to be premiered on April 6th

Jean Martin will be premiering ‘resounding’ a new piece for piano, vibraphone, and flute on 6 April at 7.30pm as part of the Broken Line event.

The performance will be held in St. Luke’s Church, Brighton

Adam Bushell (vibraphone/percussion), Adam Swayne (piano) and
Helen Whitaker (flute)

Vetrarþoka (Winter Fog) (2015) – Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson (b. 1985) – Trio
Vibra Elufa (2003) – Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) – solo vibes
Invisible Worlds (2009) – Nicholas S. Omiccioli (b. 1982) – flute & piano duet
Resounding (2018) – Jean Martin – Trio


Adagio from Sonata No.1 for violin, transcribed for alto flute – J. S. Bach
Broken Line (2006) – Alvin Lucier (b. 1931) – Trio
For Morty (1987) (- Christian Wolff (b. 1934) – piano & percussion duet
LRL Anthem (after Gopi Sander) (2017) – Dave Smith (b. 1949) – piano solo
Carillon ( 1998) – Martin Butler (b. 1960) – Trio

DMSA Alumni Ben Hall to present work in Festival ZERO1, La Rochelle, France

DMSA graduate Ben Hall was invited in Festival ZERO1 in La Rochelle, France to present ‘Threshold’, an audiovisual installation he created as part of his final degree project.

‘Threshold’ challenges the audience’s perception with a series of cross-sensory interactions between unusual sounds of frequencies on the threshold of human perception and computer generated visuals.

ZERO1 is an annual international festival in La Rochelle, France focusing on audiovisual digital arts. This year it takes place on 28/03-01/04. More info.

No Hollows and No Projections: Part 2

No Hollows and No Projections: Part 2
Monday 19th March 2018 | 6-8pm | Performance Studio

No Hollows and No Projections: Part 2 is a workshop led by Ingrid Plum exploring composition for ensemble performance, deep listening exercises, sonic meditations, improvisation and extended vocal technique following the teachings of Pauline Oliveros and Meredith Monk as well as a wealth of techniques gathered from other teachers and traditions around the world. In Part 2 we will review some techniques and also look at compositional methods for working with listening and performance using the voice as our instrument, with a focus on ensemble performance.

This workshop is suitable for all levels of experience and is best suited to those with an interest in contemporary composition, sounding the voice, sound art, experimental music and sonic meditation, but previous practice in those fields is not necessary. Learn a range of listening exercises to benefit production and performance skills along with breathing and vocal exercises with a focus on deep listening and harmony, involving discussion and working with the natural voice to develop confidence, plus compositional exercises for ensemble performance.

About Ingrid Plum

‘Gorgeously atmospheric vocal techniques woven around field recordings & electronics’ – The Guardian

Plum uses her voice with extended technique, improvisation, field recordings and electronics, to create layered soundscapes, spoken word and songs. Having performed and exhibited installation sound art and visual art since 2002, and studied with Meredith Monk, she creates work that sits between sound art, improvisation, multi-media installation, neo-classical and contemporary Nordic folk music.


International Women’s Day Special

Digital Music and Sound Arts doesn’t mean a men-only club: we support equal participation to the course by male and female artists and producers; an aim that is still difficult to achieve as female students often either choose more safe pathways or are not confident enough to choose a creative sound course.

It needs to be said that some of our most exceptional work in this course has been created by female students and some of our notable alumni are female who hold competitive posts in the field. We want to make our students feel empowered through the course to explore their unique creative perspectives, to take risks, to feel inspired and to be self-driven.

In celebration of International Womens Day, we would like to use this space to precent some of the work produced by our students and alumni which we feel give a well informed perspective of the breadth of creative outputs that the students have developed over the years. There are of course many notable student works missing from this feature and we hope to be able to bring it to the foreground in another occassion in the near future!

We begin with Jade Gunner who is a student currently in her first year in the course. Jade’s ‘Watercolour Spaceship’ is a fascinating exploration of colour, texture and timbre reminiscent of expressionist painting.

Merging music with dance as well as other forms of art and media is something that we encourage our students to do as part of their learning process. Aki Purser is a student currently in the third year of the course who has been developping an intersting and unique body of audiovisual work. Her piece I, Omega encapsulates the intensity of her work combining contemporary dance aesthetics, electronic collage and experimental visuals.

Olivial Louvel, currently in her second year in our course, is exceptional in creating fascinating synapses Facross voice, computer music and digital narrative. You can enjoy her work in situ at the Roayl Pavilion Gardens via the ReHear audiowalk.

'My Crown' by Olivia Louvel from Cat Werk Imprint on Vimeo.

Rebecca Davis aka Ecka Mordecai is the artist behind our beautiful banner but also an alumni of the course. Ecka, currently a freelance artist, cellist and curator, has developed a subtle yet texturally layered palette of sounds, images, objects and actions while studying in the course. Sand:blink is a wonderful audiovisual experience into her unique world of microsounds and textures.

Guoda Diržytė is an experimental music instruments designer, composer and sound artist living between the UK and Lithuania. A recent graduate from our course, Guoda received the Nagoya (Partner University, Japan) Award of Excellence for her excellent piece Kokon Dansetsu Ma [古今 伝説 間] which she developped during a residency in Nagoya.

Beth Chesser is an artist experimenting with sound, noise and music and how they work combined with moving image and new media. ‘Enso’ is her final degree piece for our course, a beautifu stop motion animation film.

Amanda Brooks is a musician, composer and sound artist currently in the second year of our course. She is the lead singer of the band Undercover Agends and her work has been featured in Lewes Light Festival, ReHear Audio Walk (Brighton Digital Festival 2017) and more recently in a fantastic ‘Christmas’ compilation entitled ‘View from a hill’ by the eclectic label Linear Obsessional.

Last week’s DMSA feature presented the work of currenty third year student Jasmyn Bloch. Jasmyn’s powerful mix of voice, femininity and electronics is beautifully demonstrated in her piece Alter, a celebration of the feminine and of women and a great way to end this feature!

DMSA Feature: Jasmyn Bloch (Y3 Student)

This month’s feature welcomes third year student Jasmyn Bloch, a classiclally trained singer with an electronic music twist who through her explorations in our course developed new and engaging pathways of addressing issues such as voice, embodiment, femininity and the emotional affect of sound and music. Her upcoming multimedia installation entitled ‘FEMPORIS’ will be exhibited at this year’s degree show.

DMSA: Three important words that represent you as a creative person
JB: Feminine, intimate, emotional 

DMSA: When did you start working with sound and music?
JB: I started working with sound at a very young age, experimenting with all sorts of different instruments, but nothing really stuck. My true musical beginnings started when I found my passion for Classical Singing; this was the portal through which I found what sound, and especially voice, meant to me and what it could communicate to others. I remember being gob smacked the first time I sang in front of an audience, because by the end of my performance a lot of the audience were crying. I always knew music effected my emotions deeply, but to see others react so vividly to something I had sung was a turning point, I knew then I had to work with my voice and my emotions.

DMSA: In what ways has the DMSA course supported or help you to develop into who you are today creatively and professionally?
JB: The DMSA course opened my eyes to a lot of experimental, more artistic ways of approaching music. Before this course I was well versed in more mainstream electronic music, but had no idea of the plethora of ways music and sound can be used, creatively and powerfully, to evoke emotions and create statements. During my time here I believe I have created projects that I will continue to work on well past my graduation, but also planted seeds of ideas for my future work and concepts.

DMSA: What are your plans for the near future? projects, events, visions
JB: I am currently working on a multimedia sound installation called Femporis, which is a conceptual womb piece that will be a part of the Brighton University Degree Show this June. This piece is an exploration into the soundscape of the womb, but also considers the concepts of safety, nurturing and rebirth. I hope to continue down this vein of feminine works and create a trilogy of pieces that are focused on the female body and voice. Post University I plan to create a platform for young female artists in Brighton, a website and bi-monthly exhibition space, where they can show their work and be a part of a supportive collective, showing female sound and artworks in a unified space. 

More info:

Professor Kelly Snook @ ReBalance initiative to support female artists and producers

Professor Kelly Snook has joined ReBalance, a three-year programme from Festival Republic in association with PRS Foundation. The initiative aims to support female-led bands and solo artists by offering studio recording time. Professor Snook will produce an EP for Liverpool-based artist Mary Gregson-Miller.

PRS Foundation, the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development, launched the initiative for women this year building on its Women Make Music fund, which began in 2011 to support the development of women songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds at different stages of their career. More info here.

Wwise Workshop – Fundamental Concepts and Audio Feature Example

We are happy to have DMSA Alumni back for a session on sound design for video games. For his final degree piece, Andrew developped Symbiosis, an open-world music game which places the player in an environment that responds to their interactions with music.

Since his graduation, Andrew has been working with game audio for 4 years, and currently works for The Creative Assembly, one of the UK’s largest games studios, based in Horsham. He has worked on audio implementation and audio testing for the BAFTA-winning audio team behind Alien: Isolation (2014), Total War: Warhammer (2016, 2017) and Halo Wars 2 (2017).

Twitter: @AndyHairAudio

About the workshop

In this session, Andrew will introduce students to the Wwise sound engine, a common audio design tool used in the games industry. Students will be guided through the process of integrating Wwise into a game project, using Unity. We will then move on to add the sounds of a lake or sea shore as an example audio feature, giving students an understanding of the kind of problems and solutions that arise in game audio development. Through this tutorial, students will be given a grounding in fundamental game audio concepts, such as sound positioning and attenuation, soundobjects, listeners, and game-to-audio parameter sync. Students are encouraged to bring their own recordings of lake/seashore water (approx. 1 minute of recording), though preprepared recordings will also be available.


Experimental Film Project | Direct Animation onto 16mm Film

Monday 12 February | 5:30-8 | Performance Studio, GP

Digital Music and Sound Arts students are invited to join Design for Digital Media students in a workshop on direct animation onto a 16mm film. This project will offer the students the opportunity to work with the physical elements of direct animation on to the film.
Participants will be provided some film stock to work on to create a few seconds of 16mm film footage that can be looped and played through a 16mm projector, the work will then be video captured and edited on the computer to create a final outcome.

The process of direct animation involves scratching into the surface of the film’s emulsion to make sequential patterns and shapes, or painting images, textures and shapes on to clear leader, negative and positive mark-making, and possibly contact printing in the dark room.

The workshop will also explore the historical contexts and ideas born out of the early years of experimental film production especially focusing on the Cinema of Attractions.

The Brief:
Students will work to the theme of ‘negative and positive’ and expole sequential animation of pattern and form, light and dark, subtle and overt mark making, try to convey different oppositional moods by the colour or texture and emphasis of the marks they make. Or they could attempt to portray an idea that has an oppositional message to the original image (if there is one on the film). Or merely consider two opposing ways of looking at an image as a sequence.

There is an additional optional extra theme of Altitude
If students opt to make work with this theme, the resulting work can be entered for selection as part of a group screening at the Towner Gallery in April more info to come…

The Final Outcome:
A short (30 to 120 seconds) moving image piece that explores the theme of Negative/Positive (or Altitude). This can be either presented as a film loop on the projector or as a digital outcome.

Be experimental . . .

The workshop will be led by Louise Colbourne and Jim Hobbs.

Spaces are limited. Booking necessary.

Projection Mapping Masterclasses with Rafael Vartanian (DMSA Alumni)

We are happy to have DMSA Alumni back to lead two masterclasses on Projection Mapping. Rafael graduated from the course in 2016 and has received the Honourable Mention Award for his final project ANTHROPOCENE.

Rafael will be introducing our L4 students to the art of projection mapping on the 7th of February and our L5/L6 students on the 8th.

The full programme for each day can be dowloaded in the links below