Sisters with Transistors: Q&A Jo Hutton

 

A big thank you to everyone who attended the Welcome Week screen of the film.

On behalf of DMSA a big thank you also to Jo Hutton who generously contributed to a Q&A about her involvement in the film, her personal practice, role at the BBC and her research into the significant women who shaped electronic music.

 

The broadcasts and follow up call out Jo mentioned are detailed in the links below:

Maida Vale recording at the weekend is with this group:

http://www.an-assembly.com/LCMF-2017

For this show:
I’ll let you know the date when I do…
Radiophrenia has an open call for submissions atm in case any of the students want to submit anything.

 

Graduates 2021: Andrea Hladikova: Digital Music and Sounds Arts MA

“I love combining different techniques in order to achieve the most accurate expression of my concept. I have always gravitated towards sound and music and when I learned more about this course and its experimental and often multimedia approach I decided to give it a shot and it was totally worth it!”

 

Hi Andrea – please tell us about your work and your influences

“Manami is an interactive fashion brand concept, using upcycled garments and NFC technology that is attached to every unique piece. This concept began as a response to the superficiality and anonymity of the fashion industry. There is a growing consciousness regarding the impact of endless consumption of clothing on our planet. The fashion industry currently produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply. (Insider, 2019) Treating clothes as an impersonal object results in a ‘collecting’ motivated mindset and automatically detaches the individual from their possessions. In order to reconnect the individual with the objects that surround them, I am creating an experience that carries a lot of personal and authentic elements, letting the viewer go further and think about those items differently.”

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?

“My time in Brighton was definitely very challenging due to lockdown and such unusual circumstances. However, I am very pleased with the experiences and the skills I have gained. Our tutors were very supportive throughout the entire year and I am very happy I have chosen to study here. I got a chance to expand my long-term project and truly learn the essential skills I needed. I had a lot of time and space to experiment and find the best way to form my ideas and bring them to life.”

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Digital Music and Sound Arts?

“My background is mainly New Media/Digital Arts. I love combining different techniques in order to achieve the most accurate expression of my concept. I have always gravitated towards sound and music and when I learned more about this course and its experimental and often multimedia approach I decided to give it a shot and it was totally worth it!”

What are your plans after graduation?

“Since my final project works as a prototype that is going to be further developed after my studies,  I am aiming to establish an interactive fashion brand and build my career around that. I am very passionate about business as well so I find this to be the most suitable path for me.”

Take a look at a demonstration of the functionality, including sound pieces:

 

Visit Andrea’s exhibition website

Graduates 2021: Bob Smith: Digital Music and Sound Arts MA

“Coming from a science and engineering background I wanted a course that would allow me to focus those skills alongside an arts practice, and the new MA at DMSA seemed to fit the bill. The reputation of the lecturers and previous students too was a draw, the quality and breadth of work emerging from DMSA makes it a really exciting place to study.”

 

Hi Bob – please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

“I am a coder music producer, hacker, data scientist, educator, VJ, DJ and immersive experience artist operating in a space that weaves spatial sound, education, technology, politics and electronic club culture, into art.”For my final piece I have created ‘ICU’, an immersive interactive sound installation made from a networked collection of interactive devices and custom software that renders data from the faces of the audience and their movements.

Watch the ICU installation trailer:

Watch an ICU example:

Watch a timelapse of the ICU installation set-up: 

“14 speakers and 3 screens surround the visitor with sound, light and images. A giant screen with abstract data towers over the visitor. An interactive scenario is projected on two screens that flank a camera reading the visitor’s facial expression. The left screen encourages the visitor to move while sharing their emotion. The right screen projects the extracted data of the visitor and reveals associated images and classifications.

“Synchronously the data harvested by the AI facial recognition system are sonified to reveal the secretive process at work. Sound is spatialised around the visitor, 9 ceiling speakers create a cloud of sound. 5 speakers at ear level create the data sonifications, producing an array of digital crackles and arpeggiated granular melodies.”The system exposes the classifications that allow this machine to understand what it sees. Sound is used to reveal these secretive processes; to create an experiential reflection of the workings of this technology.

“I have been influenced by several artists and researchers in the production of this work. Ryko Ikeda’s ‘Datamatics’ digital installations have been a real inspiration in the aesthetics of the work. The research of Kate Crawford (AI institute/ AI Atlas) and the Liquid Architecture (Eavesdropping) series have helped in the work’s conceptual grounding. My work builds upon the themes explored by those operating under the umbrella term of Surveillance Art such as Trevor Paglean and Jasmine Guffond.”

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?

“Personally the MA has been quite an intense but rewarding journey. As a mature student I chose to study part-time due to having a part time job working in music education and a family to support. With Covid happening and the children having to be homeschooled, time to study has been tight and at times has felt almost overwhelming. But the experience has been very rewarding and it’s not something I regret. The lecturers here have really helped me get the most out of what the course has to offer, and I have come away with so much experience and new skills. Initially I was not sure I could write a thesis again as it was twenty years between my undergraduate and the MA – but thanks to the help of my tutor and the structure of the course my approach to research is a skill that has definitely been refined. It is also something I can use day to day in my work moving forward.”

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study DMSA?

“I was looking for an experimental music and arts course to expand my practice from purely music and digital works into a more holistic arts practice. Coming from a science and engineering background I wanted a course that would allow me to focus those skills alongside an arts practice, and the new MA at DMSA seemed to fit the bill. The reputation of the lecturers and previous students too was a draw, the quality and breadth of work emerging from DMSA makes it a really exciting place to study.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“I look to continue my programming work with Charanga, a web based music teaching platform, that supported me through my MA. The software I wrote for my final project has some practical applications – such as a musical instrument for those with limited motor skills, and is something I look to explore as a way of helping musicians with physical disabilities. I also am looking to reinstall the final work at various venues around the UK and have applied for various residencies and conferences in the EU over the next year. I also am writing several workshops to teach some of the core concepts of web based audio work. During lockdown I had the opportunity alongside Camp.Fr to write a score ‘The Sound of Surveillance’. This went on to be a part of an essay of impossible scores ‘Hearing the Impossible’ published with Accidental Records last month. This trajectory of work is the inspiration for an E.P. based that hopefully will be finished and released by the end of the year.”

Graduates 2021: Alex Lewis-Whitaker: Digital Music and Sound Arts BA

“Many courses in this area seemed more focused on the technical considerations within a recording studio whereas Brighton allowed me to interpret the course how I wanted to and take it in my own direction. It was clear from attending the open day that there was an emphasis on pushing boundaries in terms of both content and format, so it was exciting to see how the initial ideas for my final project evolved, under the guidance of my tutors, into the multi-dimensional experience that it became.”

 

Hi Alex – please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

“I am an audiovisual artist from south-west London, currently exploring the complications surrounding cultural identity in a globalised world and the necessity for a kind of truthful meta-culture within a multicultural society. My final project, Wɔpo, is a digital mindmap and live performance that illustrates a building of bridges between my ancestral lineages of British and Asante (Ghana). A portmanteau of the vocal-oriented ‘doo-wop’ music of mid-20th century African-American communities and ‘ɔpo’, the Asante-Twi word for ‘ocean’, Wɔpo seeks to amplify the voices of ancestors which (appear to) have been drowned out across the Atlantic passage. Despite a resolve to respond to these calls for ‘Sankofa’, whereby the wisdom of your ancestors becomes a guide for your future, Wɔpo makes light of such problems as ‘double-consciousness’ and the lack of writing systems that document sub-Saharan cultures from the emic viewpoint. It is a journey through ancient myth, religion, ritual, proverb, etymology, conspiracy, and diasporic history, narrated through an immersive and semi-improvisational multimedia performance. Though the performances have come to an end for now, the mindmap and clips from the performances will soon be accessible via the online degree show and my website.

“My preceding audiovisual project, Morgo, was recently broadcast as part of The Joyous Thing, hosted by the experimental music network Outlands, which was an exciting experience made possible thanks to my tutors and the DMSA network.”

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?

“Over my time at Brighton I feel that I have matured much quicker than I would have otherwise, both as a person and as an artist. I have been lucky to receive so much attention from my tutors given the small scale of my course and their unwavering enthusiasm for advising all of us on our projects. My proximity to the sea, particularly throughout my third year, has also had a positive psychological effect while attempting to complete my work under what were frustrating unforeseen circumstances. The highlights of my time here include our ‘DMSA Night’ in second year, where I was given the opportunity to perform alongside my coursemates at Komedia, and more recently the final day of ‘private views’ for our final projects, which included a touching surprise celebration of our efforts, to round out our time here.

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Digital Music and Sound Arts BA?

“Fine art had been my passion at school ever since I was little, and I continued with it at A-Level, but I wanted to add audio into my creative practice so I looked for courses that offered me the possibility of working in both the aural and visual realms. Many courses in this area seemed more focused on the technical considerations within a recording studio whereas Brighton allowed me to interpret the course how I wanted to and take it in my own direction. It was clear from attending the open day that there was an emphasis on pushing boundaries in terms of both content and format, so it was exciting to see how the initial ideas for my final project evolved, under the guidance of my tutors, into the multi-dimensional experience that it became.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“I will return to London and continue to play with this idea of ‘performing’ the research of my projects rather than presenting only the project itself, but in a more accessible format than the private views I did in the DMSA studios, such as adapting it for my YouTube channel. This research is likely to go deeper into ancient African empires, cultures and mythologies and attempt to answer some of the difficult questions put forward in Wɔpo, while also ensuring my art and music is original but still authentic to its cross-cultural roots. I am also considering doing an MA degree while in London but I have only been able to go to online open days so I’m still hesitant to make a decision on that front.”

Visit Alex’s website

Follow Alex on Instagram @alexlw.art

Check out Alex’s YouTube: Alex Lewis-Whitaker

Check out Alex on Spotify: Alex Lewis-Whitaker

Graduates 2021: Joe Gilling: Digital Music and Sound Arts

“My time at the University of Brighton has been an eye-opening and artistically inspiring three years. The tutors have pushed my creativity to the edge and given me brilliant guidance throughout the modules. My work has excelled and innovated past anything I could have imagined.”

 

Hi Joe – can you tell us a bit about your work and your influences?

“I am an audio artist living in Brighton. My work explores the collision between technology and life. As part of my final year audio/visual project on the Digital Music and Sound Arts course, I have been exploring the aesthetics of digital failure, glitch, and inter-twinement of past and present media through the virtual realm. My work has been inspired by reflecting on the consequences of exponential technological consumerism and what these effects are having on a digital generation. I am currently working on a variety of audio/visual projects which exploit technologies and define what it means to be human today.

“Since beginning my studies, I have produced bespoke music compositions for advertising campaigns as well as commercially released my own digital music projects online. My sound is often defined through unusual swung and off-kilter rhythms, haunting and ethereal vocal samples, and ambient washing soundscapes.

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?

“My time at the University of Brighton has been an eye-opening and artistically inspiring 3 years. The tutors have pushed my creativity to the edge and given me brilliant guidance throughout the modules. My work has excelled and innovated past anything I could have imagined. I now feel prepared for the next step in my journey. I have met other brilliant creatives who will be great contacts for the future. This diverse and amazing city is now somewhere I’m proud to call my home.”

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Digital Music and Sound Arts?

“I chose to study Digital Music and Sound Arts at Brighton not really knowing what ‘Sound Art’ even meant! After visiting on an open day, I could just feel by the atmosphere and incredible studio spaces that this was the place for me. I was most interested in the new media application of sound, digital culture, and experimental practice. These were eventually areas I became an expert in and continue to learn about every day.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“I have recently just secured a marketing internship with an opera theatre company in London. I hope to pursue my current interests in social media management and digital marketing within the arts, whilst continually progressing as a freelance digital artist. The course I have studied has opened me up to numerous career possibilities and taught me valuable and transferable skills for the future which many employers find desirable.”

Visit Joe’s website www.joegillingmusic.com

Follow Joe on Instagram: @joegillingmusic

Find out about studying Digital Music and Sound Arts BA(Hons).

Graduates 2021: Toby Hinks: Digital Music and Sound Arts

“I am now working on a commission with the 
Brighton Centre for Creative Arts to create a piece to accompany Nika Neelova’s exhibition SILT in the coming 
months.”

 

Hi Toby – can you tell us a bit about your work and your influences?

“Project name Foci, plural of focus, the focusing effect of the two dishes projecting sound towards each other. Foci alters the perception of space through two minimal sculptural forms interacting sonically. It is a combination of a kinetic sound sculpture and domed structure above it that amplifies and
reflects the resulting sound.

“The resonant tone of a metal bowl is activated by the circling movement of large steel ball bearings, put in motion by the user. Contact mics and a surface
speaker transfer vibration from the bottom dish to the top, projecting this sound in an isolated area and creating the sense of tangible architectural space around the user. The installation seeks to exploit a disconnect between visual and aural perception of space in the creation of structural form. The piece utilises the reflective nature and sonic qualities of material, to conjure a cohesive impression of architectural space.

“Also through user participation, the role of
our own agency in sonically defining architectural space is highlighted, creating personal sonic spatial experience through physical interaction. 
The project stands at the intersection of sound, architecture, sculpture, installation and perceptual art and its influences reflect this diverse blend of disciplines. It was inspired by various areas within sound art practice including spatial manipulation, kinetic sculpture and structural amplification. Works such as Bernhard Leitner’s Water Mirror (1997), Akio Suzuki’s Space in the Sun (1988) Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s Clinamen v.2 (2015), Nelo Akamatsu’s – Chijikinkutsu
(2013-2020) and Bernhard Leitner’s Space Sources (1997) were instrumental in the conception
and development of Foci. Aesthetically the project takes large influence from the Light and Space 
movement of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. This form of minimalism based on the west coast
of America focused on perceptual experience rather than conceptual thought. Foci takes its lead
 from this, altering the perception of space through two minimal sculptural forms, directing focus 
towards the perception of the spatial qualities of the auditory experience.
”

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?


“I have loved being a part of the DMSA cohort, surrounded by exceptional levels of creativity from 
other students and true experts in their fields in the lecturers, I have always felt inspired and
 pushed to create innovative and original work. Also being here has allowed me to widen the 
scope of my practice, with optional units in the architecture school and interaction with the visual
arts and media schools. My time at The University of Brighton has instilled me with a depth and 
breadth of knowledge and allowed me to establish a multifaceted sound art practice.
”

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Digital Music and Sound Arts?

“
I actually came to the course at a transition in my own creative practice. I had completed a
 foundation degree in creative music production, unable to complete a BA top up. The Digital
 Music and Sound Arts course seemed to fit with where I found myself but offered a route into
 developing skills in Art practice. The scope of the course was so wide and allowed the chance to
g ain a firm basis in sound art theory that isn’t matched in many places. The syllabus enabled a 
development in me, to experiment and incorporate a variety of other disciplines and expand what
 I could do creatively.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“
I will remain in Brighton as it is a beautiful, creative, exciting city. I plan on exhibiting Foci again for
the general public to experience in person, potentially creating another version for the Brighton
Sound Art Festival that will be coming to the city. Also I am working on a commission with the 
Brighton CCA to create a piece to accompany Nika Neelova’s exhibition SILT in the coming 
months. 
Filmed submission – talking about the work or experience of producing work in lockdown.
Working through lockdown mainly meant having to think creatively about how to realise the
concept of the project. The biggest change was to not construct any of the main elements or have
 them custom made, it all had to be created with commercially available items that were modified
 for their new purpose. A giant fire pit was suspended and a mirrored mixing bowl was used for 
this project in the end, sonically creating interesting variations.


Website: thsoundart.co.uk


Foci development blog


Instagram: @th.soundart

Find out about studying Digital Music and Sound Arts BA(Hons).

DMSA 2021 Online Degree Show // 25 June – 16 July

 

Our DMSA online degree show 2021 launches Friday 25th June

Featuring:

Alex Aiano // Alex Lewis-Whitaker // Ike Goldman // Jack James // Jade Gunner // James Mannay // Jared Swift // Jezebel Halewood-Leagas // Joe Gilling // Matthew Sarre // Toby Hinks

 

One may have thought that the stretch of enforced isolation may have played into the hands of sound workers, toiling away in their bedrooms. These unusual circumstances in fact changed the perspective of many emerging artists from this year’s cohort, causing them to reconsider their practice, be highly resilient, and be adaptable to all situations.

Looking out on a damaged world though steamy windows and computer screens brought up some of the most topical, conversational, and exciting spurts of creativity which inspired the final degree pieces this year. Works explore personal identity, personal ethics, environment, the spaces we inhabit, and our sense of community. Many of these issues dominated conversations – accurately and artistically reflecting on a time of loss but also change.

This event is curated by the BA Digital Music and Sound Arts students

https://exhibitions.brighton.ac.uk/courses/som-digital-music/

#dmsashow2021

@dmsagram

Q&A with 2nd year student Hal on studying Digital Music & Sound Arts.

Hi Hal, What made you choose Brighton and this course?  

Before choosing to study Digital Music and Sound Arts at Brighton I was studying Contemporary Performance in Glasgow. Near the end of my first year, I decided the course wasn’t for me, and I’d prefer to focus on music. I knew I still wanted to do a degree, but the challenge would be deciding which one – after all, there are probably hundreds of music courses in the UK! Fortunately, I was able to narrow it down, as I knew I wanted to study on an unconventional course that would bring out my experimental side. I searched the internet for experimental music courses, and this one at Brighton came up. In fact, it was one of the only courses that seemed to fit the bill. After reading the course website, it didn’t take me long to decide that this was the right course for me. I had never been to Brighton, but I’d heard good things, so I applied for the course through clearing and was offered a place after a telephone interview.

Can you tell us a bit more about the course? How would you describe it to a new student? 

The DMSA course is unique! It is very practical, with plenty of creative tasks to keep us busy and develop our production skills, but it also has a theoretical side which I find fascinating. We learn about the history of experimental music and sound art, including various significant approaches from the 20th Century that inspire the pieces we make. The studio facilities at uni are top notch, with multiple studios available, featuring high quality speakers, modular synths and other exciting instruments, and lots of software that would be way out of my price range. The technicians are lovely and always happy to help.

It’s been great working alongside my course-mates, who have very varied skillsets, and I feel I’ve learned as much from them as I have from my tutors, not to mention the connections I’ve made that I hope will last a lifetime. The course is also very open, giving us a broad range within the set tasks to make works that excite us, and utilise our personal skills. Studying from home hasn’t been easy, but our tutors have been understanding and helpful at every turn.

Tell us a bit about the teaching staff

My year head, Stephen Mallinder, has been a real joy to be taught by! Not only is he a prominent musician in his own right (having been a founding member of Cabaret Voltaire) but he is also a genuinely lovely chap, always eager to talk to us and help out with any issues we have. His teaching style is down to earth, humorous and well-informed, and I feel privileged to have him as a future contact and mentor.

Do you have the opportunity to go on placement or any other external learning opportunities? 

The course has professional practice modules, designed to prepare us with the skills for success in the real world. We’re currently working on a Film Music module, in which we are encouraged to treat each task as if it was for a real film company or director. The head tutor on this module has worked a lot in film and shares his experiences and knowledge with us to prepare us for this sort of work. I don’t know whether I’ll go into making music for film, but I feel confident that if I do, I’ll have the knowledge and ability to succeed.

Is the University of Brighton a supportive place to study?  

In first year, I was having a difficult time with my mental health, so I sought out some counselling through the uni. Luckily for me they offer a free counselling service, and I had six sessions with a counsellor. She talked to me about what I was going through, and even when lockdown happened, we were able to continue the sessions over Microsoft Teams. When I had completed all six sessions, she sent me links and advice on where to go next, should I decide I needed to continue my therapy.

How is student life and what’s Brighton like?

Brighton is a great city. Before the lockdowns there were loads of gigs, club nights and events to attend, and meeting people was easy as there are so many friendly people in this very liberal city. Thankfully, the nature around Brighton is also lovely, so even in lockdown I was able to take walks and explore the beach and the forests. I particularly recommend any new students to check out the forest at Wild Park – it’s so close to town and it’s a great place for a walk with friends or on your own to get away from the bustling city for a while.

What are your plans after finishing your course?  

After finishing my course, I am currently planning to live in Berlin for a while, making music and living life to the full. Then, if I end up coming back to the UK, I imagine I’ll move back to my hometown of Bristol to try to make a living through music and theatre. I know my career path is a risky one, as there are many artists who never make a living through their work, but I hope with the skills and contacts I have made studying at Brighton, I will achieve my goals. Studying at university has definitely helped me be more outgoing and confident. I have gone from being a wallflower to a conversation starter, and I’m sure the friends I’ve made here will be with me for life.