DMSA Feature: Joe Gilling

Joe Gilling graduated in 2021 with a Final Research Essay ‘Haunted by Glitch: Technological Malfunction – Critiquing the Media of Innovation‘ that was selected for publication as part of the ARTECH 2021, and a Final Project ‘Spectres of the New Realm‘ that explored the nostalgic relationship with analogue sound and image through digital glitch aesthetics, projected onto a large screen set inside a spatial 6.1 speaker array.

We talk to Joe this month about where his career took him since graduating.

Three words that describe you as a creative person?

JG: Indecisive, Abstract, Conceptual


When did you start working with sound and music?

JG: I learnt the guitar from an early age and in my teenage years began to explore the world of digital composition and sampling. I found this kind of creativity more fulfilling and intuitive – you don’t need to be a professional at any instrument to be able to produce interesting sounds on a digital interface. The endless opportunities of digital music creation were exciting to me over the restrictiveness of a single instrument. However, I do feel my early years of performing an instrument informed my musical theory knowledge and ear for tonality which helped me later on.


In what ways has the DMSA course supported or helped you to develop into who you are today creatively and professionally?

JG: The course opened up avenues for deep thinking and creative musical composition outside of any traditional sense. DMSA showed me the ways artists had used and continue to use sound in forms I could never have imagined. The course pushed me out of my comfort zone on numerous occasions to take my work in audio to the very edge, which isn’t always enjoyable at the time, but I am endlessly grateful for it, making me a more critical thinker and adventurous person creatively today. I learnt so much about different concepts and ways of thinking about sound arts which have assisted me within my career now.


What are your plans for the near future? 

JG: Since graduating from the course, I acquired a role in the sound design industry and now manage over 90 independent labels producing sample packs for a music technology company. I love the work I do, getting hands-on with audio every day and working with some of the top producers and labels from around the world. In the coming months, I’m looking to launch my own sound design brand called Rewind Samples (@rewindsamples), representing some of the most talented producers from the underground UK bass music scene.


Can you tell us a few words about your experience of navigating life after university?

JG: Whilst it was extremely daunting to finish on the high of 3 years of inspiring learning and creativity, the reality that the time has come to venture out into exploring the market and finding a job which will be fulfilling and continue to support personal musical interests is a tough one (especially as the world is just recovering from a pandemic). I found that however bleak and difficult the industry may look from the outside to enter, if you show enough passion and excitement for it, even if you may be underqualified for certain roles, many will be willing to give you a shot to prove yourself.