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: 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 


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 
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.


Foci development blog

Instagram: @th.soundart

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

The Space in Sound (online symposium)

Join the Lighthouse for The Space in Sound symposium: two days of online talks exploring the ways sound can occupy space with Haroon Mirza, Kersten Glandien, Aneil Karia, Paul Davies, and Lucy Harrison. Held on 17-18 September online.
The Space in Sound (Online Symposium)
17 September 2020, 6-7.30pm (BST)
18 September 2020, 5-7.45pm (BST)
Two-day ticket: £10/£6 concessions
Online via Zoom
Two days of talks exploring ways sound can occupy space.
Highlights include:
  • Paul Davies, sound designer of We Need to Talk About KevinHunger, and You Were Never Really Here, discussing his cinematic soundtracks with up-and-coming director and collaborator Aneil Karia (Surge, 2020 – starring Ben Whishaw).
  • Haroon Mirza, Venice Biennial’s ‘Most Promising Artist’, talking about sound understood as electrical signals and exploring the musical dimensions of ritual and celebration.
  • Composer Dr Lucy Harrison and curator/author Dr Kersten Glandien discussing their findings in Sound Art and Sound Design fields and how those relate to Filmic and Architectural spaces.

The Space in Sound – Lighthouse 25th March

Lighthouse presents The Space in Sound: a day of talks and an evening performance exploring ways sound can occupy space.

This will take place at The Old Market on 25th March 2020.

They’ve offered us a discounted group price of 10 tickets for the price of 9. If we do a group booking this would mean we could get tickets for the symposium and the evening performances for £22.50 per person.

Please get in touch with me if you’re interested in taking advantage of this discount.

A day of talks and an evening performance exploring ways sound can occupy space

AUDINT UNSOUND: UNDEAD 23rd Jan 2020 @ Fabrica, Brighton – BOOK NOW (free to DMSA students)

Don’t miss out: Free to All DMSA Students!

(Non-DMSA Tickets: Workshop £8/5 concs. Evening £8/5 concs. Combined ticket: £12/8 concs.)

A daytime workshop with evening performances from the sonic arts group AUDINT and their affiliates.

AUDINT is a London-based art collective operating across the fields of sound, performance, theory/fiction, film and installation. Following recent exhibitions and performances at Spike Island and Tate Britain, this event opens a window into the themes explored in their recent Book UNSOUND: UNDEAD. Working at the intersection between the latest sonic theory and practice, AUDINT push contemporary sonic making and thinking into new realms, between the real and the fictional, the living and the dead.

This workshop and live event extend the collective’s research with performances and presentations from AUDINT members and collaborators, including Eleni Ikon, Agnès Gayraud, Jenna Sutela, and Anne Duffau (TBC)

Afternoon seminar // 2-4pm // SPECIFIC DISSONANCES
Eleni Ikoniadou, Al Cameron and Caleb Madden will explore the perceptual and cultural peripheries of the sonic in a seminar based around contributions to the recent AUDINT – UNSOUND: UNDEAD book.

For the past ten years the group has been researching the periphery of sonic perception (unsound) and its potential to activate a continual intersection between fiction and fact, pressuring thought to become something other than what it has been. The group’s recent volume Unsound: Undead collates 64 new essays to probe how unsound serves to activate the undead. Contributors from a variety of disciplines chart these warped zones, mapping out a zigzagging timeline stretching from the 8th century BC (the song of the Sirens), to 2013 (acoustic levitation), and speculatively extending into 2057 (the emergence of holographic and holosonic phenomena).

Evening event // 7:30-11:30PM // UNSOUND: UNDEAD * brief descriptor for each act to follow.
A series of live performance:
Eleni Ikoniadou and Caro: The Lament – (voice and live electronics)
Agnes Gayraud – (voice and glossolalia piece)
Jenna Sutela, and Anne Duffau



Eleni Ikoniadou is a member of AUDINT and Senior Tutor in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. Her research is situated at the intersection between computational culture, theory-fiction and audiovisual practice. Her latest monograph is The Rhythmic Event: Art, Media, and the Sonic (MIT Press, 2014). She is co-editor of the Media Philosophy… Read more »

For as long as recording and communications technologies have existed, the potential of the vibrational continuum that connects sound to infrasound, ultrasound and other inaudible frequencies has been evoked to access anomalous zones of transmission between the realms of the living and the dead. For the past ten years the AUDINT group has been researching…


Professional Practice Masterclass: AJA

Monday 21st September
5.30-7pm, Performance Studio

We are happy to have AJA with us to deliver a mastericlass-workshop to our students.
AJA has taught across the UK and Europe at such institutions as for Ableton, Huddersfield University, Loughborough University, Confetti Music Institue, Fine Arts Institue (Vienna) and Teatro do Bolhão (Portugal) and have over 10 years experience in performing and writing music. AJA also has experience in teaching LGBTQ+ and female/non-binary focused workshops such as The End of Gender, Sounds Queer? and ITOUS.

About the masterclass/workshop

The workshop will be around how to make field recordings and create a wide range of different sounds and textures by only using simple, built in Ableton Plugins. Participants will learn to build ambient/drone/noise textures, experiment and discovering new sounds as a group through live demonstration. The workshop will also include:

Open discussions about safe spaces
Listening meditation
Ableton Demonstration
Unique Sample Packs created for participants to take away for free
Live soundscape/track created
Archive of costumes from LU LA LOOP and discussions in visuals and illustration and creating your own merch.

Professional Practice Masterclass: Anna Celeste Edmonds

Monday 14th of October, 5.30pm-7pm
Performance Studio, GP

We are excited to have Anna Celeste Edmonds with us to learn more about her site-specific practice and research merging sound, heritage sites and new media technologies. Anna is currently pursuing PhD research supervised by Dr Papadomanolaki, Dr Behrendt and Dr Winter.

About the masterclass

‘Songs of the Sea’ – A masterclass on audio as a tool for exploration and engagement in heritage

This masterclass will involve discussions around audio as a tool for exploring and engaging with heritage; drawing on past work as well as a recent site-specific project titled ‘Songs of the Sea’, located at Brunswick Square in Hove. The processes of assembling different kinds of audio content for an outdoor public engagement setting will be examined, looking specifically at local composer Roger Quilter and her interpretations of his piece ‘The Sea-Bird’.

About Anna

Anna Celeste Edmonds is a sound artist and SEAHA-CDT doctoral student at the University of Brighton, exploring the areas of field recording, composition and voice in a heritage context. Her passion for landscapes and monuments has been present throughout her field and compositional work; researching different perspectives on audio capture and listener engagement. Previous work took the form of site specific and performative projects, with her current research moving towards locative immersive audio in outdoor heritage settings.

Linked In:
Twitter: @annacedmonds

Professional Practice Masterclasses 2019/20

As the new academic year kicks in, we have prepared a series of masterclasses for our existing and new students both for our BA and MA courses. As with previous years we will focus to showcase various strands of professional practices and carreer pathways from within our BA, MA and PhD student & staff community and beyond. This year we are happy to have a wide range of topics ranging from Artist Identity Development, Sounds Queer? experimental music production, Heritage Sites and sound art, music and mental health, freelancing work, cross-dressing and sound arts, composing for film and video games as well as, radio plays and music production projects.

Professional Practice Masterclasses are supported by Creative Sound & Music, University of Brighton.

Songs Of The Sea

Songs of the Sea

Anna Celeste Edmonds and her immersive audio work in Brunswick Square
The Regency Town House,
13 Brunswick Square, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 1EH

Dr Papadomanolaki’s current PhD tutee, sound artist and field recordist Anna Celeste Edmonds will be stationed at The Regency Town House to discuss her doctoral work on heritage engagement through immersive audio, as well as her recent project involving three interpretations of local composer Roger Quilter’s ‘The Sea-Bird’, using the geo-locative mobile audio application ‘Echoes’.

Come along for a chat, or an opportunity to test the ‘Songs of the Sea’ audio experience in Brunswick Square, Hove.

Opening Times

Saturday 21 September: 12:00-13:00 and 14:00-15:00

Booking Details

Pre-booking: Required
Go to:
Booking opens: 12 August 2019 12:00
Booking closes: 20 September 2019 16:00

Additional Information

Max 10 people per tour/session. 60 minutes

Environment, Sound and Engagement: Workshop with David Velez (Sonic Field, Impulsive Habitat)

26/09/2019 1.30-6.30pm
Performance Studio (Room 225)
University of Brighton
Grand Parade Campus

We are very happy to have Colombian Sound Artist and researcher David Velez. David is the co-initiator of the very successful online resource Sonic Field and owner of the online imprint Impulsive Habitat. David is currently based in Huddersfield conducting PhD research. David’s body of work includes numerous releases, installations, sculptures, performances and community engagement workshops, encompassing sound as a textural, social, embodied and political material.

David has designed a workshop to coincide with our welcome week. The workshop is open to all students. The workshop primarily focuses on collaborative work and low tech and DIY techniques in Public Space Sound Art Performance, and also in the familiarisation with the sound phenomena through graphic means. This workshop is perfect for people who are not necessarily familiar or engaged with the aesthetic sound practice
and aims to create a bonding experience with key aspects of this line of work.

More specifically, Public spaces and can work as blank canvases for collaborative Sound Art performances where low tech elements and basic objects can be of great use. The immersive and expansive nature of sound phenomena are key factors in the way we experience our surroundings and visualizing it could help to have a better understanding of its physical and emotional characteristics.

The students will be exploring the above themes through different methodologies including:

– Sine Wave Flash Mob
Using mobile phones and tone generating apps, the participants will intervene the library by quietly projecting sine waves and moving around the building. This performance aims to question the boundaries of what is perceived as silence and as disturbance, and exploring the spatial possibilities of working with independent and portable acoustic sources.The performance is set for 15 minutes.

-Drawing Field Recordings
The workshop participants will draw a sequence of sound waves in a paper roll using a charcoal pen and a stencil based on the intensity of sound stimuli.

Initially the group records the sounds of passing cars near the university, and the doppler effect they produce will be used as cues for drawing. The blindfolded participant listens to the sound of passing cars on headphones and responds to its intensity drawing zigzag patterns with the help of a guiding stencil. The zigzag movements are more dramatic when the car approaches the subject and more subtle when disappears. The paper roll rotate with a simple mechanism similar to a cassette or reel to reel tape. The participant will also be fully isolated from any visual stimuli in order to focus his attention on sounds and on his tactile interaction with the pencil. This session aims to analyze the acoustic perception of movement
and intensity in an acousmatic context and in isolation conditions.

-The Environment is the Performer

The participants will outline a basic structure to be performed by a group of collaborators to be recruited in campus. The collaborators will perform by rubbing two sheets of sandpaper in circles and increasing and decreasing the speed depending on the cue. The subtle sound product of the sandpaper friction builds up when performed by a group and becomes louder and louder as the piece progresses until it disappears.

This three minute performance looks to strengthen the empathy and convening power of the group and their ability to engage others in the discourse and practice of Public Space Sonic Art performance.

The workshop will run from 1.30pm – 6.30pm in the Performance Studio (Room 225).

Places are limited. Please contact to reserve a place.