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

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 


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).


Monday 9th December 2019, 8pm
KOMEDIA, Brighton | MAP
FB Event Page


DMSA:Debutants is a showcase of live music performed by students from the Digital Music and Sound Arts course at the University of Brighton.

An event that will encompass a wide range of different sonic and visual material, with live acoustic and electronic music – DMSA:Debutants is a celebration of sound without the constraints of genre.

£3 OTD

Experimental Music
Live Performance
DJ Sets
Acoustic Sets
Noise Music
Ambient Music
Techno Music

Meller & Jared Swift
Ike Goldman
Hippo Island
Cyphon & OBZERV

Patrick Mckeever Crowcroft
Jack James
Finley Mist

Professional Practice Masterclass: Fraser Owen

Monday 18 November, 5.30pm
Performance Studio, GP

We are happy to have Fraser Owen, one of our current students presesenting on our next masterclass. Fraser, under his alias Vince Vanity, has been producing cutting edge electronic music combined with drag performance and visuals.

For this masterclass Fraser will guide us through his experience combining these mediums, performing as a queer artist, and developing artistic identity.

Follow Fraser on instagram:

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 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.

ID Spectral Live (003)

We are proud to announce the third event for ID Spectral – a record label and creative agency that promotes both up and coming and established artists as part of a new creative network.

The imprint, setup in June 2017, has since signed tracks from artists including Aphex-twin approved Ability II, Hyperdub’s Loraine James, Yaporigami, Anji Cheung and more.

At IDS Live, attendees will have the opportunity meet the staff behind the agency, learn more about the project; from its partners, the official distribution contract, IDS radio and future plans, as well as to experience three live performances from the label’s artists, including performances by current students and alumni.

Label presentation : 5:00-5:30pm

Live sets / [all visuals provided by]

RF WN (5:30 – 6:20pm)
Tarek El Goraicy (6:30 – 7:20pm)
Cyphon (7:20-8:30)

The event is scheduled for Wednesday 25th of September at 5.30pm at the University of Brighton Grand Parade campus (performance studio).

Entry : £3 online (tickets –
£5 on the door
DMSA Students: Free (Proof of Student ID)

Facebook Event:

DMSA Feature: Amanda Brooks

Before the official launch of our Master’s programme and a much needed holiday break we talk to our recent graduate Amanda Brooks who presented a very ambitious experiment in immersive and 3D sound titled ‘SINKHOLE’. We hope to be able to present Amanda’s project again in the coming year! Stay Tuned and read below to learn more about her.

DMSA: Three important words that represent you as a creative person

AB:Progressive, Classical, Spooky

DMSA: When did you start working with sound and music?

AB: Live bands since 1984, sound phenomena since 2009 after my guitarist/sound guy had a stroke and there was no-one else who wanted to engineer the bands sound. I took the job on.

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

AB: The DMSA course has inspired me to compose differently, it has helped me to develop technically which is one huge reason why I applied for the DMSA B.A and to understand the concept of sound art on a deeper level.

DMSA: Can you tell us a bit more about ‘SINKHOLE’, the piece you presented in our degree show this year?

AB: My final degree project ‘Sinkhole’ is about travelling sound lines, vertically, horizontally, and diagonally engulfing and surrounding the listener on a large scale (5 meters high sound cylinder) Inspired by Austrian architect and sound artist Bernhard Leitner. The concept derives from modern life as a human being where everything seems to be a race against time. ‘Sinkhole’ represents standing in a insurmountable sink under a giant tap where the listener hears pipes creaking and swelling, then the inevitable ‘water’ comes as sound, crashing vertically onto and around the listener. It is sonically big as well.

DMSA:You have been performing in quite a lot of bands. Any gigs coming up?

AB: I don’t have any gigs right now as I ‘walked’ from my two bands, ‘Undercover Agents’ and 20+ year old ‘Soul x Press’, I felt stuck and stagnated. Personally, from time to time, I do feel the need to maintain my place in the ‘un-comfort zone’ so I started a new project ‘Ditch the Demon’ where the music and band members are a little more ambitious.

DMSA: Other plans for the future? projects, events, visions?

AB: The future: I have applied for the DMSA M.A. which I am very excited about, I feel I need to continue my journey into all the aspects of sound phenomena in the field of sound art and design. I have a vision to gig, compose, freelance as a sound artist/designer and a session vocalist. I may even become an acoustician as well and sort out some live music venues !!