|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.
University of Brighton Research Week Nov 16-20
Paul Sermon: Hang the VJ
Date: Thursday 19th November
Time: 11:00 – 12:00
Where: Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Team Group Join Code: 0vun4f6
Staff and students welcome.
OPEN CALL FOR the FIELD KITCHEN ACADEMY Educational Residency at WÜSTEN BUCHHOLZ, near BERLIN, GERMANY
15 August – 9 September 2020
APPLICATION DEADLINE for SCHOLARSHIP and PARTICIPATION: 22 June 2020, 23:59
Open call for an educational residency with:
BILL FONTANA (composer and video artist),
HANS PETER KUHN (sound and visual artist),
SEBASTIAN MULLAERT a.k.a MINILOGUE (producer and DJ),
OVE HOLMQVIST (sound artist),
HANS ROSENSTRÖM (sound artist),
STEFFI WEISMANN (sound artist),
JI WOO & SUN WOO (Zen masters) and
PROF. DR. URSULA KOCH (Neurophysiologist)
Chef in Residence: EMRAH TAŞ
Selection committee: Peter Cusack, Ali M. Demirel, Juliana Hodkinson, Mario Asef and Ece Pazarbaşı.
The FIELD KITCHEN ACADEMY is an interdisciplinary educational residency programme that gathers artists/ creative minds, a resident chef and prominent experts from different fields together around a kitchen table through mind-opening acts and actions.
On its second edition, a total of 11 interdisciplinary residents will be selected to join the upcoming FIELD KITCHEN ACADEMY in its three modules. Curated by Ece Pazarbaşı, this year, under the title of THE CURIOUS LOOP, we will use the notion of loops-in-sound as a gateway to other concepts of repetition, offering a variety of individual and collective experiences. Loops represent a time that is suspended, which is a compressed source of the past, present and the future. The loop also oscillates between the known and the unknown; as for the viewer and listener it could unfold to a future of known (as it repeats the same material over and over again), but also it may relate to an unknown (as surprises are always welcome), and one never knows if the loop will be broken with an unknown sound or visual component – no matter how well defined and repeated the loop has developed in the past. If one cannot step into the same river twice, and if one opens to perception with all senses, what differences can we find in each loop?
Composed of three intertwined modules that allow for different durations in the residency, the program is open to application from all disciplines and all walks of life. The selected residents will have the opportunity of pursuing processes of experimentation, discussion, trial and error, the progression of knowledge, and know-how in working sessions during the first 3 weeks. The last half week will be the ‘simmering’ period where the residents are expected to do NOTHING but only LISTENING.
** The outcome of the Field Kitchen Academy’s three working sessions will be presented as part of The Curious Loop Public Program. The Public Program is partially supported by Musikfonds and Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.
Location: GUTSHAUS WÜSTEN-BUCHHOLZ, Perleberg, Germany / app. 2 hrs. away from Berlin. Selected participants will be announced by 6 July 2020.
For more information on the modules, the team, and application:
“The show is a celebration of this year’s graduates’ ideas, creativity and originality – as all graduate shows are, but this year it is also a celebration of their resilience, their tenacity and determination to keep going…’
Well done to all the DMSA 2020 graduates!
Watch Simon McBurney’s binaural theatre piece ‘The Encounter’ here until Friday 22nd May.
Showreel of DMSA students’ Sound Art works (2003-2019) as curated by Dr Kersten Glandien
with Graeme Miller
16:30-18.00pm Edward Street, Room 309 – 3rd Floor
Artist Graeme Miller looks at a trajectory of works that are linked by their unsolicited nature from night-walks across Birmingham to bell-ringing in Paris and onto his most recent voyage across Europe on an improvised rail dolly, Wild Car.
Miller’s international work spans film-making, sonic composition, installation, and performance, but common strands emerge about place and presence, witnessing and situation.
For more info on Graeme Miller see:
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.