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The University of Southampton
MusicPart of Humanities

Research Group: Composition and Music Technology

Currently Active: 

Our composers work in a wide range of fields, including instrumental and vocal works; musical theatre; electronic dance music; soundscape composition; music for community groups; and music for television and film.

Working across commercial and experimental settings, they write concert pieces for chamber groups and orchestras; music for video games; operas and theatrical works; music for new media contexts; and create installation-based work. In music technology, our staff are involved in digital composition; audio mixing and processing; motion capture; interactive music systems; and AI and machine learning-based tools for music production.

Links between composition and performance are particularly strong: in addition to working with student performers in performance projects featuring new works, Southampton staff and postgraduates play key roles in new music groups such as Workers Union Ensemble and Plus Minus Ensemble.

Some recent highlights include:

  • Drew Crawford’s recent commercial commissions include the launches of the BMW 5 Series in Singapore (2017) and the Porsche Experience Centre in Shanghai (2018). He also produced Brazilian guitarist Luis Reys’ fusion album The Enjoyner (2019) and composed the acid-funk theme music for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Learn A Word series (2020). His explorations of spatialised music continue as his large ensemble work Waves of… (2019) is repurposed for virtual reality platforms in collaboration with colleagues at the Winchester School of Art.
  • Brona Martin is currently working with Tom Irvine on an Alan Turing Institute supported research project, "Jazz as Social Machine", which explores the intersection between Artificial Intelligence and Jazz improvisation. In 2020, Brona explored 3D Virtual Platforms during a 3-month residency at École Supérieure d’Art, Aix-en-Provence in France, developing a virtual interactive soundscape environment. With funding from Arts Council England, she is currently working on a commission for a new electroacoustic piece exploring the sounds of Swedish folk instrument the Nyckelharpa.
  • In 2019 Benjamin Oliver’s solo theorbo work Extending from the inside (2014) was played around the world by Elizabeth Kenny and featured on her Linn release Ars Longa: old and new music for theorbo. Upcoming projects include a new large-scale theatre piece for Ensemble Paramirabo, Pythagoras’ Toolkit, for puppeteers and ensemble developed in collaboration with theatre director Rachel Warr.
  • Richard Polfreman’s recent projects include Capturing the Contemporary Conductor (2017-19) involving high-quality audio visual recording and motion capture of conducting for an open dataset, and Moving Music (2020) an interactive conducting exhibit providing a citizen approach where participants learn more about conducting movements while contributing their motion data for computational analysis.
  • Matthew Shlomowitz's Glücklich, Glücklich, Freude, Freude for keyboards and orchestra was premiered at the 2019 Donaueschingen Musiktage, and Graveyard Slot (with guest appearance) by Ensemble Nikel at the 2019 Bludenzer tage zeitgemäßer. In 2018, asamisimasa released a CD of his work on the All That Dust label.
List of related projects to Composition and Music Technology
Related ProjectsStatus
Jazz as Social MachineActive
Capturing the Contemporary ConductorActive
Compositions for cochlear implanteesDormant
The Trembling LineDormant
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