Music for solo violin with Neurogranular Sampler

John Matthias and Daniel Smith

Performance during the Leonardo 50th Anniversary Meal at the Eden Project.

John Matthias and Daniel Smith will perform a short set of music for solo violin with Neurogranular Sampler, a software instrument designed by John Matthias and Jane Grant at Plymouth University with Kin Design (London) which samples the sound the violin makes and re-triggers fragments of audio when any one of a network of spiking neurons fires. They will perform tracks from John Matthias’ album ‘Geisterfahrer‘ and John Matthias and Nick Ryan’s album, ‘Cortical Songs

John Matthias is a musician and composer who has released five albums via Accidental, Ninja Tune, Nonclassical and Village Green. He has collaborated with many artists including Radiohead and Coldcut and has had his music remixed by many artists including Thom Yorke, Matthew Herbert and Prince Jammy. In 2008 he won the UK PRS Foundation New Music Award (The ‘Turner Prize’ for music) with Jane Grant and Nick Ryan for the development of a huge sonic installation based on a mathematical model of the human cerebral cortex entitled ‘The Fragmented Orchestra’. He has contributed music to several feature films including ‘The Hamburg Cell’ (Edinburgh International Film Festival), ‘Three degrees colder (Locarno Film Festival), ‘The Domino Effect’ (Netherlands Film Festival), ‘Pelican Blood’ (Edinburgh International Film Festival) and ‘Poorboy’ (Tribeca Film Festival), written scores for short films ‘Out of Time’ (Cannes straight-8 2009) and ‘Henry Cowell’ (Rushes Soho shorts festival) and theme music for the BBC TV drama ‘The Village’ (2013). He has a Ph.D in Theoretical Physics from Exeter University, UK and is Associate Professor in Sonic Arts at Plymouth University.

Waters of the Past: Walking with the Ancients

Tracey Benson ( bytetime, Australia) and Josiah Jordan

Keywords: identity, place, genealogy, migration, journeying, culture, environment, intangible knowledge, tangible knowledge, ritual, performance


My proposed works are both collaborative. I am currently working with software designer Josiah Jordan to develop a sound element to both works which uses my DNA to create notes which are aurally expressed using ancient Celtic and Viking instrumentation.

Virtual Exhibition

My online contribution will take the form of an interactive map which enables participants to add their stories of place, overlaying my initial genealogical narrative which is composed from some of my family history.

The project is an expansion of another project that I am focusing on titled “Changing Tides: Waters of the Past”. This project is the latest chapter in an ongoing project about the connections between water, humanity and culture – Words for Water initiated in 2013.

The map will have place markers with images and sounds that connect to the Buskerud, the region where I will be doing some research into my Norwegian family line.

Physical exhibition

As with the virtual aspect of the exhibition, I see the work expanding on another project that I am focusing on titled “Changing Tides: Waters of the Past”. This project is the latest chapter in an ongoing project about the connections between water, humanity and culture – Words for Water initiated in 2013.

For the work at BunB, I will be collaborating with software designer Josiah Jordan, who will be creating a soundtrack that is formed from the patterning in my DNA. This music is a reflection of ancestral ties and the composition combines Celtic and Viking instrumentation.

I am currently developing “Changing Tides: Waters of the Past” at Drammen Kommune as an artist in residence. I will be in Norway for 3 months in Norway developing this project. My plan is to build a visual knowledge and language base from a range of media including DNA, photography, video and augmented reality. During my time in Norway, I will be building my knowledge of the region, with a focus on the countryside around Oslo, Drammen and Hurum (where I have ancestral connections).

As an artist ideas of place, identity and environment have been ongoing themes in my work as well as the notion of journeying. I would be interested in using the material gathered to also develop an augmented reality artwork that would virtually remain in Plymouth.

While in Iceland and the Faroes in 2016, I started to learn more about early language and the Runic symbols and alphabet. This interest is slightly disconnected from my main focus of water and water stories but has links to my interest in culture and storytelling. At SCANZ Te Mahia, I have expanded this work, collaborating with a Maori artist to create runes from found objects and then ‘offering’ them back to the sea.

My intention is to explore the iconography of the sea and natural environment as a juxtaposition to the runic symbols and sound elements created from my DNA. For me, these different elements represent a culture and language lost as well as a ‘proxy’ for ancestral links to the old country. I see the reinvigoration of these symbols very powerful in regards to constructing a narrative about place, history and belonging as well as offering a link between culture and environment at an experiential level.



Leah Barclay (Griffith University, Australia)

Keywords: acoustic ecology, hydrophones, aquatic bioacoustics, electroacoustics


Hydrology is 32-channel 3D sound environment exploring the aquatic ecosystems that cover over 70% of Earth’s surface. The sounds have been recorded using hydrophones (underwater microphones) in freshwater and marine ecosystems across the world ranging from coastal reefs in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico to melting ice in the Kvina river in Norway. The work explores the scientific possibilities of aquatic ecoacoustics with recordings including snapping shrimp, aquatic insects, river dolphins and Humpback whales, which can all be indicators of ecosystem health. Hydrology explores the diverse sonic properties of water and reveals the acoustic ecologies beneath the surface of oceans, lakes and rivers across the planet.

Author Biography

Dr. Leah Barclay is an Australian composer, sound artist and creative producer working at the intersection of art, science and technology. Her work has been commissioned, performed and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Europe, India, South Africa, China and Korea. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and has directed and curated intercultural projects across the Asia-Pacific. She creates complex sonic environments and transmedia experiences that draw attention to social issues including climate change. These works are realised through immersive performances and multi-sensory installations drawing on environmental field recordings, data sonification, multi-channel sound diffusion, live performers and ephemeral projections. Her work is multi-platform in nature and often involves rich community engagement programs and accessible virtual outcomes embedded in each project. Barclay’s PhD involved site-specific projects across the globe and a feature length documentary exploring the value of creativity in environmental crisis. She is currently an artist in residence at the Australian Rivers Institute investigating the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics, the president of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology and the founder and artistic director of the UNESCO Biosphere Soundscapes project.

Dark Path #6


Anna Terzaroli (Conservatorio Santa Cecilia, Rome – Italy) 


This piece is a part of the “Dark Path” series, a collection of soundscape compositions using sounds recorded in a soundscape dear to the author. This electroacoustic music focuses on sound marks of a sonic landscape. It embodies a sense of history beyond itself. Beyond the analysis of the used recordings, there is a history that is personal. The piece aims to examine and explore the transformative possibilities of the computer music.


Dark Path #6 is an acousmatic piece of electroacoustic music. Acousmatic music hides the source of sound, creating better opportunities for concentration on the sound itself. Thus, it is possible to appreciate those characteristics and peculiarities of sound that often remain unheard.

Acousmatic music, which originates from Pythagoras, who would lecture his students from behind a screen on the grounds that they would be better able to focus on his words if they were not distracted by the sight of the person speaking, is a form of electroacoustic tape music.

t begins in the 1940s and 1950s in Paris, with Pierre Schaeffer and musique concrete, before the adoption of the term “acousmatic” by Francois Bayle in the 1970s (Marc Battier, “What the GRM Brought to Music: From Musique Concrete to Acousmatic Music.”, Organised Sound, 12(3), 2007). For Schaeffer, the sounds of the world become musical material: any sound that can be recorded, is then edited, treated, and manipulated, until a composition is crafted from these real-world materials.

While the emphasis in musique concrete was initially entirely on reduced listening and on sounds of the world freed from their sources and causes, over time it became increasingly clear that, in fact, it is nearly impossible for the human mind not to ascribe, even if only unconsciously, a string of causes and sources to the sounds we hear. Reduced listening is possible, but it requires constant, wilful, active effort on the part of the listener to deliberately ignore the possible sources of the sounds being heard; even then, the extent to which these sources are really be- ing completely ignored is debatable. (James Andean, “Sound and Narrative: Acousmatic composition as artistic research.”, Journal of Sonic Studies, vol. 7, 2014).

The soundscape composition is a form of electroacoustic music, developed at Simon Fraser University and elsewhere, characterized by the presence of recognizable environmental sounds and contexts, the purpose being to invoke the listener’s associations, memories, and imagination related to the soundscape.

At first, the simple exercise of ‘framing’ environmental sound by taking it out of context, where often it is ignored, and directing the listener’s attention to it in a publication or public presentation, meant that the compositional technique involved was minimal, involving only selection, transparent editing, and un- obtrusive cross-fading.

This ‘neutral’ use of the material established one end of the continuum occupied by soundscape compositions, namely those that are the closest to the original environment, or what might be called ‘found compositions.’

Other works use transformations of environmental sounds and here the full range of analog and digital studio techniques comes into play, with an inevitable increase in the level of abstraction. However, the intent is always to reveal a deeper level of signification inherent within the sound and to invoke the listener’s semantic associations without obliterating the sound’s recognizability (Barry Truax, “Soundscape, Acoustic Communication & Environmental Sound Composition.”, Contemporary Music Review, 15(1), 1996).

Author Biography

Anna Terzaroli holds a Master’s degree in Electronic Music under the supervision of Nicola Bernardini from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, where she is currently completing her Composition studies with Francesco Telli. As a composer she is dedicated to contemporary acoustic and electroacoustic music. Her musical works are selected and performed in many concerts and festivals in Italy and abroad while her research works in the field of Computer music and Electroacoustic Music are presented in international conferences. She is a member of the AIMI (Italian Computer Music Association) board.

Lamaload (2016)


Dr. Mark Pilkington (Thought Universe/The University of Manchester, UK)  :


‘Lamaload’ is an acousmatic composition addressing the acoustic ecology of a rural setting. The presence of the Lamaload dam in the Peak District National Park, UK offers the listener a unique sonic experience. Its concave structure and geographical location captures, resonates and reflects sounds of the surrounding area. This occurrence alters the ecological infrastructure revealing a constellation of audible narratives. The sound material of natural and found objects was recorded at various locations at the dam. A B-format ambisonic recording technique was used to retain the soundfield. The ambisonic recordings were de-coded in the studio into eight discrete audio channels to convey a spatial experience that physically and metaphorically relates to the specific environment. Sound carries information about space, place and location; these parameters form a sound-image elucidating the relation between subject and object. When one of the parameters is displaced, we are acquainted with the experience of space. Lamaload continuously moves between many spatial transitions in the sonic content eluding to an imaginary landscape. Composed at the NOVARS research centre the University of Manchester during composer-in-residency 2015/16.

Author Biography

Mark Pilkington is a freelance composer and performer of electroacoustic music. His practice encapsulates sound and image in electroacoustic music, installation and screen-based works. His work have been performed, exhibited and screened at international conferences and festivals ICMC, ARS Electronica, MANTIS festival and Open Circuit. Collaborative interdisciplinary work with composers and visual artist/s. As an educator he delivers workshops and presents lectures about EA composition at universities, colleges and schools.

Dialectic in suspense / Dialéctica en suspenso


Matías Lennie Bruno, Hernán Ordiales


“Dialectic in suspense” is a sound work about the conflicting relation between nature and human contradictory development. Natural spaces and ambient sounds mixed with human residual pollution, are combined with real time audio and data processing that shows both human and nature strategies to overcome the critical anthropocentric presence.

The work has three different movements bringing the people (public) the opportunity to enhance their environmental conscience and perspective about it.

The first is a sound landscape, takes original environments and natural sounds. These sounds, begin to be contaminated by human interventions, which are modeled as sound processes. Meanwhile, the noise generated by feedback (techniques of “no input”) starts to be heard, and during the second movement the sound level of the “no input” feedback surpass the natural landscape, arriving to the anthropocene concept.

In the last movement, both nature and the human are given strategies to overcome the present crisis. On one hand, information on relevant climatic factors is taken to model sound processes in real time. On the other hand, live performers play through chains of sound parallel processes proper of the human.


1) Landscape
Natural sounds are the first movement of this sound work. It’s the only concrete, non abstract movement. Sounds of nature should be recognizable and generate a wealthy, comfortable sensation in the public. The idea of an unpolluted, equilibrated, friendly world is a fiction that help us to show the antagonism and the contradiction with the human development.
2) Noise should arise by “no input” techniques. No input it will be use not just as a compositional technique but as a metaphor: sound made by residual noise of human made equipment. Residual, but “necessary”, part of the evolution of the industrial age.
Noise will increase, from silence to almost the only sound heard, when anthropocene stage come.
3) When anthropocene come as noise, both nature and human create strategies to overcome the situation. Strategies that could be convergent or not. Strategies that could be spontaneous or conscious. Strategies that imply the possibility of the human to continue in this planet or to face an unparalleled situation. Dialectic in suspense ends with this question about what to do and how we think and make another possible world with nature as our partner.

With noise as source, human strategies will be referenced with a live performer processing the sound with different effects chains. Using alternatives audio routes, noise will be process though delays, looper, ring modulator, differents distortions, filters, etc, with the idea of extract differents possibles futures, sounds of a new paradigm of life. Also, in parallel, sound is processed digitally using different live-coding techniques. A pre-analysis based on MIR (Music Information Retrieval) stored in a database is combined with real-time processing and synthesis, random processes and human control via external interfaces. Also historical climate data is used to model sound in real-time. To achieve that, a custom software was developed under a collaborative initiative (

Author Biographies

Lennie is part of argentinian music scene, performing in festivals and events.
He created RedPanal, a collaborative network music community, representing it at seminars, meetings, and national/international workshops, such as Medialab-Prado (Madrid), World Social Forum (Brazil), Webprendedor 2009 (Chile), ArtFutura2010 and numerous cities in Argentina. RedPanal is winning project of Buenos Aires Emprende 2008 program and has also been preselected in International Young Music Entrepreneurship, LaRedInnova and TechCrunch.
As sound artist he was part of several projects. He was the coordinator of Sonidos Mutantes, experimental sound lab at Casa Nacional del Bicentenario. As performer he was part of Rosales-Lennie-Romeo trio (2012 european tour at CMMR-London, MediaLab Prado-Madrid and GRM-Paris). Actually playing at Banda de Mutantes and solo projects.
Lennie also plays popular music at Los Muchachos Errantes (gypsy swing bang) and recorded with musicians as Liliana Herrero, el “Bahiano” (Los Pericos), Kevin Johansenn.
He studied Electronic Arts at the National University of Tres de Febrero.

Software engineer, musician and composer, born in 1981 in Madrid, España. In the last 10 years, Hernán have worked in many audio related software projects around the world. Both in real-time digital signal processing as physical controllers implementation, user interfaces and network protocols under distributed systems. He participated in projects of the Free Software community like CLAM (C++ Library for Audio and Music), RedPanal, Musix GNU+Linux, and other personal software hosted and published in github. He also worked developing this kind of software in commercial products from Argentina, Italy and Canada. As a musician, with a past as guitar player in many rock bands, he is actually playing and performing with Banda de Mutantes. He studied Software and Electronic Engineering at University of Buenos Aires and University of Palermo.