Monday, 13 July 2009


What the world has been waiting for - the videos of our performances from the LLEAPP workshop, at the Bongo Club, Edinburgh on the 21st May, 2009.

Perhaps people from each group could post a bit about their sets, and we can use the comments to chew over stuff.

Cavan Fyans, Dave Murray Rust, Adam Parkinson, Shiori Usui

Owen Green, Jules Rawlinson, Jamie Thompson

Jason Dixon, Lauren Hayes, Paul Keene, Justin Yang

Miguel Ortiz, Nick Williams, Sean Williams

Many thanks to Lauren and Edu for their work putting the videos together and online.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A bit about my work and interests - Paul Keene

I am a musician and researcher currently finishing an interdisciplinary PhD at The University of Edinburgh investigating patterns of physical (body-object) expressiveness and communication through Improvisational performance-- body-centred instantiation occurring in the locative, noetic moment of creativity. I look at non-verbal communication in gesture-- through analysis of vocal waveforms, applying conversational analysis to film of improvisatory performance and analysis of motion tracking data. I am looking at ways to facilitate a re-imagining of how we contextualise and interpret the results of this type of investigation. I am an advocate of a `syncretist' approach in multi-strand enquiry. One of the goals of this research is to find ways to apply the results toward creating a `more humane' approach to multimedia performance `augmented', `enhanced' or `mediated' by computing and electronic technology.

Kresch, one of the groups I perform in, with David Murray-Rust, works from an improvisatory stance. How this has worked so far has been an evolving experiment in interactivity and intersubjectivity. Dave has fed me sounds, in the moment, and I have worked with the material presented, not knowing what I had been given, both of us in mutual exploration going forward.

Another of the groups I perform with, The Dyad (Chris Ross - Kit, Ben Schögler - Bass), has used motion tracking technology with a nod to interactivity.

I also work with dance and film, improvising and composing in collaboration with various people. This clip, Test Dancer, is a collaboration with Emma Dunn - Dancer, and Nick Gibbon - Filmmaker, looking at dance improvisation, from the dancer's perspective.


As my primary instrument is the piano, I hope to be able to improvise with people, either with keyboard or acoustic piano, prepared or not. Working with visuals, and maybe even live coding would be amazingly fun things to do also.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Cavan Fyans; if you read this before tomorrow!

I'm a PhD student at SARC. My Research focuses on the spectator understanding of performative interaction. Looking at the systems through which interactions with technology are communicated with the spectator (primarily new digital musical instruments) including how the spectator makes cognitive judgements of performance (such as error, success and skill).

In performance I work with Supercollider, home-made and cheap commercial controllers, gamepads, circuit-bent noise makers and Bass. I’m usually interested in things based around improvised interactions in performance and working with live instruments, but I’m open to all ideas. I have been sighted performing in BLISS (Belfast Legion of Improvised Sights and Sounds) at SARC (continuing the trend Jason and others started several years ago with his mask wearing audio antics), other times with as Mexican&British and in seedy, dark bars recently in a laptop and guitar duet.

Jason Dixon - the man behind the mask

I'm currently working towards a practice led PhD at UEA, Norwich. My work tends to gravitate towards obfuscation and masking, with some sort of text at the root of it all. Low frequencies are common, as are abused algorithmic processes, circuit-bent instruments, non-linear filters and live-coding. I often wear a mask or hooded cloak while performing - the top of my big bald head isn't all that interesting to look at. 

I perform as JDTJDJ with Tom Davis (formerly of SARC) and as The Raw and the Cooked with Edgar Curtis (currently at UEA). In a former life I was a member of BLISS (The Belfast Legion of Improvised Sights and Sounds) at SARC.

During the workshop I would like to find out:
  • What your human-computer interaction strategies are
  • What your human-human interaction strategies are
  • Where does the audience fit in to all of this
This is JDTJDJ in action:

and this is The Raw and the Cooked in action:

More music and information is available at

Luke Drummond? Who?

Primarily an instrumental composer, I have always been interested in the electronic and digital side of music, particularly where it is possible to explore a perceptive boundary. The fine distinctions we make as listeners between noise and timbre, as well as the natural crossovers between resonance, pulse, pitch and other greater durational aspects of musical structure are some of the things I have explored in my most recent work as a composer. Although not particularly skilled in digital media, I do have some basic experience with electronics, C programming, and sound recording. I would be really interested to explore some of the less-familiar sounds implicit in the sonorities western composers are most familiar with. I am also interested in the notational problems inherent in this medium. Shiori's comes to mind...

Sunday, 17 May 2009

What on earth is Jamie Thompson?


I'm a first year practice led PhD at ICMus in Newcastle University.  My practice in improvisation centres on the oboe and its integration with live-processing software via the close amplification of the instrument using contact and clip-on microphones.  This grotesque magnification of the application of flesh, wind and water to wood and metal has resulted in a tendency toward a reductionist approach to playing where I am attempting to occupy a never-ending state of "becoming" rather than striving for any form of alleged certainty.

I am keen to further develop this approach/dynamic within a group of improvisers, and also to try and explore various ways of controlling live-processing using alternative controllers like wiimotes or triggers attached to the instrument.  

I am really looking forward to meeting everyone in a couple of days.
(Will link some audio shortly)

All the best,

Who's Dave Murray-Rust

I'm currently doing totally un-musical things as a day-job, but that's life ;)

Before that I was attempting to use AI techniques to make computers be better improvisational partners by understanding the communication which happens when people make music together. Nowadays I'm having much more fun playing with people using computers.

I'm interested in improvised electronic music, trying to keep things as responsive as possible, while using the range of sound that the machines make available to us. Mostly using Live, with a bit of MaxMSP, also interested in alternative controllers like data gloves, wiimotes, spacenavigators etc.

I've been playing with Paul Keene in Kresch (keyboard and laptop) and with Owen Green and Jules Rawlinson as TR-I/O-FON. There's lots of audio up here:

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Lauren's Interesting Fields

Hello! I'm currently finishing a Masters in Digital Composition & Performance at the University of Edinburgh, where I am due to commence a PhD in Composition exploring haptics and the links between audio and tactile experiences.

I enjoy performing as part of the Monosynth Orchestra
with Jules & Sean, as well as performing solo (and collaboratively) using laptop, piano, analogue synth, various toys and gadgets. I also enjoy partaking in improvisational vocal performances, such as this.

I recently, along with other students, completed an installation exploring the notion of sonic emergence and networking which are themes I am keen to continue investigating. I'm currently working on a live performance piece involving an electronically and physically prepared piano combined with percussion and electronics.

Looking forward to meeting everyone next week.
Workshop interests to follow...


What is a Nick Williams?


I am a PhD candidate at The International Centre For Music Studies (ICMuS), Newcastle University. My research is concerned with electronic music in improvisation and cross-disciplinary performance. Current research themes include the politics of improvisation, emergence, and strategies for negotiating the dissonance and harmony that arises from the collision of disparate disciplinary vocabularies.

I use reel-to-reel tape recorders, Max/MSP, cassette recorders, and various zero input devices to create improvised electronic music. Some of the noises I make can be heard here.

I look forward to meeting everyone next week.

What has Shiori been up to?

I am doing a practical based PhD in Composition at the University of Edinburgh.
My PhD theme is 'using body as an instrument'. Body could literally mean a human body, a body of acoustic/electronic instrument, and the idea could also be extended to a 'body' of a space which we perform our music.

I'm also interested in how the treatments of acoustic/electronic instrument as a human body could be translated into performance and compositional elements. I have experimented with how different touches of playing piano with different parts of body, for example, could create a various kinds of sound palette. Using motion-tracking sensors, I am also working on a project with a friend of mine to explore how the human movements (this time focusing on itchiness of body) and sounds could be related to/not related....

So, the things I'd be interested in doing in the workshop are;
1) Creating and playing a short collaborative composition/semi-improvisation *that involves notation* for both acoustic and electronic instruments.
2) Incorporating some performance elements, such as movements of playing acoustic/electronic instruments and space of performance, into compositional/semi-improvisational elements.
I play the piano (mainly inside and under the piano), making all sorts of noise with a mouth, and making primarily air sounds with flute..... There is also a massive piano sound-board with strings attached available at the music department here but it could be a little tricky to transport that to our performance venue.....

And here is link for a little taster of my music, which most people find unsettling...(and which I sympathise with!!!).

Looking forward to the workshop and please post any comments, ideas, questions etc etc....

Shiori Usui

Monday, 11 May 2009

What in the world is an Owen Green?

I'm doing practice led research towards a PhD at City Uni, London.

My research is focused on social practices in heavily technologically mediated musicking, particularly the relative scarcity of collaborative electronic music and the status of such musicking as part of everyday life, away from the stage.

I'm interested in the ways that technology and practice interelate: at present, I'm particularly interested in how the ways we communicate about technology and practice could be used to contribute to a more sustainable musical culture that affords greater participation and is more robust to unplanned technological change.

Improvising and / or technologically mediated musicians face especial challanges in this respect as our knowledge(s) about our practices are embodied in diffuse and untangible ways, making them hard to communicate even to other specialists, let alone anyone else. In the workshop I'm keen to pursue this in two ways:
  • Exploring some techniques for how, interpersonally, we can establish shared sonic and gestural languages within the musical moment about what we're doing, and might be about to do.
  • Investigatnig some methodological ideas about how researchers in our field might better document our work, ideas and experiences. This means I'll be troubling people for some chat about how they tend to go about this, and how they conceive of practice as a notion.
'Nuff blether for the moment, some noises:

Here's a video of me doing a solo performance:

And There is Danger in the Air, Edinburgh University, July 2008 from Owen Green on Vimeo.

I play with Jules and Dave in a laptop trio, some of that is here.

I'm also in a duo called Sileni.

Fields of Interest - Jules

My practice is focused on creating sonic structures for small laptop ensembles and solo performance that blend composed and improvised elements.

In performance I work with modular electronics and adaptable interfaces like monome & graphics tablets controlling MaxMSP sampling processes.

I'm trying to balance spontaneity of action with repeatable form and as my structures at the moment provide very loose instructions to performers, one area of research I'd hope to develop / co-opt during the workshop would be workable methods of notating and directing more specific electronic gestures.

Here's a few solo performances:

jr.mnm.fos210109 from pixelmechanic on Vimeo

More information and some fun downloads can be found at:

Who is Adam Parkinson?

I'm doing a practice based PhD at ICMUS, Newcastle University, exploring the relationship between and our conceptions of listening, moving and playing, which involves looking at contemporary digital instrument design and notions of the laptop-as-instrument.

HAWKS is an improv quartet I play in, along with Rhodri Davies, Val Persona and Gwilly Edmondez:

I've recently been putting drum machines through my max patch and it sounds like this.

I've been exposed to and enjoying reductionist approaches to improv recently, and it'll be really interesting if through playing and talking I can find out other's opinions about the dynamics of group improvisation.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Fields of interest - Sean

Hi all

My research is focused on traces of physical performance in electronic music recordings, and the affordance of particular instrument designs and interfaces. Along with Jules Rawlinson and Lauren Hayes, I perform frequently as the Monosynth Orchestra, using analogue modular synths in live improvisation.

My research is practice led and I am designing and building synth modules for performance as well as looking to compose for electronic instruments, by the sharing and distribution of clocks, triggers and other controls .

For this workshop I would be happy to concentrate on performing somebody's work as part of an ensemble, or to conceive of a system for integrating digital and analogue instruments in a performance system.

Sean Williams

Thursday, 30 April 2009

LLEAPP, Edinburgh 19th-21st May 2009

LLEAPP is a cross-discipline researcher led project that will provide a forum for exploring shared issues around sound, composition, performance and technology and to foster collaborative, practice-based research between practitioners at Edinburgh University and invited partipants from SARC, UEA, City University London and the International Centre for Music Studies (ICMuS) at Newcastle University

The main phase of the project will be a three day laboratory where a number of self-selecting groups will prepare performances based on a conjunction of previous research, that will result in a presentation concert at Edinburgh's Bongo Club on 21st May 2009

Participants include:

Edinburgh University

Sean Williams
Jules Rawlinson
Lauren Hayes
Shiori Usui
Dave Murray-Rust

City University, London

Owen Green

SARC, Belfast

Justin Yang
Miguel Ortiz
Cavan Fyans

ICMuS, Newcastle University

Adam Parkinson
Jamie Thomson
Nick Williams

University of East Anglia

Jason Dixon
Stephen Bennett