Monthly Archives: February 2016

Andrew Lambert awarded Silver Prize by the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists

andyInterdisciplinary PhD student Andrew Lambert has been honoured by the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT) for his outstanding contribution to the field of computer science.

The Information Technologists Company makes information and communication technology (ICT) accessible and usable to everyone; campaigns for the removal of barriers to accessible IT for all; and encourages greater professionalism in the design, assessment and support of accessible ICT.

Andrew, whose PhD (supervised by Dr Tillman Weyde and Dr Newton Armstrong) focuses on oscillating networks for music generation, is the holder of an MSc in Creative Systems from the University of Sussex and a BA (Hons) in European Theatre Arts from Rose Bruford College.

The Department of Music welcomes Dr. Aaron Einbond


The Department of Music is delighted to welcome Dr. Aaron Einbond as a new member of the academic staff.

Aaron’s work explores the intersection of instrumental composition, sound installation, field recording, and technology, bringing the spontaneity of live performance together with computer interactivity. His recent music has focused on audio transcription as the center of a creative process bridging composition, improvisation, and interpretation, questioning the thresholds of perception between instrument, stage, room, and loudspeaker. Recently Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente released his portrait album Without Words on Carrier Records, and SWR Experimentalstudio produced his Giga-Hertz prizewinning Cartographies for piano with two performers and electronics for the 47-loudspeaker Klangdom at ZKM in Karlsruhe. Upcoming projects include a new work for cellist Séverine Ballon and the TAK Ensemble, a concert-installation for Yarn/Wire, and a collaboration with OperaLab Berlin. He is Co-Artistic Director of Qubit New Music Initiative with whom he curates and produces experimental media in New York.

Aaron has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and an Artistic Research Residency at IRCAM in Paris. He has taught at Columbia University, the University of Huddersfield, and Harvard University. He was born in New York in 1978 and studied at Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, the University of California Berkeley, and IRCAM with teachers including Mario Davidovsky, Julian Anderson, Edmund Campion, and Philippe Leroux.

At City University Aaron will be teaching Composition, Materials of Music, Multidisciplinarity, Critical Listening, and Sound Design as well as supervising undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in music composition and technology.

New Book Chapter Published by Music PhD Student

The Italian Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini has recently announced its newest book publication, entitled Protest Music in the Twentieth Century. The volume comprises a number of essays on protest music and on dissident composers and musicians throughout the twentieth century. The general focus of the publication is the numerous forms and shapes through which opinions of dissent may be expressed in music. Articles by scholars of different nationalities approach this phenomenon from a broad range of perspectives, drawing in historical, sociological, philosophical and historiographical contexts.

Amongst the contributing scholars is a chapter by myself on Mauricio Kagel’s 1979 radio play Der Tribun. In this chapter, I aim to determine the different ways in which Kagel uses radio transmission as a means of socio-political critique. By analysing the radio play as an acoustic art form (thereby focusing on structure, sonic events and textual content) and linking it to both Kagel’s compositional aesthetics and the German tradition of the Neues Hörspiel, I attempt to demonstrate the various levels at which the artist destabilises the media of language and radio.

‘Protest Music in the Twentieth Century’ is edited by Robertio Illiano and is now available as part of the Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini’s book series ‘Musical Treatises’. The volume contains contributions by (in alphabetical order): Marie Bennett, John Cox, Christine Dysers, Marita Fornaro Bordolli, Mara Favoretto, Germán Gan Quesada, James Garratt, Stefano Gavagnin, Andrew S. Kohler, Russ Manitt, Henrik Marstal, Upa Mesbahian, Santiago Niño Morales, James O’Leary, Roger W. H. Savage, Giuseppe Sergi, Tatevik Shakhkulyan, Kara Stewart Meredith, Joe Stroud, David Thurmaier, Jessica Winterson.

Christine Dysers, First Year Music PhD Student


cover Protest

Conference Report: ‘Music, Composition and Interdisciplinarity: States of Play’

On Thursday 28th January 2016 my fellow MA student Michael Alloway and I attended the ‘Music, Composition and Interdisciplinarity: States of Play’ conference which was held at Oxford Brookes University. Hosted by Dr Tom Armstrong (University of Surrey) and Professor Paul Whitty (Oxford Brookes University), the event was both engaging and thought-provoking and will no doubt prepare us well to embark upon the Interdisciplinarity and Collaborative Process MA module of this term.

Following a welcome talk, the first panel session focused on leading and facilitating interdisciplinarity, and featured composer Peter Wiegold (Brunel University), Professor Rebecca Hoyle (University of Southampton) and Professor Paul Whitty. Ideas raised in this session included the tensions which may arise in interdisciplinary work and collaboration, the complex issues surrounding the rigidity of ‘the discipline’ as a concept, and whether in fact this rigidity is diminishing as interdisciplinary work becomes increasingly common. Dr Armstrong, the chair of the panel, suggested that interdisciplinarity is in fact a more natural approach to scholarly work than disciplinarity, resounding with initial anxieties expressed in the 19th Century by Friedrich Nietzsche, as the disciplines first began to take hold. Professor Hoyle, a mathematician whose current project focuses on striving to answer various research questions using interdisciplinary means, echoed this view. She claimed the lines which separate disciplines are unimportant, and to successfully answer a research question one must draw from whichever discipline is necessary.

Delegates were then invited to take part in a vocal theatre workshop led by composer Helen Chadwick. In a thoroughly enjoyable hour, we were taught snippets from some of Helen’s song theatre pieces and learnt about her work as director of the Helen Chadwick Song Theatre. After lunch, the second panel took to the floor which featured Susanna Eastburn (Chief Executive Sound and Music) and our own visiting lecturer, composer and artist Claudia Molitor. Similar ideas were expressed here which indicated the move towards interdisciplinarity as a normative process in the arts. Claudia noted how often an idea may naturally demand interdisciplinary processes without necessarily having set out as an interdisciplinary project, and pointed out that the distinctions between interdisciplinarity and collaboration must be considered. The keynote speech was given by Professor Cathy Lane (University of the Arts London, Director of CRISAP) who presented her recent work in sound art. Professor Lane’s research interests include how sound can relate to the past and memories, which is reflected in her work using the spoken word, while her practice has also been largely shaped by the women’s movement. Professor Lane was awarded her PhD in electroacoustic composition from City University.

The conference concluded with a plenary discussion, which both Michael and I agree to have provided much food for thought. We are grateful to Claudia for inviting us along and are excited to be part of the ‘interdisciplinarity’ network, though admittedly a highlight of the day was to discover that we are in fact not alone in our constant struggle to pronounce the key word.

Rachel Cunniffe, MA Music Student

Careers with a Music Degree – Two Reports

The Postgraduate Student Perspective – Rachel Cunniffe, MA Music student

The evening of Tuesday 2nd February 2016 saw the annual ‘Careers with a Music Degree’ event, organised by the Music Department and City University’s Careers Service take place in the Performance Space. As part of the ongoing 40th birthday celebrations, this year’s event was larger than usual and was clearly a great success. A captive audience comprised of undergraduates, postgraduates, staff and alumni listened to speakers from various professional roles, a number of whom were City music alumni. Presented by Dr Alexander Lingas, each speaker outlined their current role and the journey which led them to it, and offered helpful advice to audience members on achieving their goals.

The presentations were opened by Celeste Richardson, a City music alumna, who spoke of her initial ambitions to be a professional soprano yet decided instead to pursue a teaching pathway. Celeste is now the Principal and Managing Director at Foresound Music Education Ltd., a non-profit organisation which currently provides music teaching for over four hundred families. She is also resident soprano and member of the artistic board at the Riot Ensemble. The second speaker, Francesca Treadaway, spoke of her journey to becoming Communications Officer at the Incorporated Society of Musicians, a non-profit organisation with seven thousand members. Francesca spent much of her time as a music college student writing reviews and articles, many of which were published, and these skills helped her secure her current role. Next we heard from Dr Jim Harrison, the Head of Music at Latymer School and his colleague Michael Spence, who both spoke of the teaching profession as highly rewarding and incredibly varied. Donald Wetherick from the British Association for Music Therapy outlined the goals of Music Therapy and his journey to the role, and concluded with some helpful advice to potential applicants which highlighted the importance of gaining experience in a relevant setting. The fifth presentation was given by Harriette Hale, also a City music alumna, who founded Chocolate Box Music at age nineteen and now owns six successful companies. Chocolate Box Music, which is now globally recognised, emerged from a passion to achieve a viable income for professional musicians. Harriette’s other ventures include a music academy, a dance studio and an online mentoring and coaching resource. Finally, Dr Sophie Ransby, Gamelan Manager at the Southbank Centre and City music alumna spoke of her time in Indonesia, the journey to her current role and the incredibly varied work she undertakes at the Southbank Centre.

The evening concluded with an informal networking reception with speakers and other City alumni guests. Many students spoke enthusiastically of the reception and of the event as a whole.


The Undergraduate Student Perspective -Alexander McDonagh, BMus Year 2 Student

There has always appeared to be an idea that if you’re studying for a music degree then performance, teaching or unemployment are going to be the routes one follows post degree. On the evening of Tuesday 2nd February that myth was shattered. What happened on that evening was the annual ‘Careers with a Music Degree’ event, organised in partnership between City University’s Music Department and the university Careers Service.

I, like many of my fellow students, chose to study music at university because of the love affair I had been having with the subject from a very young age. Yet despite this, my plans post university had always remained a light sketch rather than a definitive blueprint. I knew a degree was going to be extremely beneficial to whatever path I chose to go down but I hadn’t actually given much consideration to what that path was going to be. This was where the ‘Careers with a Music Degree’ evening came to the rescue.

The evening saw numerous speakers discuss their careers, all following a music related pathway, as well as imparting invaluable advice to the audience of undergraduates (like myself); postgraduate students; staff and alumni. This was followed by an informal networking over nibbles and wine where we were able to absorb as much life experience and wisdom as we possibly could.

Although all the speakers were inspiring and I could easily write about all of them in detail, if only I didn’t have a degree to complete, I have decided to focus on three speeches which I found a real connection to and which I feel were most beneficial to my personal career path.

The first speaker of the evening was Celeste Richardson. After completing her music degree at City, Celeste began to pursue a career as a professional soprano. After realising that it wasn’t what she wanted to do for the rest of her life she founded Foresound Music Education Ltd of which she is the Principal and Managing Director. This not-for-profit company has grown significantly and now provides musical education to over 400 families across London. For me the most inspiring thing about Celeste’s story was that it beautifully personified that your career isn’t set in stone and that (forgive me for sounding like a horoscope) taking a risk and following your intuition can lead to much bigger plans than you ever expected.

The second speaker who I found extremely beneficial was Francesca Treadaway who is the Communications Officer for the ISM, the Incorporated Society of Musicians. The ISM is a non-profit organisation that provides support, protection and advice to over 7,000 members who are working or studying musicians. After studying the trumpet at music conservatoire, Francesca realised this wasn’t the career she saw herself doing and decided to follow another passion of hers: writing. Having been an avid writer throughout her time at music college, writing articles and reviews, Francesca was able to successfully carve a path for herself. Having also spoken to her after the talk, the best piece of advice that she imparted to me was that sometimes we have to be brave and hold our hands up if we aren’t happy and say ‘this isn’t the job for me’. Your first job isn’t necessarily the right one and you have to be prepared to take a risk and step away if it doesn’t feel right.

The next speaker to particularly inspire me was Harriet Hale, another City alumna. Having founded her first company, Chocolate Box Music, at the age of nineteen whilst still a student at City, Harriet has now gone on to found a further five companies. Whilst her initial company was born out of a desire to help provide a viable income for her fellow students and other musicians, she has gone on to create a music academy as well as an online mentoring scheme to name but a few of her ventures. For me what was so inspiring about Harriet was her pragmatic approach to business; her insatiable drive for success and her determination to choose her own direction in this world. For me the last point was the one which I took most heed of. If there isn’t a path which you’re happy with get a damn axe and start carving your own way through the woods.

I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone who spoke during the evening and to the City Music Department and City’s Careers Service for providing me and my fellow students which such an invaluable experience.

Celeste Richardson

Celeste Richardson

Dr Jim Harrison and Mr Michael Spence

Dr Jim Harrison and Mr Michael Spence

Sophie Ransby

Sophie Ransby

Mr Donald Wetherick talking to current MA student Jocelyn Coates

Mr Donald Wetherick talking to current MA student Jocelyn Coates

The Middle East in London Magazine Features City Staff and Student

The Middle East in London magazine is published five times a year by the London Middle East Institute at the School or Oriental and African Studies. The February/March 2016 issue is a special issue on Iranian music and features articles by City lecturer Dr Laudan Nooshin and PhD student Roya Arab, as well as a review of Laudan’s 2015 book Iranian Classical Music: The Discourses and Practice of Creativity (Ashgate Press) by Stefan Williamson Fa.

Laudan’s article ‘Sounding the City: Tehran’s Contemporary Soundscapes’ is based on her recent field trip to Iran in August/ September 2015 and explores the relationship between sound and the urban environment as a means of understanding individuals’ engagement with the sensory sound-worlds that they inhabit. Roya’s article – ‘Swaying to Persian and Middle Eastern Tunes in London’ – offers a snapshot of Iranian and Middle Eastern music in London.

Pdfs of the two articles and book review are available below.

Nooshin, MEIL article Jan 2016

Roya Arab Middle East in London Magazine Article (Jan 2016)

Review of Laudan Nooshin, Iranian Classical Music, MEIL Jan 2016