At the beginning of the academic year, Marcos Stuardo, a PhD composition student at King’s College London, proposed an exchange whereby composers studying at Kings would give presentations on their work at City and vice versa. Following a departmental research seminar last November at which four PhD composers from King’s discussed their work, two of our PhD composers, Georgia Rodgers and William Cole, and Masters student, Dorothy Lee, visited King’s College on Wednesday 29th March, accompanied by our “Composition Tsar”, Aaron Einbond.
William was the first to take the floor, discussing a performed sound installation that was staged last year. After William outlined ideas behind the work’s conception and played a short sample of a recording of the performance, a lively dialogue ensued as the King’s cohort questioned its ontological and experiential structures, and its relationship to more traditional operations of music-making.
Following William’s presentation, Georgia detailed her aesthetic interests in acoustic phenomena and explained how these concerns inform her compositional approach, which she demonstrated through an analysis of two recent works. The King’s composers were receptive to Georgia’s music and raised several interesting issues, resulting, again, in an exciting exchange of ideas.
Last to present was Dorothy, who showed how her work brings together Western and Asian musical concepts, highlighting a range of philosophical and creative influences, and illustrating how these influences play out in her music. Drawing the session to a close, yet another stimulating discussion occurred as Dorothy was confronted with a number of acute questions from the audience.
At the end of the seminar we retired to the pub, where we discussed possibilities of how this exchange might progress in the future and how we might incorporate students from other faculties across London. With the revival of our Listening Group next year, the composition arm of the Music department at City are keen to reach out and create opportunities for sonic artists across London’s universities (and beyond) to share their ideas and exhibit their work. The arrangement with King’s this year has demonstrated just how valuable cross-institution interchange is, and going forward it seems imperative that City capitalises on its potential to play a leading role in this.
William Cole, Music PhD Student