We explore the relationships between music, digital creativity and screen media, using critical, ethnographic, historical and practice-based approaches.
We have pioneered research into the sounds of early cinema, music in video games, and digital media in indigenous musics. Our composers and performers use digital media to expand creative possibilities, including video scores, interactive multimedia in contemporary performance, virtual-reality opera, and new vocal technologies in theatre and dance. Addressing the importance of digital futures in the post-Covid world, our work is inherently interdisciplinary and includes collaborations with the Storyfutures project in the Department of Media Arts.
We organise conferences including Hidden Figures of Screen Music and Sound, Listening Cinematically, and Desert Island Discs and the Discographic Self. We co-edit the Journal of Sound and Music in Games, and take leading roles in the Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games and Ludomusicology Research Group. Our composers and performers present their work in tours and festivals across the world, including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, IRCAM Paris, Prague Chamber Ballet, and the National Dance Company of Korea.
Julie Brown has published on music for film, television and radio, and is currently focussing on the cultural and technological histories of silent film performances, having recreated the original music for The Epic of Everest (1924), and Morozko (1924).
Samantha Fernando uses immersive technologies and virtual reality in opera composition.
Zubin Kanga’s performances explore new models of interaction between live musicians and digital technologies, including film, AI, motion capture, and virtual reality.
Tom Parkinson uses live and studio-based digital audio processing in composition and sound design for film, theatre and contemporary dance.
Henry Stobart investigates indigenous music video production and ideas of ‘piracy’ in the Bolivian Andes.
Shzr Ee Tan explores digital inequalities and censorship in global music cultures.
Tim Summers is a specialist in ludomusicology and author of many studies including Understanding Video Game Music.
Nina Whiteman uses video scores and other interactive technologies to rethink the creative relationship between composer and performer.
Current and recent PhD students
Laura Anderson, ‘The poetry of sound: Jean Cocteau, film and early sound design’
Douglas Knight, ‘Post-war European art cinema and classical music’
Annabelle Lee, ‘#Classical: an analysis of social media marketing in the classical music industry’
Elise Plans creates generative and adaptive music that lives as smartphone applications and in therapeutic devices.
Stephen Tatlow researches audio in virtual reality environments and video game design.
James Telford makes experimental electronic music, exploring the relationship between live performance and studio practice using Ableton Live and Max/MSP.
Katie Young, ‘Hindi Film Songs and Musical Life in Tamale, Northern Ghana’
Onur Yuce is composing and producing a virtual musical.
Xiaolian (Stefan) Zhang uses studio-based music technologies in composition and sound design for film, video games and sound arts.