The Institute of Composing aims to address the critical issues of making new music in the 21st century, from the viewpoints of composer, performer, technologist, writer and audience.
Contemporary music-making takes many forms, (indeed it could be said to be at a tipping point in terms of performance practice, genre and media) sometimes led by composer and score, sometimes by performer, sometimes led by new technologies, and sometimes through shared collaboration with other artists and art forms.
The institute will promote debate about the nature of contemporary music-making alongside reflections on the underlying craft of composition as practiced from Machaut to Stockhausen, from Bach to Miles Davis.
It will act as both a hub, collaborating with other academic and professional institutions, and a forum, curating information and news.
All Brunel music staff are contemporary focussed and there is a thriving post-graduate and research culture.
John’s music draws on the spectral properties of sounds as the basis for harmonic and temporal structures, and recent work focuses on the use of live electronics in ways that extend rather than obscure the bodily relationship between performer and instrument. His music has been played by many ensembles and soloists, including the BBC Philharmonic, the London Sinfonietta, the Arditti String Quartet, Ensemble Exposé, Studiya Novoi Muzyki, 175 East, Stroma, Philip Thomas, Matthew Barley, Richard Craig, Barbara Lüneburg, and Xenia Pestova. He has also published articles and chapters on the philosophy of music.
Since 1995 Carl he has been active as a live electronics designer and composer working at IRCAM in Paris, the CIRM in Nice then as a freelance artist. He has collaborated with numerous composers and artists to present new works with computer electronics in festivals throughout Europe. He works regularly with Art Zoyd Studios in France and teaches Sonic Arts at Brunel University.
Christopher Fox is currently completing a chamber opera for ensemble recherche. He is also involved in a number of composer-mentoring schemes: in April he worked with the Bozzini Quartet in their Composers' Kitchen, a project which will culminate with the premiere of six new string quartets by Canadian and British composers at this year's Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival; with the National Centre for Early Music and the BBC he has developed a scheme, now in its fifth year, which gives young composers the opportunity to create new works for ensembles such as Fretwork and the Tallis Scholars.
Bob is a musicologist and performer and currently Head of Music in Brunel’s School of Arts. His primary interests are in the music of our own time. He twice received New York’s ASCAP-Deems Taylor award, for his books on American experimental musicians Harry Partch and Ben Johnston. Bob's articles on contemporary music have appeared in Perspectives of New Music, Contemporary Music Review, The Musical Quarterly, Music Analysis, Tempo, Circuit, The Journal of Music and, in German translation, in MusikTexte. As a keyboard player he is active with the Amsterdam-based ensemble Trio Scordatura, which he founded in 2006 to explore music using microtonal tuning systems.
Frank has recorded three CDs for Hepjazz including The Suspect, featuring trumpeter, Tom Harrell (1990), The Frank Griffith Nonet, Live at the Ealing Jazz Festival, 2000 (2001) and Holland Park Non-Stop (2011) featuring the Frank Griffith Big Band. He also recorded The Coventry Suite(2003) featuring his nonet for the 33 Records label. He has also recorded with Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine on Jazz Matters (2007 Qnote).
Besides his international career as a composer of instrumental, vocal and electroacoustic music, Harald is active as lecturer and author, and is the editor of a book on Italian composer Franco Evangelisti (Saarbrücken: Pfau, 2002). He was the Artistic Director of the Electronic Studio at Musikhochschule Lübeck and from 2001-2005 he was the module leader for Aesthetic Phonetics at Cologne University. His compositions are available on several CDs. Together with his vocal trio "sprechbohrer" he is performing speech art in various formats (Wergo CD 2011).
Sarah is a distinguished pianist specialising in contemporary music. She has also being a leading explorer of new performance technology. The contrast between the physicality of piano-playing and the cerebral world of computers is something which has motivated Sarah and to this end, a lot of her research has entailed looking at touch-sensitivity in midi controllers and how her pianism can be applied to these devices.
Colin's work embraces the tension of complex and simple approaches, as well as those between the avant-garde and popular music. He is also a committed advocate of the emerging and up and coming in the new music scene. As well as being Senior Lecturer at Brunel University, Colin has been a mentor for the Making Music’s Adopt A Composer Scheme for the last eight years, director of the network for creative musicians, Music Orbit, and co-Artistic Director of the iF Festival. He is a very experienced and much sought after music-educator.
Jennifer Walshe's opera Die Taktik is currently mid-way through a month-long run at the Junge Stuttgart Oper in Germany. Die Taktik has been received with critical acclaim; most recently it was awarded 5 stars out of 5 by the German Financial Times. Commissioned by the Junge Stuttgart Oper, the opera features singers, dancers, musicians and chorus; the stage is surrounded by screens playing footage from video games. The video game footage was shot by students of Jennifer at Brunel.
Recent works include He is armoured without for the BBC Proms, and Bow-Wave for the National Youth Orchestra. Peter has recently conducted the Composers Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (bcmg), and the Northern Sinfonia. He was delighted, in 2008, to be appointed an ‘Artist-in-Association’ with bcmg.
Peter has often explored musical boundaries for example between improvisation and scored music and has worked a great deal across cultures including collaborating with musicians from Uzbekistan, Japan, China, India and Africa.
His own ensemble is notes inégales Last september they toured and recorded in Switzerland, and have opened a club, club inégales, in Euston, central London where they play every 2 weeks alongside invited guests from many traditions. Guests have included Seb Rochford, Evan Parker, Olly Coates and Byron Wallen.
He is Professor Head of Music Research at Brunel, and co-director with Oliver Butterworth of BICMEM, the Brunel Institute for Contemporary Middle-Eastern Music.
John Woolrich was Guest Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival in 2004 and then Associate Artistic Director from 2005 to 2010. He is currently Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School and a Research Professor at Brunel University.
The Brunel Institute for Contemporary Middle-Eastern Music is now one year old. It is directed by Peter Wiegold and Oliver Butterworth. The first of its kind in the world it has established a substantial archive of Middle-Eastern composition. The Institute looks at theory and practice but is much focussed on activity and engagement. A recent trip to Egypt included the Composers Ensemble playing Egyptian music in the British Embassy, workshops in the Conservatoire, a talk at the British Council about cross-cultural collaboration and a playing session with traditional Egyptian musicians.