BEAST FEaST 2018: BEASTopia!

Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 April 2018
University of Birmingham, UK

Three days of music, meeting and ideas


Ideas of democracy and equality regularly feature in discussion of electroacoustic music. As an artform, electroacoustic music is rooted in the modernist idea that no sound lies outside the realm of music, hence, we might say, ‘all sounds are created equal’. Additionally, it is often claimed that the development of electroacoustic music is partly dependent upon the democratisation of technology, as large, expensive mainframe computers only accessible to academic researchers have gradually given way to home computers, laptops and smartphones—this giving rise to a ‘music from the bedroom studios’. Whether seeking sonic inspiration in the roar of political crowds, or by creating works that deliberately blur the boundaries and hierarchies between composers, performers and listeners, electroacoustic composers and sound artsits have frequently sought inspiration in principles of democracy and equality.

For this instalment of BEAST FEaST we seek to explore the theme of democracy and equality in relation to all its possible manifestations in electroacoustic music including sound, genre, representation and technology.


vaggione_ho.7182Horacio Vaggione

Horacio Vaggione is an Argentinian composer of electroacoustic and instrumental music who specialises in micromontage, granular synthesis and microsound.

Vaggione was a co-founder of the Experimental Music Center (CME) of the National University of Cordoba (1965-1968), member of the Madrid based ALEA live electronics music group (1969-73) and he also worked on the Computer Music Project at the University of Madrid (1970-73) and later at IRCAM, the INA-GRM, the GMEB. In 1987-1988 he was a resident of the DAAD Berliner Kunstler Program, working at the Technische Universität Berlin. Between 1989 and 2011 he was Professor of Music (Composition and Research) and director of the Doctorate Studies in Music and Technology at the University of Paris VIII, where he is currently Professor Emeritus.


Ottawa portrait 1Georgina Born

Georgina Born is Professor of Music and Anthropology at Oxford University and a Professorial Fellow of Mansfield College. Earlier in her life she worked as a musician on cello and bass guitar, performing with the groups Henry Cow, the Art Bears, the Mike Westbrook Orckestra, the Michael Nyman Band and other ensembles, as well as playing improvised music in various combinations including in Derek Bailey’s Company and as a member of the London Musicians’ Collective.

Georgina Born’s work combines ethnographic and theoretical writings on music, media and cultural production. Her ethnographies have often focused on major institutions – television production at the BBC, computer music at IRCAM, interdisciplinary art-science and new media art at the University of California, Irvine.

Nicholas Bullen_1_Photo Credit - Kevin Thomas

 Nicholas Bullen

Nicholas Bullen is an artist and composer based in Birmingham, England.

Working in the field of acousmatic sound, his sound compositions are explorations of the transmutation of elements, using process to explore time and place. Focusing on source material gathered from the immediate environment, sound is transformed by analogue and digital technologies before re-presentation in new contexts.

Current sound performances concentrate on the combination of fixed media acousmatic compositions and sound generation through improvisation, both of which are transformed and augmented in real time by electronic processing and analogue techniques.

Brona-MartinBW-300x225Brona Martin

Brona Martin is an electroacoustic composer and sound artist from Banagher, Co. Offaly, Ireland. Brona’s research interests include narrative in electroacoustic music, soundscape composition, acoustic communication and spatialisation. Her work explores metaphorical and real-world representations of diverse soundworlds, images and experiences, where the aim is to reveal particular sonic characters that are not normally the focus of listening. Her works explore the layers and textures of sounds that contribute to the overall sonic-makeup of specific places both real and imaginary.



 Mari Fukumoto

Mari Fukumoto was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1987 and graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts  in 2009. She studied organ with Prof. Tsuguo Hirono and associate Prof. Yuichiro Shiina. She also studied non-idiomatic improvisation with Masahiko Satoh and plays musical improvisation as a member of the Alien Networks.
She completed a masters in perrformance of early music at Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Hamburg in 2013, supported by scholarships from DAAD and the Otto Stöterau Foundation.

For full programme details click here.