CeReNeM is one of the largest communities for new music of any academic institution worldwide, with 18 members of staff, 5 externally funded Research Fellows, nine honorary Visiting Professors and Visiting Research Fellows, and a postgraduate population of over 50 students. The scale and breadth of that community allows for a uniquely diverse collection of creative and scholarly practices, aesthetic approaches, methodologies, and opportunities. CeReNeM aims to provide a broadly ecumenical environment for new music, one that is open to exploration and innovation across the field of contemporary music-making, and one that provides flexible and supportive platforms for cross-disciplinary and multidisciplinary research and practice.
The University of Huddersfield is home to the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//), the most significant festival for new music in the UK, which recently celebrated its 40th year. CeReNeM maintains an important partnership with hcmf// through select, co-produced events and concerts and through CeReNeM’s HCR record label.
The University also hosts the Electric Spring festival for electronic music, an annual five-day festival of leading musicians working with and through music technology, featuring the exceptional resources of the 48-channel, 66-loudspeaker Huddersfield Immersive Sound System (HISS).
Across the academic year, CeReNeM hosts numerous concerts with visiting performers of international renown. All visitors perform student compositions in their concerts as well as offering workshop opportunities, and Contemporary Music Performance students receive additional masterclass and tutorial sessions. Notable recent guests have included the Bozzini Quartet (Canada), EXAUDI (UK), JACK Quartet (USA), ELISION Ensemble (Australia), Distractfold Ensemble (UK), Teodoro Anzellotti (Germany), Séverine Ballon (France), Richard Craig (UK), Seth Josel (USA/Germany), Mieko Kanno (Japan/Finland), Mark Knoop (UK), Garth Knox (France), Ryan Muncy (USA), Ashot Sarkissjan (Armenia/UK), and Peter Veale (New Zealand/Germany).
The CeReNeM Colloquium is a weekly meeting of all staff and postgraduate students to share work in progress with colleagues, as well as providing a platform for guest lecturers. The Creative Coding Lab also frequently welcomes guest lecturers to present work in music technology and software development. Recent guests across the two series have included Clarence Barlow, Erik Clarke, Jamie Currie, Chaya Czernowin, Judy Dunaway, Brian Ferneyhough, Björn Heile, Vic Hoyland, Clara Iannotta, Tim Rutherford-Johnson, Robert Normandeau, Erik Oña, Hilda Paredes, Michael Pisaro, Sam Pluta, Miller Puckette, Matthew Shlomiwitz, and Jennifer Walshe.
CeReNeM and the University of Huddersfield Music & Music Technology programme frequently host conferences and symposia, including a number of high-profile international annual conferences. These include the Inaugural Roberto Gerhard Conference (2010), International Contemporary Music Conference (ICMC 2011), Noise in and as Music (2013), Extended Durations (2013), Beyond Pythagoras (2014), Michael Finnissy: Dialogues (2016), Vocality/Instrumentality (2017), Finding Democracy in Music (2017), Tracking the Creative Process in Music (TCPM 2017), the annual BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference (2018), and the Ambient@40 Symposium (2018).
The Electric Spring festival also features an annual Creative Coding Lab Symposium (formerly the MaxMSP PowerUser Symposium) focusing on advanced developments in music technology software.
CeReNeM offers a weekly seminar, workshop, and masterclass series to support and supplement the independent research activities of its MA and PhD students, including investigations into a range of theoretical and aesthetic issues and training in practical skills relevant to postgraduate researchers in composition, contemporary music performance, musicology, and various sub-fields of music technology.
All CeReNeM staff contribute to the seminar series to ensure a wide range of research interests and practices are represented, and the content of the sessions is tailored to the research interests of the current cohort of students. Each year, CeReNeM staff collectively propose four thematic strands to help unify the seminar, workshop, and masterclass offerings. In recent years these strands have included, for example: Electronics in Performance; Approaches to Rhythm; The Open Work; Advanced Orchestration; Contemporary Music Theatre & Opera; Notation; Improvisation & Openness; Space, Place, & Environment; Music of the Last Decade; Audiences; Sketching and the Compositional Process; and Gesture & the Body.
Additionally, many of our invited guest lecturers also offer masterclasses and individual lessons, providing further opportunities to present and discuss creative and scholarly work. Intensive hands-on workshops on new digital instruments, sound art, and installation practice have been presented by the instrument builder Peter Blasser, sound artists David Toop and Minoru Sato, and in a weeklong workshop on the computer-controlled robotic piano with former CeReNeM Professor Peter Ablinger and Prof Winfried Ritsch (IEM Graz).