International Strategy

Research partnerships, Conferences, Publications and Postgraduate training

CeReNeM’s research community comprises thirteen full-time staff, three research fellows, a number of honorary fellows, approximately fifty postgraduate students enrolled in PhD and Ma(res) courses and distinguished artists in residence.

CeReNeM seeks to promote the work of its research team internationally by fostering links to a wide range of external partners.  Of particular significance are the platforms for performance and presentation of new work at the annual Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and staff/student exchanges and studio residencies with NOTAM and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Graz

CeReNeM hosts major international conferences, most recently a highly successful ICMC, the 37th International Computer Music Conference in 2011.  The Centre has excellent studio facilities and Electric Spring, the festival of electroacoustic and computer music taking place annually in February, welcomes many international visitors.  CeReNeM runs an extensive seminar and masterclass series and has internationally acclaimed groups such as ELISION and EXAUDI as artists in residence. 

CeReNeM curates a programme of contemporary work including the research of staff and postgraduates for publication on its own HCR CD and DVD label (in association with hcmf) and publishes an online Journal.  CeReNeM is closely associated with the extensive Archives of the  Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and British Music Information Centre, both held at the University of Huddersfield.

CeReNeM’s community of postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students is particularly vibrant with members from throughout the UK, Ireland, the United States, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Austria, Greece, Iceland, Chile, Italy, Canada and Australia.

Postgraduate Studies in Composition and Contemporary Performance, MA(res), MPhil/PhD

See for information about Masters and PhD researchers and student news and events.

Student Profiles

Nicolas Bernier

PhD in electroacoustic composition supervised by Dr Pierre Alexandre Tremblay and Prof. Monty Adkins

Nicolas Bernier comes from Montréal, Québec — the French speaking province of Canada. As a sound composer, his path was not the most standard one: while playing in rock bands, he studied radio broadcasting and then marketing before a career in website programming and design. In 2001, he decided to dedicate himself to sound art in its plurality of forms ranging from video art to installation, performance and composition.

His aesthetic research aims to create electroacoustic compositions that foreground ideas of the body and sound as embodiment. Avoiding technological/technical discourse, his works make use of rudimentary techniques of 1950’s musique concrète that are brought into a contemporary mixed-media and performance context. Behind this research lies one ultimate goal: to make music that feels human despite the use of technology. His PhD his entitled 'Embodying the invisible: electroacoustic works implying the body as the core aesthetic element'.

“I choose the University of Huddersfield mainly because I really feel there is an aesthetic openness here that is still rare in Universities, at least in Canada. This openness is most important for creators who need to feel free in order to do their work. The UoH studio research facilities, the high level equipment and the staff are exceptional and the values carried by the music department are clearly at the high end of today’s creative domain.”

Nicolas Bernier has gained considerable recognition for his work since the beginning of his PhD in Huddersfield: the first composition of his PhD, 'Dans le ventre de la machine' won the 2nd prize at Destellos Competition in Argentina; his performance project 'La chambre des machine' is touring in Europe in 2011-2012 and his musique concrète album 'usure.paysage' published on vinyl is continuously receiving excellent reviews and was described as 'utterly compelling' by The Wire. He is currently preparing an acousmatic release for surround sound DVD for the empreintes DIGItales label in 2012.

More info:

Heather Roche

PhD in music performance supervised by Dr Philip Thomas PhD thesis: Dialogue and collaboration in the creation of new works for clarinet 

My research looks at collaborative relationships between living performers and composers.  More specifically, it is practice-based research that examines my own work as a collaborator and clarinettist in context. The research project has involved the commissioning of nine composers over the course of four years; while these composers come from all over the world, I met all of them through connections I built because of my position as a student at the University of Huddersfield.

Since beginning my studies at the University, I have performed throughout Europe. For example, in Portugal (at PERFORMA'11), France (at the Agora Festival at IRCAM), Germany (musikFest in Berlin, BachFest in Leipzig and with the Cologne Opera), Finland (Musiva Nova festival), Switzerland, Austria and throughout England. The research department at the University has also provided me with the financial assistance to attend the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music, IMPULS and the International Ensemble Modern Academy. Furthermore, the connections I have made with other students at the University are constantly leading towards new projects. For example, in November 2011 I will travel to Helsinki to workshop and perform a new solo piece from fellow Huddersfield student Chikako Morishita as part of her residency at the Sibelius Academy.

My research relies on an engagement with the contemporary music community in Europe. No other University in the country could have provided me with such an ideal form of access to this community, due to the international careers of the excellent staff and the connections the University has with the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. The resources of this university have turned me into a better performer, a professional musician and a competent researcher and writer.

More info:

Chikako Morishita

PhD:Shibusa: Awakening the Senses – exploring a Japanese aesthetics of restraint and spontaneity in musical composition

Japanese composer and pianist, Chikako Morishita recently completed her MA(res) in music composition at the University of Huddersfield and is continuing her PhD studies  supervised by Prof Liza Lim and Dr Aaron Cassidy. She is investigating a musical engagement with Japanese aesthetics focused on creating compositional frameworks which foreground the performer’s sensibility as the core of the work’s ‘meaning’.

She says:

‘I chose to study at CeReNeM at the University of Huddersfield for several reasons:

1. The research team consists of active artists who are internationally renowned and there’s a strong feeling of community.

2. The seminar programme and supervision supports philosophical and practical, creative and academic aspects covering diverse areas of Modern art practice including the area of intercultural exchange between Western and non-Western structures.’

‘Through my MA (res) study, I began to collaborate with a number of musicians including members of the ELISION Ensemble who were CeReNeM’s artist-in-residence (2009-2010), which allowed me to study relations between a performer’s subjectivity, their physicality and effects on musical form. As a pianist, I played in the university’s New Music Ensemble, conducted by a staff composer Aaron Cassidy, which enabled me to understand interpretative aspect of musical notation and ways of harmonizing performance with situational factors at a deeper level. In addition, the university provides excellent language support which was essential for my development as a non-native English researcher: language reflects cultural, social and political manners which cannot be ignored when pursuing research at a certain level.’

‘Both my written and compositional work has grown so much in the time I’ve been here – my essays on musical aesthetics have been published in the CeReNeM online journal (2010, 2011). I have recently been awarded Tokyo Wonder Site creator-in-residence (2010), Tokyo-Helsinki composer exchange program (2011) and Nomura Cultural Foundation Grant (2011). As part of my upcoming residency in Helsinki, I will give two guest lectures and performances at Sibelius Academy on 10 and 17 November 2011 together with a Japanese koto player Nobutaka Yoshizawa and fellow PhD researcher Heather Roche, clarinettist.’