Introduction

Founded in 2013, the Sound Music Image Collaboration research centre (SMIC/rc) supports all research interests that involve sound-led film, and the composition of soundtracks and sound design for film, video, and video-games. SMI/rc aims to be a premier academic hub for both practice-led research and musicology of the sonic arts as they relate to the still, algorithmic, or performed moving image (video-games), with a substantial impact in the field at home and abroad.

SMI/rc is comprised by a core team of staff covering, among their research interests, the practice of film and video music composition, sound design, enterprise, collaborative creativity, sound and music in documentary film, videogame design and engagement, immersion and user experience and film musicology. This unique breadth of scope supports an attractive offer of research supervision in the exciting and related fields of sound, image, music and collaboration. Beyond academia, our professional experience as media composers, documentarists and collaborative entrepreneurs in the audiovisual industry helps support our students’ work. We are further committed to expanding our industry links and supporting student enterprise in ‘solo’ or collaborative ventures, as well as being proactive in the pursuit of academic funding to support the achievement of our goals.

Staff

Prof. Monty Adkins (Electronic music and visuals, Nodalist approaches to composition)

Dr. Geoffrey Cox (Documentary Sound, Composition of music for film)

Dr. Elizabeth Dobson (Collaboration across disciplines, Creative processes, Composition of music for film, sound design)

Dr. Julio d’Escriván, Director (Composing Music for the Moving Image, Videogames as performance, sound design and audio postproduction)

Dr. Carlo Fabricatore Associate Member (Computing and Engineering) (Videogames, user experience, immersion and engagement)

Dr. Catherine Haworth (Musicology of film music)

Luke Reed (Narrative Film Sound)

Impact

Impact and accessibility is at the forefront of SMIC/rc agenda, engaging the wider interdisciplinary community as well as members of the public in the rich experience of sound, music and image.

Collabhub

In terms of our research in collaboration, included but not limited to audiovisual creativity, CollabHub (an interdisciplinary collaboration hub) is grounded in a sociocultural perspective on creativity as socially situated learning through collaboration. Developed by Dr Elizabeth Dobson from her PhD research, CollabHub draws on a number of theories, including Vera John-Steiner’s and Holbrook Mahn’s articulation of how peers can give each other ‘the gift of confidence’ to navigate collaboration, and confidence through belonging to a group. It also considers a social and distributed quality to creativity, or as Keith Sawyer and Stacy DeZutter explain ‘distributed creativity’ evidenced through ‘collaborative emergence’, where outputs are not pre-determined but formed through the contributions of a community (as in an improvisation ensemble). CollabHub exhibits evidence of how this kind of theories on creativity and collaboration have fostered enterprise, innovation and confidence amongst the students, leading to stronger relationships beyond their immediate undergraduate context.

The impact of CollabHub is currently demonstrated through this growing community of relationship and the development and exploration of these theories and the CollabHub model in schools and other kinds of communities. We are currently developing a geo-locative sound walk platform in conjunction with Huddersfield Creative Arts Network who have secured over £4k for its development. This aims to stimulate multiple sound location inspired collaborations across the region. We are also developing a CollabHub consortium; to enable students from a cluster of HEIs to pitch ideas that depend on interdisciplinary teams. As with all CollabHub meetings, ideas can be ambitious or modest. Also with an emphasis on exploration, relationship development and no external pressures to deliver a project, CollabHub ideals support time to ‘play’ and observe the emergence of outputs that are not pre-determined through distributed creativity.

We anticipate that the longer term beneficiaries of this work will be students at schools, colleges and universities, children engaged in staff led projects, independent artists interested in linking with other artists and students who offer complementary skills, and businesses interested in understanding relationships between discourse, co-creating and collaborative emergence. 

Environment

The research community of SMIC comprises five full-time staff and 8 postgraduate students from the UK, Korea, Greece, Spain and Australia.

Liz Dobson is part of the  Huddersfield Creative Arts Network meetings and through this and CollabHub she is developing a geolocative based sound map initiative. A number of local independent artists and communities will be participating as the project develops.

Julio d’Escriván is a regular visitor to the North of Spain where he conducts the KLEM contemporary Music Ensemble in Bilbao. He participates actively in a variety of conference reviewing as well as keynote speaking, among which 2015 sees him visiting The Computer Art Research Laboratory (Medialab) of the University of Brasilia in Brazil, as well as guest speaking and having a performance of his work at the University of Stanford, USA for the Reactions to the Record Symposium.

Monty Adkins and Julio d’Escriván are developing an exchange between CMMAS (Mexico) and Sound and Music (UK) that will see the mentoring of four composers from both countries in electroacoustic music, with the running of  residencies and workshops.

Monty Adkins and Julio d’Escriván (for SMIC) are also part of the Singapore Sandpit event, hosted by CeReNeM to be held in Southeast Asia in 2016 with an emphasis in music technology.

Industry/Institutional Links

We have collaborated either individually or as a group with the following:

  • CMMAS: Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (Mexico)

  • HCAN, UK

  • Laboratorio Klem, Bilbao, Spain

  • ZAWP Bilbao, Spain

  • Universidade de Sao Paulo 

Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do PortoMultimédia, (Prof. Pedro Tudela, Miguel Carvalhais)

Projects

CollabHub

An interdisciplinary collaboration hub

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The 2016 Sound and Music in Documentary Film

A conference is being planned for the latter half of 2016 that will concentrate on the use of sound and music in documentary film

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KLEM Ensemble

A Spanish ensemble directed by Dr. Julio d’Escriván in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

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Tree People

documentary film about a volunteer tree-planting group, The Colne Valley Tree Society (CVTS)

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Soundpainting the soundtrack

A mixed (digital/acoustic/electric) ensemble directed by Dr. Julio d’Escriván

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Live Audiovisual Performance Group

Audiovisual performances at our own recital space, Phipps Hall and installations in the Atrium

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Facilities

CeReNeM has internationally competitive facilities for research into computer music, electroacoustic music and spatialisation technologies comprising the SRIF funded SPIRAL digitial sudio spatialisation laboratory; HISS, the Huddersfield Immersive Sound System as well as excellent studio facilities and equipment for all types of recording and production.

HISS, Huddersfield Immersive Sound System

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY STUDIOS

One 24 I/O SSL-based recording studio

One 24 I/O SSL-based recording studio, with two recording booths and a window on to the Phipps Concert Hall)

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Four 5.1 composition and mixing studios

Four 5.1 composition and mixing studios with plasma screen for post-production

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Three overdub, composition and foley studios

Three overdub, composition and foley studios, each with a small recording booth

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One critical listening room

One critical listening room / Interactive Sound Design / new interface laboratory, with adjacent workshop

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One eight-channel composition and mixing studio

One eight-channel composition and mixing studio

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One Spatialisation and Interactive Research lab

One Spatialisation and Interactive Research lab (SPIRAL)

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EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE FOR ALL STUDIOS

EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE FOR ALL STUDIOS

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Students

Students contributing actively to SMIC. as part of their research:

Vasilis Agiomyrgianakis (Greece) - (Text driven audiovisual creativity, PhD)

Harry Boam - (A study exploring the constraints and benefits of writing music in a commercial industry and its impact on creativity, MA by research)

Evangelos Chouvardas (Greece) - (Scoring silent film), PhD

Andy Han (UK) - (Creative responses to film music briefs), MA by research

Jung In Jung (Korea) - (Vintage game controllers, contemporary dance and sound art), PhD

Nick Flatt (UK) - (Emotional impact of musical signatures), MEnt

Elena Hidalgo (Spain) - (The works of Eduardo Polonio: critical study and creative reactions), PhD

Ben Hollings - (Orchestration and score identity in film soundtracks), MA by research

Paul Lambert (UK) - (Economies of composers' soundtrack distance working), PhD

Phil Maguire (UK) - (Electronic Music, and Photography, live and as fixed media), MA by research

Elías Merino (Spain) - (Electronic music driven by philosophical notions of eighteenth and nineteenth-century romanticism), PhD

Roger Pasto-Cortina (Spain) - (Film Music Composition, projection mapping and libraries), PhD

SMIC also benefits from the frequent participation of students from its sister research centre CeReNeM. Activities of both centres are open to each other to make for a richly diverse postgraduate experience.