Portrait of Dr Alex Harker Dr Alex Harker

A.Harker@hud.ac.uk | 01484 473043



Biography

Alex Harker is a composer, creative programmer and lecturer at the University of Huddersfield. He joined the University in 2011 as a Research Fellow working on the HISSTools project, and in 2012 took up his current position as a lecturer.

Harker’s works have been programmed as part of concert series, festivals and conferences in the UK, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Korea, and the USA, including the International Computer Music Conference, Sound and Music Computing Conference and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. His works have been performed by the Worldscape Laptop Orchestra, Heather Roche, Elastic Axis, Jonathan Sage, Peter Furniss and BEAST. A two track EP is available from Ergodos Records.

He has studied composition with numerous composers including Gwyn Pritchard, Vic Hoyland, Jonty Harrison, Scott Wilson, Roger Marsh and Ambrose Field. In 2011 he completed his PhD at the University of York, a period of study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

As programmer, Harker’s software is in use internationally both inside and outside of academia in wide variety of fields, such as psychoacoustics, concert hall virtualisation, realtime audiovisual dj'ing and compositional work.In 2012 he was engaged by Berlin-based software company Ableton to develop a convolution reverb device relevant to electronic musicians for use in their flagship digital audio workstation Live.

Research and Scholarship

My research integrates compositional work with creative approaches to programming. My technical research is driven specific compositional concerns, but also considers more general applications. Thus, my software outputs have been re-used in a range of musical and audio-related fields by by both researchers and commercial users.

Compositional interests include:

  • Interaction between Parameterised and Non-parameterised Musics
  • Frameworks for Integration of Formalised and Inituive Compositional Processes
  • Structured Improvisation in a Compositional Context
  • Composition as Design

Technical interests include:

  • Analytical Models of Gestural Respresentation
  • Audio Descriptor Technologies
  • Spectral Domain Audio Processing
  • Convolution, Deconvolution and impulse Response Measurement
  • Controller Mapping

Publications and Other Research Outputs

2016

Harker, A., Kanno, K. and Newton, M.(2016) Octet Violins (Modeling a Virtual Violin). University of Huddersfield (Unpublished).

2015

Johnson, D., Harker, A. and Lee, H. (2015) ‘HAART: a new impulse response toolbox for spatial audio research’. In: 138th Annual Audio Engineering Society AES Convention, 7th-10th May 2015, Warsaw, Poland

2014

Schwarz, D., Tremblay, P. and Harker, A. (2014) ‘Rich Contacts: Corpus-Based Convolution of Audio Contact Gestures for Enhanced Musical Expression’. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. : Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. pp. 247-250.

2013

Harker, A. and Tremblay, P. (2013) ‘Rethinking the Box: Approaches to the Reality of Electronic Music Performance’. In: IRCAM Forum, 20-22 November 2013, IRCAM, Paris

2012

Harker, A (2012) Fluence [Performance] In: Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2012, 16th - 25th November 2012, Huddersfield, UK

Harker, A (2012) Fluence [Performance] In: Nachtstrom, Gare du Nord, 8th November 2012, Basel, Switzerland

Harker, A (2012) Fluence [Performance] In: 9th Sound and Music Computing Conference 2012, 11th - 14th July 2012, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark

Harker, A. and Tremblay, P. (2012) ‘The HISSTools Impulse Response Toolbox: Convolution for the Masses’. In: ICMC 2012: Non-cochlear Sound. : The International Computer Music Association. pp. 148-155. ISBN 9780984527410

2011

Harker, A (2011) Fluence [Performance] In: International Computer Music Conference 2011, 31st July - 5th August 2011, University of Huddersfield

Harker, A (2011) Fluence [Audio]

Harker, A (2011) Fractures [Composition]

Harker, A (2011) AHarker Externals. Alexander J. Harker (Unpublished).

2010

Harker, A (2010) Fluence [Performance] In: Ergodos Festival MMX, 2nd April 2010, Project Arts Centre, Dublin

Research Degree Supervision

I am currently able to accept students at Masters level, or form part of a PhD supervision team. I am interested in supervising a range of creative projects including:

Composition involving any of the following areas (individually or in combination):

  • Instrumental
  • Live/Interactive Electronics
  • Fixed Media (including audiovisual work)
  • Interactive Installation Work
  • Creative Programming / Innovative Music Software Tools

I am particularly interested in supervising compositional work that is tied to software creation as a means of enabling creative expression and structuring musical works.

Enterprise Activities

2013 – Work with MATAMP Guitar Amp manufacturers on custom measurement software for amplifier design.

Teaching and Professional Activities

I am module leader on the following modules:

AIM1207 Interactive Sound Design 1

       – Introduces students to creative computing for audio and music

AFM2207 Interactive Sound Design 2

      – Advanced DSP techniques and creative computing.

AFM2210 Electronic Music In Context

      – Examining practices, ideas and musical structures in a range of electronic music

 

My current teaching also includes:

AHM3507 Individual Project

      – A range of creative, technical and written projects as determined by each student.

AIM2205 Computer Composition 2

      – Developing students creative skills working with fixed media

Master’s Seminars