For more than two decades Professor Craig Vear has established himself as an internationally recognised composer of experimental music with technology, and recently as a scholar of digital performance and music. He is currently running two research projects: The Living Score which investigates the changes in musicianship and creativity afforded by digital technology and its transformation of "the score". This ranges from images of paper-scores shown on iPad's through to robotics and A.I. embedded in software generating scores. And Embodied Intelligence in Music https://eim-live.our.dmu.ac.uk that investigates the meeting point of embodied cognition, artificial intelligence, music composition and performance, game and software philosophy, and R&D for the entertainment industry.
His research is practice-Based and operates on a dual thematic axis of 1) digital creativity in music performance, and 2) innovation in the use of digital music in performance. Peer reviews of his contribution to this field have commented on how his research is ‘a major point of reference in computer music interactivity, live composition and improvisation’; ‘enhance practice by creators and researchers in interactive composition’ … ‘particularly in the case of ensembles involving human and computer performers’; ‘will enhance thinking and practice by creators and researchers’.
Vear has performed his monograph compositions widely throughout the world. His entire collection of software scores (2008-16) are published through Composers Edition (CE) a music publishing company specializing in living composers of international significance. International organizations have commissioned his monograph compositions as exemplars of innovation. 2003 Stretch music and sound installation, commissioned by Chicago Humanities Festival (the largest annual festival for arts and humanities, since 1990 has become the largest organization of its kind in the world). 2005 Falklands Project large-scale composition for musicians and digital technology, commissioned by Falkland Islands Government. 2009 Superfield Mumbai electroacoustic composition, commissioned by Mumbai Festival, India (largest 10-day festival of International Culture and art in Maharashtra). 2012 Like a Fish out of Water soundtrack for iPad app performance, commissioned by 2012 Cultural Olympiad/ English National Ballet. 2012 Poetry Parnassus solo sound installation, by 2012 Cultural Olympiad /South Bank Centre (SBC est. 1.5 million audience). 2012 Three Last Letters large-scale composition for 9 musicians, commissioned by Vale of Glamorgan International Festival (festival of contemporary music since 1969, known for its engagement with significant international living composers). 2011 A Sentimental Journey a Digital Opera commissioned by Arts Council England, Laurence Sterne Trust and published by Composers Edition, was cited in the Cambridge Companion to Opera Studies (Till, N ed. 2014) as an exemplar of how ‘the future may involve very different concepts of the performance space of opera, and of what constitutes an operatic audience or an operatic event’.
He has published his scholarly texts exclusively in leading international peer-reviewed journals such as Digital Creativity and International Journal of Performance Art and Digital Media. He is a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Performance and Digital Media, and guest reviewer for International Journal of Creative Computing; Research in Drama Education; PeerJ and Organised Sound. In 2012 he was guest editor of a special Digital Opera edition of IJPADM. From 2016 he is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.
He has a successful funding portfolio in excess of £400k. In 2014 he was awarded £105,000 as PI on a Digital R&D for the Arts research project that developed an innovative mixed reality system that enabled children and young people to engage in creative digital play for enhanced learning and communication skill development. The funding was granted through a consortium of AHRC, National Endowment for Science and the Arts, and Arts Council England