Professor Bret Battey

Job: Professor of Audio-visual Composition

Faculty: Computing, Engineering and Media

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTIRC); Games and Interactive Media Research (GAMER) Special Interest Group

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 8278




Personal profile

Professor Battey creates electronic, acoustic, and multimedia concert works and installations, synthesizing a diverse professional and educational background in music composition, computer science, graphic and web design, and electronics. He pursues research in algorithmic music, digital signal processing, image and sound relationship, and expressive sound synthesis. His passions for Indian classical music, contemplative practice, and feedback systems, chaos, and complexity have had strong impact on his research and artistic work.

His sound and image compositions, which involve custom-programmed video and sound algorithms, have achieved widespread international recognition, including prizes and honours from the Austria's Prix Ars Electronica, France's Bourges Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique, Spain's Punto y Raya Festival and MuVi4, Abstracta Cinema of Rome, Amsterdam Film eXperience and the Texas Fresh Minds Festival. He has published research in Computer Music Journal, Organised Sound, Ideas Sónicas, and the International Journal of Creative Computing.

Prof Battey has supervised and examined postgraduate research in the areas related to sound and image composition, Indian classical music, computer programming, interactive design, installations, and complex systems and feedback. He also welcomes research in other areas of composition, algorithmic techniques and synthesis design. 

Professor Bret Battey came from the United States to join the De Montfort team in 2004. Prior to coming to De Montfort University, he spent a year in India engaged in research as a Fulbright Fellow and two years as a Research Associate with the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has degrees in electronic music and music composition from Oberlin Conservatory (BMus) and the University of Washington (MMus, DMA).

Research group affiliations

Music, Technology and Innovation — Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2)

Key research outputs

Estuaries 4 - audio-visual composition (2021)

Battey, B. (2020) 'Technique and Audiovisual Counterpoint in the Estuaries Series-. In Knight-Hill, Andrew, Ed., Sound and Image: Aesthetics and Practices. London: Routledge.

Three Breaths in Empty Space - audio-visual installation (2019)

Estuaries 3 - audio-visual composition (2018)

Estuaries 2 - audio-visual composition (2017)

Estuaries 1 - audio-visual composition (2016)

Battey, B. (2016) 'Creative Computing and the Generative Artist'. In International Journal of Creative Computing 1(2-4), pp. 154-173.

Battey, B. and Fischman, R. (2016) 'Convergence of Time and Space: Visual Music from an Electroacoustic Music Perspective'. In Kaduri, Y., Ed., The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Western Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The Five – for vibraphone and responsive audiovisuals (2015)

Triptych Unfolding – with Hugi Guðmundsson (music) – for piano, electronics and live visuals (2014)

Clonal Colonies — for Pierrot ensemble, computer-realised video and sound (2011)

Sinus Aestum — for computer-realised video and sound (2009)

cMatrix12 — installation for computer-realized video and sound (2009)

Lacus Temporis — for computer-realised video and sound (2008)

Mercurius — for computer-realised video and sound (2007)

Autarkeia Aggregatum  — for computer-realised video and sound (2005)

Battey, B. (2004) 'Bézier Spline Modeling of Pitch-continuous Melodic Expression and Ornamentation'. Computer Music Journal, 28(4), pp. 25–39.

Battey, B. (2004) 'Musical Pattern Generation with Variable-Coupled Iterated Map Networks'. Organised Sound 9(2), pp. 137–150.

Research interests/expertise

Music composition, audio-visual composition, algorithmic techniques, complex systems, sound synthesis, image synthesis, force-feedback interfaces, modelling of Indian classical music

Courses taught

MATT1021 Academic Fundamentals
MATT2006 Negotiated Project
MATT3000 Research Project
MATT3003 Perrsonal Practice
MUST1009 Digital Cultures
MUST2004/MATC2009 Creative Coding for Music
MUST2005 Sound and Image
MUST2008 Composing with Technology
MUST3021 Advanced Creative Projects
MUST3026 Composing with Dance
MUST3000/3024 Dissertation/Final Project
PERF3017 Performance, Interaction and Digital Technologies
MUST5001 Aesthetics and Ideas in Sonic Arts
MUST5002 Contextual Practice of Music and Technology
MUST5000/5004/5005/ Dissertation/Porfolio

Honours and awards

  • First Prize, Audiovisual — MADATAC X 2019, Madrid, Spain — for Estuaries 3
  • Co-First Prize – MuVi4 International Exhibition of Video and Moving Image 2015, Spain — for Clonal Colonies
  • First Prize - Fresh Minds Festival 2013, Texas A&M University, USA — for Clonal Colonies
  • Honorable Mention - Punta y Raya Festival 2014, Reykjavic, Iceland — for Clonal Colonies
  • Finalist: Best of the Fest  — Red Stick International Animation Festival 2010, Baton Rouge, USA — for Sinus Aestum
  • Honorable Mention — Abstracta 2008, Rome — for Lacus Temporis
  • Best Experimental Animation / Visual Music — Red Stick International Animation Festival 2008, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA — for Mercurius
  • First Prize - Punto y Raya Festival 2007, Madrid — for Mercurius
  • First Prize -  Abstracta 2007, Rome — for Mercurius
  • 'Breaking Out of the Frame' Special Jury Prize — Amsterdam Film eXperience 2007 — for Mercurius
  • Honourable Mention — Prix Ars Electronica, Austria — for On the Presence of Water
  • MacDowell Colony Norton Stevens Fellow, 2003
  • U.S. Fulbright Commission Research Fellowship to India, 2001-2002

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • International Computer Music Association
  • Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States

Conference attendance

Keynote Presentations

  • Sound and Image Colloquium, University of Greenwich, UK — Dec 10-12, 2017
    Mixing Streams: Generative Techniques and Audiovisual Counterpoint in the Estuaries Series

Invited Speaker

  • Artist's Talk – Phoenix, Leicester – Dec 9, 2019 
  • Force-Feedback and Music Symposium, McGill University, Montréal, Canada — December, 2016
  • Punto y Raya Academy, Madrid, Spain, 2015
  • Arte en el Sigio XXI, National University of Rosario, Sante Fe, Argentina, 2014
  • Kinetica Art Fair, Collider Conversation, London, UK, 2014
  • Technarte International Conference of Art and Technology, Bilbao, Spain, 2013
  • Seeing Sound: Visual Music Symposium, Bath Spa University — October, 2011
  • Visible Sound: Hebrew University, Jerusalem — February, 2010
  • Seeing Sound: Visual Music Symposium, Bath Spa University — September, 2009
  • SIGGRAPH 2009 New Orleans, Visual Music Talks — August, 2009
    Paper — Modulated Feedback: The Audio-Visual Composition Mercurius

Reviewed Conference Papers

  • Battey, B. (2016) 'Nodewebba: Software for Composing with Networked Iterated Maps'. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Utretch.
  • Battey, B., Giannouakakis, M., & Picinali, L. (2015) 'Haptic Control of Multistate Generative Music Systems'. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, University of North Texas.
  • Battey, B. (2011) 'Sound Synthesis and Composition with Compression-Controlled Feedback'. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference 2011, University of Huddersfield, UK.
  • Francksen, K., Battey, B., and Breslin, J. (2009) 'Creative Process and Pedagogy with Interactive Dance, Music and Image'. Congress on Research in Dance Conference Proceedings, v.41, supplement S1, pp 307-311.
  • Battey, B. (2007) 'Editing Strategies for Bézier-Modeled Continuous Expression Curves'. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference 2007, Copenhagen.
  • Battey, B. (2006) 'Autarkeia Aggregatum: Autonomous Points, Emergent Textures'. ACM SIGGRAPH 2006 Sketches, Article No. 92.
  • Battey, B. (2001) 'An Animation Extension to Common Music'. Proceedings of the Connecticut College Biennial Symposium on the Arts and Technology.


Consultancy work

NESTA Mentor to sitarist Dharambir Singh for development of padagogical software for Indian classical music (2007-2009)

Current research students

PhD First Supervisor

  • Rob Chafer – Creative Frameworks for Future Practice: Cross-Synthesis of Mixed-Reality and Audiovisual Composition
  • Ross Davidson – Applying an Electroacoustic Approach to the
    Soundtrack of Narrative Film
  • Marinos Giannoukakis — Time, Space and Agency: A Dynamical Approach
    to Narrative in New-Media Artwork 
  • Sebastiano Gualtieri — Balancing Images and Sounds in Generative
    Audio-visual Art
  • Andreas Katsiavalos — Automatic Musical Schemata Identification, with Adaptation to User Feedback

PhD Second Supervisor

  • Robin Foster — Rummaging: in Search of a Visceral Noise Music
  • Chris Cousin — In Search of that Perfect Wave: The Quest for
    Complex Control Voltages


Internally funded research project information

Research Leave Scheme, Autumn 2015, De Montfort University

Revolving Investment Fund for Research 2013-14, De Montfort University: Haptic Control of Multistate Generative Music Systems

Interdisciplinarity, Technology and Creative Process | Research Informed Teaching, HUMS | Jan 2008 – June 2008 | Co-investigator with Kerry Francksen and Jo Breslin.


Professional esteem indicators

Seeing Sound Symposium, Selection Panel

Sounds of Silences International Competition 2017, Selection Panel

Reykjavik Centre for Visual Music 2014, Live Cinema Award Selection Panel

International Computer Music Conference 2011, Audiovisual Selection Panel

Reviewer: Computer Music Journal, Organised Sound

Leverhulme grant reviewer

Guest Lectures, Symposia, Master Classes, Etc.

  • Visiones Sonores 17— Sep 22-24, 2021
    Fluid Audiovisual Counterpoint in Estuaries 3
  • Artist's Talk – Phoenix, Leicester – Dec 9, 2019
  • Force-Feedback and Music Symposium, McGill University, Montréal, Canada — Dec 6-10, 2016
  • University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada — Dec 8, 2016
  • Leeds University — Mar 2016
  • Punto y Raya Academy, Madrid, Spain — May 7-10, 2015
    Workshop and Master Class
  • GLEAM 2014, University of Glasgow, UK — Oct 31, 2014
    Clonal Colonies: Wayfinding, Algorithm, Impermanence
  • Collider Conversation, Kinetika Arts Fair, London, UK — Oct 19, 2014
    Panel Discussion
  • International Seminar Arte en el Siglo XXI, National University of Rosario, Santa Fé, Argentina — Sep 10, 2014
  • University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada — Feb 26, 2014
  • York University, Toronto, Canada — Feb 24, 2014
    Composing the Audiovisual: Wayfinding, Algorithm, Impermanence
  • Iceland Academy of the Arts, Reykjavic, Iceland  – Jan 31, 2014
    Visual Music in the Digital Age
  • Intermedial Perspectives: Practice – Technology –  Pedagogy Symposium, De Montfort University, UK — July 2, 2013
    Embodied Audiovisuality: Mapping Gestures of an Indian Classical Vocalist
  • Collider Artslab / Elektrical Séance, Northampton, UK — May 7, 2013
    Clonal Colonies: Complex Systems and Audiovisual Composition
  • Royal Conservatory of Music, Stockholm, Sweden — April 26, 2013
    Clonal Colonies: Complex Systems and Audiovisual Composition + Composition Master Class
  • Technarte International Conference on Art and Technology, Bilbao, Spain — April 5, 2013
    Clonal Colonies: Complex Systems and Audiovisual Composition
  • Code-Control Max/MSP Conference, Leicester, UK — March 23, 2013
    Clonal Colonies: Composing with Variable-Coupled Map Networks in Max/MSP
  • University of Kent, UK — December 11, 2012
    Clonal Colonies: Complex Systems and Audiovisual Composition
  • Oberlin Conservatory — September, 2011
    Seminar, Master Class, Solo Concert
  • Juilliard School of Music — September, 2011
  • New York University — September, 2011
  • Durham University, UK — February, 2011
    Audiovisual Composition with Complex Gestalts(The Luna Series)
  • University of the Arts, Berlin — January, 2011
    Seminar and Lecture: Audiovisual Composition with Complex Gestalts(The Luna Series)
  • Visible Bits, Audible Bytes Symposium, De Montfort University/Phoenix Square, Leicester — October, 2010
    Matching Complex Audio and Visual Gestalts
  • Digital Arts Symposium — Phoenix Square Film and Digital Media, Leicester — November, 2009
    cMatrix12 background and technique
  • Stanford University CCRMA/School of Music — April, 2009
    Graduate seminar
  • University of the Pacific, Stockton, California — April, 2009
  • Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, University of Washington, Seattle — April, 2009
    Graduate seminar
  • University of Hull at Scarborough, UK, Creative Music Technology — 2008
    Visual Music in the Digital Age
  • Sonic Arts Network Expo 2007, Plymouth University — 2007
    Computer Analysis and Composition with Bézier Spline Expression Curve Models
  • Practice as Research Symposium, Bath Spa University — 2007
    Visual Music in the Digital Age
  • Guest Lecturer Series, Nottingham University School of Music — 2007
    Visual Music in the Digital Age
  • Research Seminar, MTI, De Montfort University — 2007
    Computer Modeling of Pitch and Expression Curves in Indian Classical Music
  • Artistic Process Symposium, MTI, De Montfort University — 2006
    Retrospective Thoughts on Creativity and Metacreativity
  • Daniel D. McCracken Computational Sciences Seminar Series, Central Washington University — 2004
    Computer Modeling of Expression Curves in Hindustani Classical Music
  • Animation Arts Guest Lecture Series, University of Washington — 2002
    Form and Expression
  • Machine Design Group, University of Washington — 2003
    Computer Modeling of Hindustani Melodic Ornament
  • Washington Composers Forum — 2002
    An American Computer Musician in India
  • Lalit Kala Kendra and Inter-University Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Pune, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology Management, Kerala, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • CARTAH Lecture Series, University of Washington, Seattle — 2000
    Digital Music: Integration of Algorithmic Music and Animation
  • New Music Northwest, Evergreen State College, Washington — 1999
    Chaotic Networks for Algorithmic Pattern Generation
  • Microsoft Advanced Technology Group, Redmond — 1994 
    Behind the Juggling Jukebox (with James Jay)

Past Research Students

PhD First Supervisor

PhD Second Supervisor

MA by Research First Supervisor

  • Samuel Thomas (2021) – Investigating Untutored Perception in Visual Music
  • Calum Vaughan (2020) – Semi Real-time Use of Markov Chains in Algorithmic Electronic Dance Music Performance
  • David Gurney (2016) – Considerations and Practice of Creating and Implementing Effective Game Sound Design

MA by Research Second Supervisor

  • Rob Chafer (2021) – Time–Event–Space: A Creative Exploration of Techniques in Multichannel Audio-visual Composition
  • Annelie Nederberg (2012) – Notions of Corporeality in Electroacoustic Music



3 cMatrix 12 Cube at Phoenix Square


Clonal Colonies Runners