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Professor Leigh Landy

Job: Professor of Contemporary Music, Director – Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTIRC)

Faculty: Technology

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTIRC)

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

T: +44 (0)116 257 7956




Personal profile

Electroacoustic music, experimental music, contemporary performance, new media arts.

Key research outputs

  • Hildegard Westerkamp's 'Beneath the Forest Floor' (1992)
    Hildegard Westerkamp's 'Beneath the Forest Floor' (1992) Landy, Leigh An analytical discussion of Hildegard Westerkamp's 'Beneath the Forest Floor' using three 'voices': the analyst, the composer and other specialists.
  • Editorial – Bringing New Music to New Audiences
    Editorial – Bringing New Music to New Audiences Landy, Leigh As editorial, this text describes the vision of the Creative Europe Interfaces project, the conference that was held in 9/18 with the issue's title and the contents of the issue.
  • Re-composing Sounds ... and Other Things
    Re-composing Sounds ... and Other Things Landy, Leigh In this article, based on four decades of experience of using samples in diverse ways in experimental, particularly electroacoustic compositions, the author investigates the world of what he calls ‘sample-based sound-based music’ and suggests that there is a relative lack of scholarship in this important area. The article’s contextual sections focus on briefly delineating this world of sonic creativity and placing it within today’s sampling culture as well as dealing with two political aspects of sampling, a musician’s attitude towards the reuse of sonic materials and the legality of sampled sounds, including musical passages, in the discussion of which current legislation related to sampling is challenged. Following this, a number of categories are presented in terms of the types of sampling material that is being used as well as how sample-based works are presented. The subsequent section is perhaps the most poignant in the article, namely the opening up of this form of innovative composition from a more traditional ‘artist creates work’ mode of operation to a more collaborative one which is essentially already part of most other forms of sampling culture. The objective here is to suggest that such collaborative approaches will enable sample-based sound-based music to become part of the lives of a much broader group than those currently involved with it. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Composing with Sounds: Designing an Object-Oriented DAW for the Teaching of Sound-Based Composition
    Composing with Sounds: Designing an Object-Oriented DAW for the Teaching of Sound-Based Composition Landy, Leigh; Pearse, Stephen; Chapman, Duncan; Holland, David; Eniu, Mihai This paper presents and discusses the ComposeWith Sounds (CwS) Digital AudioWorkstation (DAW) and its approach to sequencing musical materials. The system is designed to facilitate the composition within the realm of Sound-based music wherein sound objects (real or synthesised) are main musical unit of construction over traditional musical notes. Unlike traditional DAW’s or graphical audio programming environments (such as Pure Data, Max MSP etc.) that are based around interactions with sonic materials within tracks or audio graphs, the implementation presented here is based solely around sound objects. To achieve this a bespoke cross-platform audio engine known FSOM (Free Sound Object Mixer) was created in C++. To enhance the learning experience, imagery, dynamic 3D animations and models are used to allow for efficient exploration and learning. All tools within the system are controlled by a flexible permissions system that allows users or workshop leaders to create sessions with specific features based on their requirements. The system is part of a suite of pedagogical tools currently in development for the creation of experimental electronic music.
  • Compose with Sounds, version 2
    Compose with Sounds, version 2 Landy, Leigh; Pearse, Stephen Compose with Sounds can be used as a stand-along software to those new to making music with sounds; however, it has been created by project director (Landy) and developer (Pearse) as part of the EARS 2 pedagogical initiative (eLearning site). It was created for 11-14 year olds (KS3 in the UK) but for anyone with no or little prior experience in sonic creativity. It has received two EU Culture grants and, within version 2, in 2020 was introduced in ten languages. Version 2 is completely recoded due to issues related to changes on operating systems (Windows, MacOS) and includes several enhancements. Compose with Sounds can be found at
  • The Three Paths: Cultural retention in Chinese Electroacoustic Music
    The Three Paths: Cultural retention in Chinese Electroacoustic Music Landy, Leigh This chapter investigates aspects of Chinese electroacoustic music history within the academy (Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing) and with work from independent artists. It focuses on three elements common to working in this country: the use of the nation's musical instruments and musical approaches, samples taken from Chinese music, and extra-musical aspects from Chinese culture.
  • A-political piece
    A-political piece Landy, Leigh This composition, for one or more sudophones, involves 'statements by one or more known contemporary politicians, ideally a text(s) that would amuse or stun the audience under normal circumstances' played via a 'dirty electronics' instrument which will make comprehension virtually impossible. It is made as part of the 'Creative Europe' Programme Interfaces project.
  • On the Éire
    On the Éire Landy, Leigh This 8-channel composition was commissioned by the University of Ulster and is the sixth composition in the author's Radio Series of compositions. It uses broadcast material (Feb/March 2017) from several broadcasters as its source material. It will first be performed in Derry and Dublin and then in other countries and will become part of the repertoire of the Dublin Spatialisation Collective. The composition lasts 11'20".
  • We Conduct Electricity
    We Conduct Electricity Landy, Leigh Composition for three conductors using samples from the performer's conducting style, voice and instruments.
  • In Pursuit of the Innovative and the Accessible: Some of the driving forces behind my music and my research
    In Pursuit of the Innovative and the Accessible: Some of the driving forces behind my music and my research Landy, Leigh This talk will present the motivations related to both my work as a musician and as a scholar within the world of sonic creativity. Instead of focusing on technology and technique, it will introduce some of my ideas all of which are intended to move music forward. Issues will include: the (in)accessibility of new music; musical communication, dramaturgy and aesthetics; new musical communities; and even humour. Looking forward, John Richards and my new book (nearing completion), On the Music of Sounds and the Music of Things will be discussed. In it I investigate sam pling culture and John DIY or hacking culture. Together we look at what we believe are the driving forces of the innovative 21st century sonic musician.

Click here for a full listing of Leigh Landy's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

Electroacoustic Musical Production and Musical Studies: in particular – Electroacoustic musicology, music dramaturgy, access to/facilitating the making of electroacoustic music, electroacoustic music in a cross-arts context, composition and devising practices.

Major projects, beyond compositions: Analysis project and EARS 2 pedagogical project with the development of its Compose with Sounds software (+ associated publications including my recent book “Making Music with Sounds”).

Areas of teaching

Contemporary time-based performance and new media arts.


BSc, MA, PhD

Courses taught

Currently mainly MA (Res) and PhD supervisor

Membership of external committees

  • Board of Phoenix Arts 2001-2007; 
  • Advisor Composers Desktop Project 1990 to present; 
  • Int’l Computer Music Association Board: 1999-2007.

Membership of professional associations and societies

Co-founder/Co-director Electroacoustic Music Studies Network, Member Sound and Music (formerly Sonic Arts Network).

Forthcoming events

Keynote at CFP, 51st International Musicological Colloquium, Brno, Czech Republic (October)

Keynote at ISSTA Festival and Conference on Sound, Art and Technology, Derry (Sept.)

Conference attendance

Recent Keynotes:  

  • Im Hörraum der Schaubühne (In the listening space of the theatre), Berlin, 2013 – keynote and subject of the conference
  • EuroMAC Leuven, 2014
  • From tape to typedef Sheffield (2013)
  • Technology and Aesthetics Conference, Oslo
  • FIMPaC, Leeds
  • EMS11, New York
  • SPEEC Conference Oxford University
  • “Next Generation” ZKM Karlsruhe
  • “Outside the Box” conference keynote talk at City University
  • “Close to the Edge Conference” U. of Chester
  • An Foras Feasa Conference, Maynooth
  • SMI 2010 conference, Derry

Invited Papers:

  • Martini Elettronico, Bologna, 2015
  • Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, 2014
  • Southwest Electronic Music Festival, Phoenix, 2014
  • JIEM Conference/Festival Madrid 2013
  • Technische Universität, Berlin, 2013
  • Re* Kongreß, Berlin 
  • Pierre Schaeffer mediArt, Rijeka, Croatia 
  • art::archive::architecture Symposium, ZKM, Karlsruhe
  • Global/Local Symposium, Sta. Cecilia, Rome
  • Analysis Series, GRM/Sorbonne, Paris

Invited Featured Composer:

  • Musica Viva, Lisbon
  • Musicacoustica, Beijing

Master Classes:

  • Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing
  • Shenyang Conservatory of Music and Dance

Visiting Professor:

  • Invited composer, Summer Festival, Ionian University, Corfu, 2016
  • Visiting Professor, Tianjin Conservatory of Music, 2015
  • Invited talk at China Conservatory of Music, Beijing 2015
  • University of Oregon and Arizona State University, 2014
  • Xinghai Conservatoire, Guangzhou, 2015
  • UNESP (São Paulo)
  • USP (São Paulo)
  • University of Auckland (New Zealand)

Current research students

PhD 1st supervision: 

  • Bill Brunson 
  • Kerry Francksen-Kelly 
  • Zhang Ruibo (Mungo)
  • David Holland
  • Jack Richardson
  • Thomas Walker 

PhD 2nd supervision: 

  • Amit Patel
  • Marij van Gorkom

Externally funded research grants information

EU Culture grant (€3.8 million total) “Interfaces” hosted by the Onassis
Cultural Centre, Athens in which DMU is one of eight other partners.

Large AHRC grant with Prof. Simon Emmerson (PI) – ‘New Multimedia Tools for Electoacoustic Music Analysis’ commencing 10/10 – 9/13.

EU Culture 2007 grant “Composing with Sounds” 5/11-4/13 with three European partners and two associate partners.

British Council/Sound and Music: Travel grant to Beijing 11/2011.

Internally funded research project information

Small grant to support the making of illustrations for my latest book (spring 2010, from departmental research funds), RIT grant 2008 to support the Content Management System prototype creation for the EARS 2 project.

HEIF5 grant regarding the EARS 2 project: 2/2012-7/2015.

Professional esteem indicators

Editor:  Organised Sound (Cambridge U Press) since 1995, Journal of Music, Technology and Education (Intellect) since 2006, Avant-Garde (Rodopi) since ca. 1988, EPOS (Osnabrück) since ca. 1996.

Journal Refereeing information: JMTE 

Other Reviewing Activities: Irish, Austrian, Canadian and Australian research councils (1, 1, 1 and 2 grant proposals since 2009), EU since 2011; Conference Panels of EMS symposia (annually), ICMC several times; International Soundscape Conference 2011 (Corfu); IRCAM/Musique mixte 2012 (Paris). SMC several times, EMS Network annually, Tenor 2015 (IRCAM, Sorbonne).

Case studies

Impact can be discovered in Landy’s scholarly work and his artistic work. Selected examples now follow.

There are two ElectroAcoustic Resource Sites, the original one and one in development. The ElectroAcoustic Resource Site (, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Unesco is available for users in a number of languages and consists of a subject glossary with a structured index, thesaurus and a bibliography with nearly 4,000 citations. The site is visited by over 20,000 visitors monthly and is cited by people within and without academia on a regular basis, not to mention that contributions come from people of all sorts. EARS also has its own publishing arm.

Its follow-up project, still in development, called EARS 2 ( is a pedagogical initiative for students at early secondary school level (and interested people of all ages) that will contain a variety of web 2.0 tools. The site’s creative software program, Compose with Sounds (, has been supported by an EU Culture grant and, like EARS, will be available in a number of languages for adoption in schools globally. This project is supported by Landy’s recent book, “Making Music with Sounds” (Routledge, NY, 2012).  

Landy’s works have appeared on national broadcast media on several continents, in theatres and concert venues throughout Europe and beyond. He was the first composer in residence for the Dutch National Theatre company. Some of his productions have been televised as well as his collaborative video works. He has been featured composer at festivals in, for example, China, Portugal and Brazil.  

Other forms of public presentation

  • Xinghai Conservatoire, Guangzhou, 2015.
  • Martini Elettronica Festival, Bologna, 2015.
  • New Music and Culture Festival, Albany, NY, 2015.
  • Concert tour US 2014 with four performances in three states including featured composer at Future Music Oregon concert, Eugene.
  • One-composer concert at Musiikkatilo, Helsinki, 2014.
  • Two separate Berlin performances, Nov 2013.
  • First performance of commissioned work for Musicacoustica Festival, “China / Music   Old / New” and first performance of collaborative sample-based radio piece, “China Radio Sound”, 2013.
  • ZKM, Karlsruhe closing concert for Compose with Sounds Festival 2013.
  • JIEM Festival, Madrid 2013 Reina Sofia Hall + broadcast.
  • Main concert at UNESP, São Paulo to open its new concert hall – 5/09 solo concert of several works + subsequent tour of two of these works at several Brazilian venues.
  • “Oh là la radio” on France Musique (three times), in Merida, Mexico, Fylkingen, Stockholm, DMU & others.
  • “To BBC or Not” at UNLa (Argentina), ZKM (7/09, 11/11), NZEMS09 Auckland, Maynooth, Birmingham U., Staffordshire U. Edinburgh U., DMU (3x), EPHMEE, Corfu, Aberdeen U (11/10), Rome (4/11), Stockholm (5/11), Beijing Musicacoustica (11/11), Oxford (1/12).
  • “Emmerson Sampled Variations in Dee” for the Dirty Electronics Ensemble performed at DMU in 2010 and 2011.
  • S.H.E.N.G. performed at DMU in 10/2011 and Beijing Musicacoustica in 11/2011 (with a photo in the China Daily newspaper).
  • Radio-aktiv commissioned by and premièred at the ZKM (Karlsruhe) in 11/2011, the 3rd radio work.
  • The three radio works and two works for Jos Zwaanenburg performed 3/2012 in Cultural Exchanges.

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