Dr Sophy Smith

Job: Reader in Creative Technologies

Faculty: Technology

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT), Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTIRC)

Address: Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT), Queens Building, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: 0116 2551551 (6752)

E: ssmith05@dmu.ac.uk

Social Media: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/sophysmith


Personal profile

My research focuses on inter/multi/transdisciplinary collaboration, primarily, but not restricted to professional arts practice.  I also work extensively as a composer and performer on professional collaborative arts projects both nationally and internationally.  I have had a number of articles and chapters published in international journals including Organised Sound, International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies and Arts in Society.  My first book Hip-Hop Turntablism, Creativity and Collaboration is to be published with Ashgate (2013).  The book develops an analytical methodology for hip-hop team turntable composition, relating to both the process of creation and the completed musical work.  As Programme Leader for the IOCT's innovative transdisciplinary Masters in Creative Technologies (MA/MSc), my work with students at the convergence of the e-sciences and digital arts and humanities and this is reflected in her pedagogic research interests. 

Research group affiliations

Institute of Creative Technologies

Music Technology and Innovation Research Centre

Performance Research Group

Intermediality and Performance Research Group

Research interests/expertise

  • Creative collaboration
  • Turntablism
  • Hip-Hop
  • Collaborative approaches to arts practice
  • Social media and arts practice
  • Performance Arts
  • Composition
  • Creative Curricula
  • Trans/multi/interdisciplinary teaching and learning

Areas of teaching

Performance Technologies, Digital Cultures, Turntablism, Creative Collaboration, Composition, Transdisciplinary Research, Research Methods for Creative Projects, Research Methods in Practice and Major Project.


BA Hons Music and Inter Arts, MA Contemporary Performing Arts, PhD Music Technology

Courses taught

Masters in Creative Technologies (MA/MSc)

Honours and awards

DMU Teacher Fellow (2015)

HEA Senior Teacher Fellow (2015)

Membership of external committees

Chair, Board of Directors, Assault Events.


Membership of professional associations and societies

PRS for Music, 1998 to present, Writers Membership


Conference attendance

Smith, S. (2011) “An analytical methodology for Hip-Hop turntable routines”,  Seventh International Conference on Music Since 1900, Lancaster July 2011.  Accepted paper.  Attendance funded by IOCT.

Smith, S. (2010) “The creative use of online social media to increase public engagement and participation in the professional arts through collaborative involvement in creative practice”, ARLIS UK & Ireland Conference, Edinburgh, July 2010.  Invited paper.  Attendance funded by organisers.

Smith, S and Fisher, S (2010) “Putting the Audience in the Picture: Involving Audience as Creative Process”, Audiences NI Annual Conference, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, March 2010. Attendance funded by organisers.

Smith, S. (2009) “The creative uses of Facebook as a tool for artistic collaboration”, Electronic Visualisation and the Arts conference, London, July 2009. Peer reviewed.  Published conference proceedings.  Attendance funded by IOCT.

Smith, S. (2009) “The creative use of online social media to increase public engagement and participation in the professional arts through collaborative involvement in creative practice.” Computers and the History of Art conference, London, Nov 2009. Peer reviewed. Published conference proceedings.  Attendance funded by organisers.

Passow B.N., Gongora, M. A., Smith, S. and Hopgood, A. A. (2009) “Supervised Control of a Flying Performing Robot using its Intrinsic Sound”, World Congress on Computer Science and Information Engineering (CSIE 2009).

Passow B.N., Gongora, M. A., Smith, S. and Hopgood, A. A.  (2009) “Managing Uncertainty in Sound based Control for an Autonomous Helicopter”, IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence 2009.

Other forms of public presentation


The Voyage, London Festival 2012

The Giant is Coming, Assault Events, Touring Northern Ireland

Chaser, Motionhouse Dance Theatre. Touring Internationally 2008 to present.

Underground, Motionhouse Dance Theatre. Touring Internationally 2008 to present.

Alibi, Assault Events. Touring Northern Ireland .

Scattered, Motionhouse Dance Theatre. Touring Internationally 2009 to present, UK, EU, China and America.

Cascade, Motionhouse Dance Theatre. Touring Internationally 2010 to present, UK and EU .

Consultancy work

Area of expertise; creative collaboration, composition, performance arts, inter/multi/transdisciplinarity, inter/transdisciplinary curriculum development, social media and arts practice. 

Previously, I have acted as a consultant for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council on models of best practice for interdisciplinary learning events.

Current research students

  • Lu Zhang, Full-Time PhD Student (1st supervisor)
  • Jacqui Norton, Part-Time PhD Student (1st supervisor).
  • Matthew Applegate, Part-Time PhD Student (2nd supervisor).
  • James Kelly, Part-Time PhD Student (2nd supervisor).

Externally funded research grants information

  • Alibi - Arts Council Northern Ireland grant (CI)
  • Feedback - University of Ulster Access Agreement Fund (CI)
  • Dirty Evangelica - Sectoral Dramaturgy Fund, through the Arts Council Northern Ireland (CI)
  • HEIF5 - Intelligent Questionnaire Methodology (CI)

Professional esteem indicators

Associate Editor in Volume 6, Issue 2 of The International Journal of the Arts in Society.

Journal Refereeing information:
  • Arts in Society
Other Reviewing Activities:
  • Leonardo Special Edition for Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

Case studies

Audience attendance figures (ongoing)

Festival Performances (Chaser/Underground/Cascade) 2010-2011:110 performances, to total audience of 46,420.

Theatre Performance (Scattered) 2009-2010:Total audience of 11,834.

Festival Performances (Chaser/Underground/Scattered) 2009-2010:23 performances, to total audience of 23,307.

Festival Performances (Chaser/Underground) 2008-2009:46 performances, to total audience of 24,930

The Voyage.  Expected audience of 10,000 over 4 performances.

In 2007 I completed the soundtrack for the Motionhouse piece ‘Perfect’.  Perfect is part of the National GCSE Dance Curriculum in England and Wales from Autumn 2009 and ArtsPool and Motionhouse have created a CD-Rom resource for Perfect, enabling students to explore the piece as one of the GCSE set pieces and the role of the music in the piece.
Sophy Smith

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