Convergence 2019

Convergence 2019 Programme information (view pdf version)

Complexity and simplicity

An International Conference/Festival of Music, Technology and Ideas, Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 September 2019

Keynote speaker and guest composer for Convergence 2019 will be eminent composer/researcher Curtis Roads.

Dr. Roads' presence at Convergence is made possible by the kind support of the US Embassy and the British Association of American Studies.


Call for contributions - papers and music

21st century musical creativity rides on the convergence of many streams of musical cultures, styles and value systems.  The previous century’s passage through modernist and postmodern imperatives has propelled us into a state of glorious collision, where tradition and innovation coexist in fusion and confusion.  New technologies are a central element in this creative ferment - from elaborate, immersive multichannel and audiovisual environments, expressions of artificial intelligence and transmedia narratives to hardware hacking.

How might we make sense of this multiplicity of creative endeavours? What are the tensions and synergies we feel amongst the creative approaches of practitioners and between the insights of theorists and critics? What, if anything, might we sense is our relationship with the ideals and cultural products of the past?

Convergence 2019 proposes that we consider these issues from the perspectives of complexity and simplicity. Can we conceive ever more elaborate designs and complex ways to divine meaning in music, or should we find in the plethora of possibilities a path that leads to a more immediate clarity, even simplicity? And how, as curators of our artistic fate, might we expect 21st century audiences to respond?

Convergence aims to bring together many of the diverse strands of music made with new technologies and to celebrate these alongside some traditional practices.  In 2019 we will also be working with the Darbar Fringe Festival to bring high quality traditional and experimental Indian music projects to the conference.

John Young, Convergence 2019 Chair


The deadline for all submissions is 7 April, 23:59 GMT.


Scholarly papers on any aspect of the application of new technologies to music are welcome, including, but not limited to:

  • Compositional methods
  • Improvisation
  • Theory
  • Analysis
  • Structure of sound
  • Listening behaviours
  • Auditory perception
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Spatialisation
  • Collaborative processes
  • Software design
  • Educational initiatives
  • Cultural contexts
  • Historical studies
  • Mixed media
  • Music and environment
  • Sound ecology
  • Artificial intelligence

Papers demonstrating a sufficient connection to the conference theme will be given preference.

Papers will be allocated 30 minutes in total, 20 minutes presentation (including any audio/video examples offered) plus 10 minutes for questions.

Abstracts should be no more than 3,500 characters in length and clearly summarise the aims, methods and results of the research.

Please complete your paper submission here. 


Submissions should be in the form of a link to summary document, no more than two A4 pages in length, minimum font size 11point and may include example images.  Any additional technical requirements should also be specified. The content should summarise the research aims, methods and outcomes clearly and concisely. Selected poster presentations will be supplied by conference delegates in A1 format, and should be designed to be legible from approx. 1.5m.

Please complete your poster submission here. 

Music and Installations

We welcome all forms of music made entirely by or with the assistance of digital or other electronic technologies—with or without conventional instruments eg. acousmatic, audiovisual, live performance with computers, mixed instrumental-electroacoustic works, hardware hacking/DIY, etc.  Performances demonstrating a novel approach to acoustic sound sources are also welcome.

  • We will accept up to two music submissions per applicant, but will limit final selection to one work per person.
  • Music employing up to 16 channels of audio can be considered.
  • Preference will be given to music with a performance duration of no more than 12 minutes and demonstrating a sufficient connection to the conference theme.
  • Convergence will not be able to supply performers—instrumentalists must be supplied by composers and it will unfortunately not be possible to offer fees to performers.
  • Bespoke materials or resources, such as modified instruments or hardware essential to the work to be performed must be supplied by participants.

In the application portal below, please include a permanent web link appropriate to the nature of your work (eg Website, Google Drive, Dropbox, Vimeo – please do not use a time-limited method such as Wetransfer).

For acousmatic/audio only work, include files used in performance and a stereo version (binaural is acceptable) and a sound projection plan for multichannel works.

For work involving traditional instrumentalists/live performance include a score, where relevant, and indicative recording/realisation.

For work involving other forms of performance (eg. hacked hardware, live [performance] art focused, DJ-ing, mixed media, live coding), please provide an online video link (Vimeo, etc) in addition to a brief statement of concept.

For audiovisual submissions, please include a link to a streaming site (eg Vimeo). AV work selected for Convergence must then be provided as MP4 or MOV containers, normally withH264 or Apple ProRes compression, up to 1920x1080 resolution, 25 or 30 FPS, and audio at least 48kHz/16 bit, in up to 7.1 format.

We welcome installations with a clear focus on audio content and a limited number may be presented at Convergence, depending on the required resources and suitable match between available spaces and the nature of the work. In your submission please include a full description of content and concept, visual layout, example images (still or moving), an indication of suitable types of spaces and a stereo audio example.

Please complete your music/installation submission here.


Selected participants will be expected to register for the conference.

Registration fees include all performances and conference reception.

Early registration (standard) by 1 June 2019: £90

Registration (standard) after 1 June 2019: £125

Student registration: £40

Day attendance: £35

About us

De Montfort University is located in the heart of the city of Leicester—one of the UK’s most vibrantly multicultural cities.  A city with Roman heritage, Leicester is also the recently established resting place of King Richard III, controversial subject of one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. De Montfort University’s MTI2 Institute for Sonic Creativity has been established as a leading international centre for electroacoustic music for over two decades and builds on Leicester’s reputation as a focal point for experimental music-making.

See information on the DMU campus.

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Getting here

Train services for Leicester are East Midlands (from the North or South) and CrossCountry (from the East or West).  The London station for Leicester is St Pancras (served by East Midlands Trains) allowing direct transfer to the Eurostar, and with good ongoing services by tube, commuter or express trains to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. There is a direct train service (East Midlands Trains) to Luton Airport while Birmingham and Stansted airports are respectively one and two hours to Leicester by train (CrossCountry Trains). Any train journey in the UK can be planned at

By car, Leicester is situated just off of Junction 21 of the M1 from the North, South or West, and the A6 or A47 from the East. The University is within 15 minutes of Junction 21.  Follow GPS/SatNav directions to LE2 7DP to be directed to the centre of the campus.


Below is a selection of hotels located close to the university.

There are also a number of bed and breakfasts close to the university.

Leicester Central Travelodge **
Distance from Venue: 5-10 minutes walk.
Address: Vaughan Way, Leicester, LE1 4NN, United Kingdom 
Sat nav postcode: LE1 4FY 
Tel: +44 08719 846254

Holiday Inn ***
Distance from Venue: 5-10 minutes walk.
Address: 129 St. Nicholas Circle, Leicester, LE1 5LX, United Kingdom
Sat nav postcode: LE1 5LX 
Tel: +44 08719 429048

Ramada Encore Leicester City Centre ***
Distance from Venue: 10-15 minutes walk.
Address: 84 – 90 Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 1GE
Tel: +44 (0)116-366-0150

Belmont Hotel ****
Distance from Venue: 10-15 minutes walk.
Address: 20 De Montfort Square, Leicester LE1 7GR
Tel : +44 (0)116 254 4773

Premier Inn Leicester City Centre ****
Distance from Venue: 15-20 minutes walk.
Address: St. Georges Tower, 1A St. Georges Way, Leicester LE1 1AA
Tel: +44 0871 527 8596

IBIS Leicester City Centre **
Distance from Venue: 20-25 minutes walk.
Address: St George’s Way, Constitution Hill, Leicester, LE1 1PL
Tel: +44 (0)116 248 7200

In association with:

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