Musician whose sounds were shot into space heads up international DMU music event

A legendary experimental club DJ, a score of composers and a researcher whose music was launched into space were among the guests at a prestigious international symposium for electronic music and sound held at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

The Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS2016) saw everyone from academics and sound engineers to performers and improvisers coming together to exchange ideas and create innovative new sounds which people in Leicester were the first to hear during a finale in the city’s Music Café on Saturday night.

Kuit main

Roland Kuit at the controls - credit Karin Schomaker

Among the guests were Denmark-based Christian Vogel, who has worked with Radiohead and whose sounds are acknowledged as an outstanding influence on today’s club culture, Illinois composer and performer Carla Scaletti, composer/performer Paul Connolly, from Houston, Texas, and BBC technical trainer Andy Bell, whose experimental sounds formed part of the musical backdrop for performance poet Anne Clark.

Kyma is a software used by Hollywood sound designers and professional game audio developers, as well as by avant-garde and experimental composers, sound artists, improvisers, live acoustic performers and pioneering club DJs to create live, interactive performances using sound.

The symposium was organized by Symbolic Sound (the creators of Kyma) in partnership with DMU’s Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities; DMU Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, and DMU Performance Research Group.

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Other conference guests were visiting DMU from across Europe, North America and Australia. All of them said the experience at the university had been outstanding.

Carla Scaletti said: “This conference has been a bit overwhelming because there has been a constant stream of ideas from all directions. It is outstanding. You can also really feel the international nature of the city and the university.”

Andy Bell said: “It has been great. There has been a continual exposure to great new ideas. The DMU campus is outstanding. The building quality and the facilities are wonderful. It looks like a fantastic place to study and you can tell there is a lot of pride in the place.”

Paul Connolly, a composer and performer from Houston, Texas, said: “It has been an extraordinary conference. I have enjoyed myself immensely. The university, to its credit, is so supportive of innovation and exploration.”

Roland Kuit, from The Netherlands, saw 12 of his compositions launched into space by NASA while he was attending the conference.

Roland, whose background includes research at The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague and the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht, had 12 of his compositions chosen by NASA to take on board the OSIRIS-Rex.

It was launched on Thursday last week and will take two years to reach near-Earth asteroid Bennu where it will collect a small sample to take back to Earth for study. At the same time it will inject a microchip containing Roland’s music into the asteroid. The music will travel with Bennu for millennia, providing it does not hit earth first!

Roland said: “The conference is brilliant and the facilities at DMU are brilliant. I am really happy to be here. It is really well organised  with lots of brilliant minds coming together to speak.”

The conference was organised by DMU’s Craig Vear, Professor of Digital Performance (Music) and head of the university’s Performance Research Group, along with Simon Smith, former technician for DMU’s Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTIRC) and currently based at Anglia Ruskin University.

Craig said: “this conference has epitomised DMU's commitment to International relations and creativity by welcoming these important international figures to Leicester. This really was a global village of creative music and everyone had a fantastic time here. It goes to show that DMU is open for business to the world, and when it happens the outcomes are exceptional"

Posted on Thursday 15th September 2016

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