Why you should choose this course:
-You're looking for a course offering an-depth study of cutting-edge compositional techniques, methodologies and associated aesthetics
-You want to learn in state-of-the-art facilities, including our £2.5 million electroacoustic studio complex
-You want to pursue a career as a composer working with technology and audio-media, or a PhD in electroacoustic composition
This course provides an in-depth knowledge of cutting-edge compositional techniques, methodologies and associated aesthetics in creative work that intersects with technology and other artistic or scientific forms. It serves as excellent preparation for a career as a composer working with technology and audio-media, and it provides all the training necessary for embarking on and envisioning novel strands for a PhD in electroacoustic composition, including those informed by other scientific and arts form.
All teaching, research and compositional work is carried out in the NOVARS Research Centre for Electroacoustic Composition, Performance and Sound Art with its state-of-the-art £2.5 million electroacoustic studios. Opportunities for the performance of new works are offered using the 55-loudspeaker sound diffusion system of MANTIS (Manchester Theatre in Sound) and through events such as the Locativeaudio Festival (locativeaudio.org) and Sines and Squares Festival for Analogue Electronics and Modular Synthesis (sines-squares.org). Acousmatic, mixed, live electronic and multimedia works are all possible, with composers able to incorporate the spatialisation of sound and interactive new game-audio media into the presentation of their work.
In addition to the final portfolio, all electroacoustic music and interactive media composition students take the compulsory course unit Composition Project and the further compulsory taught course unit, Fixed Media and Interactive Music . Optional course units normally include Aesthetics and Analysis of Organised Sound, Interactive Tools and Engines, Contemporary Music Studies, Advanced Orchestration, and Historical or Contemporary Performance. There are also choices outside the MusM Composition (subject to course director approval), such as Computer Vision, Mobile Systems, Mobile Communications, Ethno/Musicology in Action: Fieldwork and Ethnography , and Work Placement (Institute of Cultural Practices).
This programme aims to:
-Build on undergraduate studies, developing skills in electroacoustic composition to Master's level.
-Increase knowledge and a systematic understanding of electroacoustic music.
-Foster the particular creative talents of each individual student.
-Provide all the training necessary for embarking on a PhD in electroacoustic composition.
-Prepare students for a career as a composer and in the wider music industry where critical judgement and developed powers of communication are needed.
The NOVARS studio complex supports a broad range of activities in the fields of electroacoustic composition and new media. The studios incorporate the newest generation of Apple computers, Genelec, PMC and ATC monitoring (up to 37-channel studios) and state-of-the art licensed software (including Pro Tools HD, Max MSP, GRM Tools, Waves, Ircam's Audiosculpt and Reaper and, for Interactive Media work, Oculus Rift, Unreal Engine 4, Unity Pro and open-source Blender3D). Location and performance work is also supported by a new 64-channel diffusion system.
Postgraduate students at the NOVARS Research Centre play an active role in the planning, organisation and execution of performance events such as the Sines & Squares Festival and MANTIS Festival (over 20 editions since 2004), and projects such as LocativeAudio and our regular Matinée presentations. Relevant training, including rigging and de-rigging the MANTIS system, health and safety, sound diffusion workshops, organisation of Calls for Works when needed, etc., is an important part of the course.
Graduates of this programme have pursued successful careers in musical and non-musical fields. Some continue to further study via a PhD before securing an academic position. Some go on to teach in schools or further education, both in the UK and overseas. Other areas of work for which advanced compositional training has been directly relevant include recording studios, entrepreneurships, the creative industries, music publishing, music journalism and performance. Careers outside of music have included computer programming, theatre, accountancy, law, social work and human resources.