Dr Alexis Kirke

Dr Alexis Kirke

Senior Research Fellow

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Senior Research Fellow (Permanent) in Computer Music

Plymouth Marine Institute Composer-in-residence


BSc. Hons Mathematics
PhD (Technology)
PhD (Arts)

Professional membership

Member: PRS for Music

Roles on external bodies

Prime minister's Task and Finish Group for Rural Dementia, member

Prime minister's Task and Finish Group for Dementia, Travel and Tourism [name tbd], member
National Memory Day Steering Group, member



Teaching interests

2009-2011 Associate lecturer on Collaborative Practice module of BA Sound and Music Production for 2 years 

2011-2012 Associate lecturer on Individual Practice module of BA Sound and Music Production for 1 year 

2014- Associate lecturer, Psychology module, BA Music 

2012- Associate lecturer and examiner MRes Computer Music 

2013- Second Supervisor for 5 Ph.D students 

2015- Associate Lecturer, ResM 

2015- Internal PhD examiner for 1 student 

Staff serving as external examiners

Queen Mary, University of London



Research interests

Music Composition and Performance

Human-Computer Interaction
Music, Broadcasting and Dementia
Ecological Multi-agent Modelling
Artificial Intelligence
Machine Learning
Music and Emotion
Biosignal Measurement
Affective Computation

Other research

Plymouth University Arts Institute, member 


Grants & contracts

Originator and main drafter of successful 4.5 year £800K EPSRC project "EP/J002135/1 Brain-Computer Interface for Monitoring and Inducing Affective States"

Originator and co-application successful 3 year project "Developing a data-driven multi-agent model for studying humpback whale song."
Co-applicant successful 3 year KTP project "Computer Generated Music Systems Developer" 

Creative practice & artistic projects

Co-producer and co-presenter of BBC Radio Devon 60 minute Documentary Special: "Music, Memory and Making Radio", first broadcast Dec 2015.

many worlds:
World's first publicly shown narrative film controlled by multiple bio-sensors. Premiered at PACMF2013, invited showings at BBC Research and Development and PrintScreen Festival. Commissioned by Peninsula Arts.

Open Outcry:
A ‘reality opera’ in which the singers traded for real money in real time using an artificial stock market trading floor
Premiered Nov 2012 The Mansion House, London. Sponsored by Barclays.

Cloud Chamber:
Live Duet for Violin & Subatomic Particles, performed at California Academy of Sciences invited by Stanford, PACMF2012, and the Second Target Station at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories. Commissioned by Peninsula Arts.

A piece for large-scale wave tank, water drummers and electronics commissioned by the Plymouth Marine Institute for the opening of their new building at Plymouth University
Premiered Oct 2012 Marine Building, Plymouth University, Plymouth

Sunlight Symphony:
A 30 minute piece for a building played as a musical instrument by the rising sun. Premier at Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University, PACMF2010. Commissioned by Peninsula Arts.




Kirke, A., Shadbolt, P., Neville, A., Miranda, E., (2015). “A Hybrid Computer Case Study for Unconventional Virtual Computing”, International Journal of Unconventional Computing, 11(3-4): 205-226.

Kirke, A., Freeman, S. and Miranda, E. (2015). “Wireless Interactive Sonification of Large Water Waves to Demonstrate the Facilities of a Large-Scale Research Wave Tank”, Computer Music Journal, 39(3):59-70.

Kirke, A., Miranda, E.R. (2015). “A Multi-agent Emotional Society whose Melodies Represent its Emergent Social Hierarchy and are Generated by Agent Communications”, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 18(2): 16

Kirke, A., Eaton, J. and Miranda, E. (2015). “Real-time Hallucination Sonification and Simulation through User-led Development of an iPad Augmented Reality Performance”, Leonardo, 48(3): 235-242.

Kirke, A., Miranda, E.R. (2014) “Pulsed Melodic Affective Processing: Musical structures for increasing transparency in emotional computation.” Simulation, 90(5): 606-622.

Kirke, A., Miranda, E.R. (2014) “Towards Harmonic Extensions of Pulsed Melodic Affective Processing - Further Musical Structures for Increasing Transparency in Emotional Computation.” International Journal of Unconventional Computation, 10(3): 199-217.

Kirke, A., Miranda, E.R. (2014) “Unconventional Computation and Teaching: Proposal for MUSIC, a Tone-Based Scripting Language for Accessibility, Computation and Education.” International Journal of Unconventional Computation, 10(3): 237-249.

Williams, D., Kirke, A., Miranda, E. R., Roesch, E., Daly, I., and Nasuto, S. (2014). "Investigating affect in algorithmic composition systems." Psychology of Music (Published online before print August 15, 2014, doi: 10.1177/0305735614543282)

Kirke, A., Miranda, E., Chiaramonte, A., Troisi, A.R., Matthias, J., Fry, N., McCabe, C., Radtke, J. and Bull, M. (2013). "Cloud Chamber: A Performance with Real Time Two-Way Interaction Between Subatomic Particles and Violinist", Leonardo, Vol. 46, No.1, MIT Press, USA.

Kirke, A., Miranda, E.R. (2013) “Note on ‘Fi-Sci: Directed Entertainment Narrative Generation for Scientific and Technological Research’”, Journal of Science Fiction Studies, 40(1): 194-195.

Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. (2012). "Pulsed Melodic Affective Processing – Using Music for Natural Affective Computation and Increased Processing Transparency", Neural, Parallel, and Scientific Computations 20:227–240, Dynamic Publishers, USA.

Miranda, E.R.,Kirke, A. and Zhang, Q., (2010). "An Imitative Multi-Agent System Approach to Expressive Performance of Music." ComputerMusic Journal, Vol. 34:1

Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. R. (2009)."A Survey of Computer Systems for Expressive Music Performance." ACM Computing Surveys, Vol. 42:1

Kirke, A., Miranda, E.R. (2007)."Capturing the Aesthetic: Radial Mappings for Cellular AutomataMusic". Journal of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Vol. 21, pp. 15-23.

Kirke, A. (1996). “A Short Term Memory for Neural Networks Which Allows Recognition and Reproduction of Complex Sequences of Integers with the Minimum Number of Weights.” Neural Processing Letters,Vol. 3, pp. 49-54.


Books Edited

Kirke, A., Miranda, E.R. (eds) (2012) "Guide to Computing for Expressive Music Performance" Springer-Verlag, 2012


Kirke, A., Miranda, E. (2013). "Pulsed Melodic Processing – the Use of Melodies in Affective Computations for Increased Processing Transparency". In Music and Human-Computer Interaction, S. Holland, K. Wilkie, P. Mulholland and A. Seago (Eds.), London: Springer.

Miranda, E. R., Kirke, A. (2014).“Game of Life Music”, A. Adamatsky (Ed.) Applications of Game of Life CellularAutomata. Frome, UK: Luniver Press.

Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. R., (2014)."Artificial Social Composition: A Multi-Agent System for Composing MusicPerformances by Emotional Communication", T. Klouche (Ed.) Mathematicaland Computational Musicology. Heidelberg: Springer.

Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. R. (2013). “Using a Biophysically-constrained Multi-agent System to combine Expressive Performancewith Algorithmic Composition.” E. R. Miranda (Ed.) Music and Artificial Life.Middleton, WI: A-R Editions.

Conference Papers

Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. R. (2012). "Application of Pulsed Melodic Affective Processing to Stock Market Algorithmic Trading and Analysis". Proceedings of 9th International Symposium on Computer Music Modeling and Retrieval – CMMR2010, London (UK).

Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. R. "Pulsed Melodic Processing - Using Music for natural Affective Computationand increased Processing Transparency ", Proceedings of British Computer Society Conference on Human Computer Interaction, Newcastle (UK).

Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. R. "Emergent Construction Of Melodic Pitch And Hierarchy Through AgentsCommunicating Emotion Without Melodic Intelligence", Proceedings ofInternational Computer Music Conference - (ICMC2011), Huddersfield (UK).

Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. R. "Developing Methods For Computer Programming By Musical Performance AndComposition", Proceedings of International Computer Music Conference -(ICMC2011), Huddersfield (UK).

Kirke, A.,Freeman, S., Miranda, E. R., and Ingram, S. "Application Of Multi-Agent Whale Modelling To An InteractiveSaxophone And Whales Duet", Proceedings of International Computer MusicConference - (ICMC2011), Huddersfield (UK).

Kirke, A., Bonnot, M., and Miranda, E. R. "Towards Using Expressive Performance Algorithms For Typist EmotionDetection", Proceedings of International Computer Music Conference -(ICMC2011), Huddersfield (UK).

Kirke, A., Miranda, E. R., Chiaramonte, A.,Troisi, A. R., Matthias, J., Radtke, J., Fry, N., McCabe, C., Bull, M. "Cloud Chamber: A Performance involving Real time Two-way InteractionBetween Subatomic Radioactive Particles and Violinist", Proceedings ofInternational Computer Music Conference - (ICMC2011), Huddersfield (UK).

Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. R. “CombiningEEG Frontal Asymmetry Studies with Affective Algorithmic Composition AndExpressive Performance Models", Proceedings of International ComputerMusic Conference - (ICMC2011), Huddersfield (UK).

Kirke, A.and Miranda, E. R. (2009). " Artificial SocialComposition: A Multi-Agent System for Composing Music Performances by EmotionalCommunication", Proceedings of International Conference on Music andEmotion- (ICME2009), Durham (UK).

Kirke, A.and Miranda, E. R. (2008). "COMPER: Towards aModel for Generating Compositions from Expressive Music Performances",Proceedings of International Computer Music Conference - (ICMC2008), Belfast(UK).

Kirke, A.and Miranda, E. R. (2008). "An Instance BasedModel for Generating Expressive Performance During Composition",Proceedings of International Computer Music Conference - (ICMC2008), Belfast(UK).

Kirke,A., Miranda, E.R. (2007). "Evaluating Mappings forCellular Automata Music", Proceedings of ECAL 2007 Workshop on Music andArtificial Life (MusicAL 2007), Lisbon (Portugal).

Other Publications

Magazine Articles

Kirke, A. (2014) "It's all about me" New Scientist, Feb 2014



Reports & invited lectures

Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences - Keynote on Music and Science, June 2016
Keynote address - PrintScreen Festival, Tel Aviv, April 2014
University of Southern California, LA - Talk on Music and Science during short residence there, March 2016
Invited Lecture on Interdisciplinary Composition - The Royal Institution, London, March 2013
Talk on Adaptive Movies - BBC Research and Development, Media City UK, Sept 2013
Bryanston School (Eton Group School) - Talk on Music and Science, March 2014

Conferences organised

Symposium at 2013 Conference of Plymouth Cognition Institute on "Engineering Creativity - can the arts help scientific research more directly?"

Additional information

Winner: Outstanding Contribution Award, Media Innovation Awards 2016

Alexis Kirke is a composer and filmmaker well-known for his interdisciplinary practice (he has been called “the Phillip K. Dick of contemporary music”). He is a member of the Plymouth University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research in the South-West of England, and is composer-in-residence for the Plymouth Marine Institute – the UK leader in Marine research and work on sustainability, marine pollution and conservation. Alexis has completed two PhDs, one in Arts and one in Technology. He has worked as a Project Manager and a Stock Market Analyst (where he developed some of the foundation concepts of the industry textbook ‘Optimal Trading Strategies’), and has published articles on Algorithmic Composition and Performance. Alexis is a poet and critic who has written for publications such as Terrible Work, Oasis, Tremblestone (UK) and Transmog (US). He has also been invited to read at Glastonbury Festival, and was editor of the UK’s first poetry webzine ‘Brink’.

Alexis’ talk invites include BBC Research and Development, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Media and websites Alexis’ music projects have been featured on include BBC Radio 3, 4 and World Service, CBC, Telegraph, Guardian, Daily Mail, Gramophone, Classical Music, New Scientist, Scientific American, NME, Mashable, Trendhunter, MusicTech and PSFK. His film work has been featured on BBC TV, NPR, Indiewire, Movies.com, El Pais, The Verge, Filmmaker, Stuff, The Times, Al Jazeera TV, Gizmodo, and Digital Filmmaker. However his proudest moment was a cartoon attacking his opera in the Sunday Times.


Personal Website:

My 75 page Press Clipping Portfolio for 2009-2013 is here: 
(Note: this is a large file to download). 

Press articles 'Conducting Shakespeare':
Scientific American:

Press on 'many worlds':






Sunlight Symphony



“’Oh, it's beautiful,’ said one of the audience.”


[Won Media Innovation Award]

RLB Crosspoint X2, Plym Uni


Feb ‘10

Mar ‘10


Cloud Chamber





“it boggled the mind in a pleasing way, and it was a wonderful sight when the particles danced to Matthias's strain”


New Scientist:


RLB LT, Plym Uni.


Appleton Labs, UK.

California Academy of Sciences, USA.

Feb ‘11

Jan ‘12

Jun ‘13

Many worlds


The Times:

“ranging from tense ambiguity through moderate bloodbath, to the full-on Hamlet”


BBC World Service:

Impressive, as it’s clearly made on an academic budget as opposed to a Hollywood one”


BBC R&D Blog:


Al Jazeera:


[Won Media Innovation Award]

RLB Cinema, Plym Uni.

BBC Media City UK.

Free Film Festival, South London.

Mediateque Holon, Tel Aviv.

Feb ‘13

Sep ‘13

April ‘14

May ‘14

Orchestral Processing Unit


Drowned in Sound (para 12)

an intensely beautiful experience


BBC Focus (para 6):


RLB LT Plym Uni.

Feb ‘15

Open Outcry


BBC Radio 4 Today:

ambitious, well-executed, and strangely compelling



“Barclays enthralled clients and friends last week with an exclusive opera depicting emotions of a stock market trading floor.”


http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/michaelwhite/100067280/a-new-stock-market-opera-in-which-the-singers-end-up-broke-as-usual/ (see last para)

Sunday Times:


[Shortlisted Media Innovation Award]

The Mansion House, City of London

Nov ‘12



Evening Herald:

“leaving the audience open-mouthed


Daily Mail:


 [Shortlisted Media Innovation Award]

Marine Building Plym Uni.

Oct ‘12

Conducting Shakespeare


The Art of Science:

“The performance was extremely effective – my heart was in my throat the whole time”


Festival Officer, Victoria and Albert Museum


Victoria and Albert Museum, London

May ‘14



Seen and Heard International (para 15)


St. Andrews, Plymouth.

Sept ‘12

Drive-in Deco


Devon Life


Colin Campbell Court Carpark, Plymouth.

March / April ‘11

X 8