Contemporary Music Festival 2019

Lampedusa by Kaz Rahman

The Contemporary Music Festival is organised in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR) at the University of Plymouth. 

Now in its 14th year, this annual celebration of contemporary music has developed a national reputation for combining artistic creativity with scientific development, opening up new research opportunities and musical avenues that would not normally have been explored. 

Formerly known as the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, the event is directed by Eduardo Reck Miranda, Professor in Computer Music at the University of Plymouth and Director of ICCMR.

Acting as a showcase for composers at the University, those previously involved include Alexis Kirke, Duncan Williams, David Bessell, David Strang, Mike McInerney, and John Matthias.

MULTIVERSE: Friday 22 - Sunday 24 February 2019

The theme of the 2019 festival, MULTIVERSE proposes a weekend of musical interpretations of the quantum world. It will premiere a duet between a pianist and an Artificial Intelligence improviser, and a piece composed with a quantum computer. 

The BBC Singers will perform new compositions by ICCMR composers, including Lampedusa, a short opera inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest with musical renditions of particle collision data and a libretto in an otherworldly language invented by David J. Peterson. David is the author of the Dothraki language spoken in the TV series Game of Thrones

Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR)

ICCMR’s mission is to gain a better understanding of human biology and cognition from a musical perspective, and use this understanding to improve people’s lives. 

We are developing neuro-technology to control musical systems using brain signals, harnessing living organisms to build novel bio-electronic devices, building interactive intelligent systems for musical creativity and investigating how new types of computers may impact on the future of the music industry.

Composers

The composers involved in the Contemporary Music Festival 2019 include:

  • Eduardo R. Miranda, head of ICCMR and festival director 
  • Alexis Kirke, member of the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research and is composer-in-residence for the University’s Marine Institute, award-winning composer and filmmaker
  • Marcelo Gimenes, composer and former Research Fellow at ICCMR
  • Núria Bonet, PhD student at ICCMR and composer of electroacoustic and instrumental music
  • Archer Endrich, composer
  • Richard Abbott, music publisher and composer
  • Linas Baltas, composer and Visiting Research Fellow at ICCMR.

Festival Director

Eduardo R Miranda

Eduardo R Miranda is Professor in Computer Music at the University of Plymouth and director of the celebrated Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research.

A classically trained composer and Artificial Intelligence scientist with an early involvement in electroacoustic and avant-garde pop music, Miranda’s distinctive work is informed by his unique background.

In addition to concert music, he has composed for theatre and contemporary dance. His latest album CD with two computer-aided symphonic works has just been released in Japan by Da Vinci Classics and is also available on Spotify. Both symphonies were recorded in Plymouth.

Contemporary Music Festival 2019 line up

Contemporary Music Festival: launch and talk

Join David J. Peterson, one of the world’s most famous language creators, for the launch of the Contemporary Music Festival 2019. 

Not only did he invent the Dothraki language for Game of Thrones and the language used in Walt Disney film Thor: The Dark World, he has also invented the language Vōv for Eduardo Miranda's opera Lampedusa, which will be premiered at the Contemporary Music Festival Gala Concert. 

Date: Friday 22 February 2019 
Time: 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: Jill Craigie Cinema
Free admission, booking required

Contemporary Music Festival Gala Concert: BBC Singers 

The world-class BBC Singers will perform new compositions by ICCMR composers, including Lampedusa, a short opera inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest with musical renditions of particle collision data and a libretto in an otherworldly language invented by David J. Peterson. 

Date: Saturday 23 February 
Time: 20:00 - 22.00
Venue: The House
Tickets: £12/£10/Friends Free/SPiA

BBC Singers

Observables - Short Films 

Observables presents a collection of short films curated by Alexis Kirke on the themes of quantum multiverse. 

The programme includes metaphors for quantum effects how observers effect the observed and paths we could have taken but did not, including The End?, a new film by Alexis, in which observers inadvertently become part of an observed film. 

Date: Sunday 24 February 
Time: 10:30 - 12:00
Venue: Jill Craigie Cinema
Free admission, booking required

Contemporary Music Festival: Research Concert 

The Research Concert will showcase research, new ideas and technologies developed by our ICCMR composers. Marcelo Gimenes will perform a piece called Other Self, where he will create musical Artificial Intelligence of himself. Alexis Kirke plans to link the brain of two performers to a quantum computer in a piece called Entangled Brain, whilst Nuria Bonet's new composition, Queen Canute, will explore the intriguing world of seabird communication. 

Date: Sunday 24 February
Time: 14:30–16:00
Venue: The House
Free admission, booking advised

Word is...

  • A "Anyone complaining that classical music is boring clearly needs to take a trip to Plymouth." Sinfini Music
  • . "It's all highly experimental, but the work being done does have practical, real-world consequences." The Creators Project, Vice Media
  • A "The festival teems with compositional creativity." New Statesman
  • . "One of the UK’s most innovative festivals of contemporary music." The Sampler
  • A "Firmly establishing itself as an important platform in the UK for new music." Seen and Heard International
  • . "In every sense, a memorable weekend." The Telegraph