Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival

The Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, organised in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR) at Plymouth University, has developed a national reputation combining artistic creativity with scientific development, opening up new research opportunities and musical avenues that would not normally have been explored. 

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, as well as Peninsula Arts' resident musical ensemble, Peninsula Arts Sinfonietta.

The Festival is directed by Simon Ible, Director of Music of Peninsula Arts and Artistic Director and Conductor of Peninsula Arts Sinfonietta and Eduardo Reck Miranda, Professor in Computer Music at Plymouth University and Director of ICCMR.

Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2017: Voice 2.0

VOICE 2.0 offers a glimpse of how musicians, scientists and linguists are re-inventing voice through an ambitious programme exploring new means, forms and usages of voice in communication and musical creativity.

It will premiere new compositions by Plymouth University composers and guests, including the world premiere of a concert for a beat-boxer with an orchestra in her mouth - Butterscotch - a choir of real and virtual singers, and a fully-fledged invented language, created specially for the festival by David J. Peterson, the inventor of the Dothraki language for the Game of Thrones series.

Watch the incredible skills of Butterscotch in this video...

Voice 2.0

Ever since the dawn of humanity, voice has always been our primary source for communication. Our ability to evolve sophisticated verbal languages distinguishes us from other species but voice also transmits other kinds of emotional and social information in ways that written words are not able to transmit. And of course, let us not forget the undeniable expressive power of the singing voice. 

Paradoxically, voice seems to be losing ground to other means of communication. One might say that new communication technologies are to blame. For instance, back to the invention of silent cinema people realized that pictures could speak a thousand words. Indeed, this trend became entrenched in our society today: notwithstanding the fact that we can record voice with our mobile phones, people generally prefer to take photographs instead. Movies now combine audio and vision, but voice is often regarded as the poor cousin of image. More disturbingly, recent studies on usage of mobile phones have shown that texting has taken over making voice calls in the USA and in most of Western Europe. 

What is happening? Is voice becoming obsolete? Is technology really to blame here? Or would it be the case that voice, as we used to know it, is going through an upgrading process to be able to express matters of the present times?


The composers involved in the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music festival 2017 include: 

  • Eduardo Reck Miranda,  Professor in Computer Music at Plymouth University, where he leads ICCMR and is co-director of Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival
  • Simon Ible,  Director of Music of Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University and Artistic Director and Conductor of Peninsula Arts Sinfonietta, co-director of Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival
  • Alexis Kirke,  member of the Plymouth University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research and is composer-in-residence for Plymouth University’s Marine Institute, award-winning composer and filmmaker
  • David J. Peterson, one of the world's most famous language creators
  • Linas Baltas, Lithuanian composer who has created 11 new compositions over the last few years with premieres in England, USA and Lithuania
  • Núria Bonet, PhD student at ICCMR and composer of electroacoustic and instrumental music
  • Butterscotch, professional beat boxer and finalist of America's Got Talent in 2007.

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