About


About the Sonic Writing research project

The Sonic Writing research project is a two-year (Feb 2016-Feb 2018) AHRC funded research programme that will result in a monograph to be published by Bloomsbury in 2018. The research plan involves diverse activities, such as symposia, workshops and a conference, with international partners: STEIM, IRCAM, C4DM, CMC and CNMAT.

The project explores work and practices using new technologies for musical expression. Through tracing the historical conditions of material and symbolic design in in three interconnected strands of inscription - instruments, notation, and phonography - the project studies how established techniques are translated into new methods of musical composition and performance in digital musical media.

This research will map and clarify a complex landscape of current developments in music technology research where boundaries between creating and listening, and between instruments and media are disappearing. New inventions are uprooting traditional approaches to the writing, playing and sharing of music, and this needs to be studied from a media theoretical perspective. The Sonic Writing project will explore how past techniques and design patterns found in the areas of instrument design, musical notation and sound recording are translated into digital media practices of musical expression.

Thor Magnusson is a lecturer in Music at the University of Sussex. His work focusses on the impact digital technologies have on musical creativity and practice, explored through software development, composition and performance. He is the co-founder of ixi audio, and has developed audio software, systems of generative music composition, written computer music tutorials and created two musical live coding environments. As part of ixi, he has taught workshops in creative music coding and sound installations, and given presentations, performances and visiting lectures at diverse art institutions, conservatories, and universities internationally.