Electric Spring 2020


Electric Spring
19–23 February 2020
University of Huddersfield
19/2: Lauren Redhead & Alistair Zaldua
20/2: Louise Rossiter
21/2: Weston Olencki
22/2: Leafcutter John
Electric Spring is an annual festival of sonic exploration of cutting-edge practice in electronic music. The five-day programme of concerts, installations and symposia brings together a collection of people from diverse musical backgrounds to share their knowledge and perform music. The festival is curated by the Music and Music Technology staff of the University of Huddersfield. Installations
Simon Whetham (GB), “Made to Malfunction
Presented in partnership with IN-VITRØ, LOXOSconcept, and Matera European Capital of Culture 2019
Free admission for all concerts and workshops
Concerts at 19:30 in Phipps Hall, Richard Steinitz Building.

Full programme to be announced.
• Creative Coding Lab Symposium (Saturday 12-5)
• Modular Meets (Sunday 12-5)

Full Program

19/02 (Wed)20/02 (Thurs)21/02 (Fri)22/02 (Sat)23/02 (Sun)
7:30PM – Phipps Hall7:30PM – Phipps Hall7:30PM – Phipps Hall7:30PM – Phipps Hall12:00 PM – Richard Steinitz Building Atrium
Lauren Redhead &
Alistair Zaldua
Louise RossiterWeston OlenckiLeafcutter JohnModular Meets
opening act:
Pamela Hulme
opening act:
Emma Margetson
opening act:
Dré Hočevar, Maria Donohue, Henry McPhearson, Colin Frank
opening act:
Laurens van der Wee
Vox Humana, five newly commissioned works by female composers for organ & electronicsImmersive multichannel acousmatic work presented on the 66 loudspeakers of the HISSUnpredictable adventures with polymath performer Weston Olencki—modular synths, video, trombone, euphonium, improv, …One of the UK’s most innovative electronic musiciansEnjoy an afternoon of modular geeking-out. In the Atrium of the Creative Arts Building, come and share your love for all things pluggable, hackable and circuit bent. This event is run by Ben Wilson from 12:00 – 5:00PM in the afternoon.


Lauren Redhead
Lauren Redhead is a composer of experimental music, an organist who specialises in music for organ and electronics and a musicologist who focuses on the aesthetics and semiotics of contemporary music. Her compositions are published by Material Press (Berlin), and her music and performances have been released on the sfz music, innova, pan y rosas discos and engraved glass labels and performed and broadcast internationally. Lauren is currently Senior Lecturer in 20th and 21st Century Music at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Alistair Zaldua

Alistair Zaldua is a composer of contemporary and experimental music, whose work has been featured at many international festivals throughout the UK, Europe, and South America. Since1998 he has worked as conductor for contemporary music, and a violinist, giving the first performance of many new works and teaching contemporary music performance practice at the Institut for Neue Musik, Freiburg. He currently performs both notated and improvised music as a violinist and has specialised in developing the duet performance of live electronics. Alistair has taught composition, conducting and music aesthetics in the UK at Goldsmiths and Canterbury Christ Church University, and is the translator of many texts on contemporary music and art.
Louise Rossiter
Louise Rossiter (1986) is an Electroacoustic composer and sound artist based in Leicester, UK.

Louise's research interests include expectation in acousmatic music, silence and music, acoustic ecology, multi-channel composition and spatialisation. She completed a PhD at De Montfort University, Leicester under the supervision of John Young and Simon Emmerson, having studied previously under Pete Stollery, Robert Dow and Robert Normandeau. Her current research carries on from doctoral research to explore ways in which interactions of sound, silence, and timbral blending might evoke implications, expectations and questions. She is currently composing a series of pieces which explore the work of Fritz Kahn. Dr Kahn’s work revolutionized the area of infographics by producing images representing the human anatomy as complex pieces of machinery. The research project provides a tangible link to explore between sound, imagery and the imagination to explore expectations.

Louise’s works aim to provide a highly immersive sonic experience which are in some way, unpredictable. Previous projects have focused on silence, contrasting real and imaginary places and enigmatic sound.

Her works have been performed internationally at EMS, Electronic Music Week (Shanghai), Influx (Musiques et Reserches), L'espace du sons, NYCEMF, BEAST, SSSP, Sound Festival, Soundings..., Sound Junction, Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, Bologna Conservatory of Music and Electroacoustic Wales.

Louise has also had works awarded in several international competitions, including in the Destellos International Composition Competition, Musica Nova (Prague), Franz Liszt Stipendium (Weimar), Electronic Music Week (Shanghai). In 2012, she was awarded first prize in the prestigious L'espace du son international spatialisation competition. In 2019, Homo Machina was selected to be performed as part of the UK contingent at the International Confederation of Electroacoustic Music (CIME / ICEM).

Louise's work is published on the Xylem record label.
Weston Olencki
Weston Olencki is a South Carolina-born musician working at the intersections of improvisation, contemporary composition & extended instrumental performance, new media technologies, and noise-based practices. His work is concerned with material conditions sound and its diffusion, using experientially-driven structures to examine sonic relationships to metaphor/signification, informational complexity, technological mediation, psycho-acoustic perception, and geographical identity. He has presented work at the Borealis Festival, ISSUE Project Room, REDCAT, bludenzer tage zeitgemäßer musik, Gent Jazz Festival, Blanton Museum of Art, Squeaky Wheel, Mostly Mozart, the American Academy in Rome, Frequency Festival, Indexical, and the OPTION series, and was awarded the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis for performance from the 2016 Darmstadt Ferienkurse. Weston is an active member of RAGE THORMBONES, Ensemble Pamplemousse, the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, tunnels, and performs regularly as a soloist and ensemble member on low brass instruments, modular synthesizers, and various electronic media. He lives in New York City, and is also a curator/sound engineer for Spectrum NYC.
Leafcutter John
Bradford-born, Wakefield-raised John Burton grew up fascinated by sound, and as a young boy would often drift off to sleep to the diffuse tones of his dad’s progressive rock collection emanating from the room beneath him. He tried piano, guitar, and a short stint playing mouth organ but they failed to captivate him. It wasn’t until halfway through his painting degree at Norwich School of Art and Design that he discovered the computer he bought to write his dissertation could take him on new sonic adventures by recording and manipulating sound.

As part of his ongoing quest to create more expressive instruments with which to write and produce music John has designed, built and developed a unique light controlled musical interface which is the heart of his live show. Comprising a light sensitive controller and bespoke Max/MSP software which he plays gesturally using handheld lights. He has performed with it throughout Europe and given talks and workshops at various music and art schools, including the Royal College of Music. In 2012 he took this system to Vietnam at the invitation of the British Council and in 2014 played it to a sold-out Roundhouse in London supporting Imogen Heap. In 2015, the interface won the Qwartz Electronic Music Award for Innovation.

Since 2004 John has been a key member of experimental jazz band Polar Bear, recording five albums with them, touring extensively and picking up two prestigious Mercury Prize nominations. John has also performed with Shabaka Hutchings, Talvin Singh and Imogen Heap, supported Matmos, Otomo Yoshihide and Yo La Tengo and twice been part of Beck’s band at the Barbican, London. In 2007 he was also invited to perform at Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown Festival at London’s Southbank Centre, alongside Beth Orton, Grace Jones, Nick Cave and Roisin Murphy.
Pam Hulme
Pam Hulme is an innovative loop artist, organist, composer, improviser and conductor. Her work explores the interaction between sound, space and time as inherent musical material when working with organ and live electronics. Pam has developed a transferable approach to digital augmentation of the organ, which she combines with improvisation and remixing classical organ repertoire, as well as composing fixed works. Pam is based in Berlin, where she works as a church musician, and is highly active with music outreach, particularly through her ongoing project: Metamorphosis: Urban-Organ. Recent solo performances include Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, London, and Yorkshire, where she has also been studying part-time for an MRes in Composition at the University of Huddersfield.
Emma Margetson
Emma Margetson is an award winning acoustic composer and sound artists based in the Midlands, UK. Her works have been performed nationally and internationally, and was recently featured on the British Music Collection's #acomposeraday series, which showcased the profiles of 31 composers and their unique contributions to composition in the UK.

Emma’s compositional work is focused on developing novel compositional approaches that are actively geared towards increasing engagement with electroacoustic composition in order to reach wider audiences, in particular disadvantaged segments of the community, and younger people. Furthermore, Emma has collaborated with a variety of organisations across the West Midlands including the IKON, Research & Cultural Collections at the University of Birmingham, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and Sampad.

Emma is also currently a member of BEER (Birmingham Electroacoustic Ensemble for Research) and has developed skills in live-coding and laptop ensemble performance. Emma was awarded the COMPASS Prize in 2014, klingt gut! Young Artist Award in 2018 and AHRC Midlands3Cities Cultural Engagement Award in 2018. Her works have been performed and exhibited internationally, including at Ars Electronica Forum Wallis (CH), University of Birmingham (UK), The Barber Institute of Fine Arts (UK), 5to Festival de Música Electroacústica (CL), BEAST FEaST (UK), SEAMUS (USA), CEMI circles (USA), EMAS (UK), Festival Ecos Urbanos (MEX), BULO (UK), RMA (UK), SPECTRA (CO), NYCEMF (USA), Birmingham Hippodrome (UK), Audior Acusmonium (ITL), Sound-Image Colloquium (UK), Delian Academy of New Music (GD), Noisefloor Festival (UK), [ ex_nihilo ] (MEX), MAtera INtermedia (ITL), Sound Junction (UK), Musica Electronic Nova (PL) and Electric Spring (UK).
Laurens van der Wee
Laurens van der Wee used to be a soap maker, now he is a composer again. His use of technology is characterised by a strong love-hate relationship with it. This tension is the source of all his artistic endeavours, whether it be composing music, improvising on stage or even devising the occasional sound installation. The focus, however, is always on finding the right balance between harsh noise and good odour.

For the record: Laurens holds MMus and BAT degrees from the Utrecht University of the Arts (HKU) in Utrecht, The Netherlands and is currently a Bernhard Fellow in Prof. Michael Clarke’s ERC funded IRiMaS research group at the University of Huddersfield, pursuing his doctoral degree. Work has been presented at ICMC’s and SMC’s in Belfast, Montreal, Porto and Barcelona, at the Hong Kong International Dance Symposium and all around Europe.
Colin Frank
Colin Frank (CAN/UK) experiments with sound, electronics, theatre, and percussive instruments. In attempting to blur delineations between composer, performer, improviser, and technician his practice perpetually mutates: narrowly focusing then sprawling chaotically. He investigates excess, bodily extremes, barely controllable instruments, and rich, raw noises.
Brice Catherin
After his diploma of composition with Michael Jarrell in 2006, Brice Catherin willingly stepped away from the contemporary music institutions in order to develop very freely a few activities: multi-instrumental cellist, improviser, composer and art performer. These activities fed into each another, so that beyond his multidisciplinary shows and improvised concerts, Brice Catherin has never stopped composing and premiering written pieces. Most of his recent projects explore the idea of democracy in art: the artists' individual responsibilities and their place in the social group as well as those of the members of the audience are challenged and questioned.His pieces were premiered in many differents places on this planet, and some of them are available on various labels (la Cafetire and Drone Sweet Drone, France) and a netlabel (Pan Y Rosas, USA).
Henry McPherson
Henry McPherson is an artist, improviser, performer, and composer. His practice involves the production of scores, prompts, stimulus material, and standalone pieces in various forms of media, for interpretation through sound, movement, and other performance. He maintains a focus on score (in its various definitions) as interface, document-object, and archive, capable of generating unlimited avenues of interpretive and communicative possibility.
Maria Sappho
From Brooklyn, NY, Maria Sappho is an improviser, pianist, artist, and burgeoning cult leader. The heart of her interest is in re-considering/contextualising audience and the role of the ‘niche’. Her preference tends towards working with extramusical disciplines, where she feels rewarded by the cross pollination of artistic vocabularies. She is often criticized for her outspoken opinions of those who use ‘composer’ with too much intent of authority. She has been lucky enough to play with some wise and supportive artists, to give credit to a few - Maggie Nicols, Una Maglone, Phil Minton, Trever Watts, Peter Knight, and Anto Pett. Maria is a happy member of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra.

Creative Coding Lab Symposium

This year Electric Spring hosts the third Creative Coding Lab Symposium. Those who have attended the Max/MSP Power Users’ Symposium in the past will recognise the format of four guest speakers taking about creative work with audio programming, but in this new incarnation we’ve broadened the remit to encompass a wider range of languages and practices. This new name is taken from the recently formed Creative Coding Lab here at the University of Huddersfield.

The afternoon is an opportunity for practitioners in creative coding to share and discuss both their technical approaches and their artistic thinking, as well as the way they link the two together. Each of the four guest speakers will talk for around 45 mins to an hour, about their practice with the opportunity for attendees to ask questions after each talk.

The symposium will be held from 12-5 on Saturday, 22nd February, in RSG/01 in the Creative Arts Building. The setting will be relatively informal. Light refreshments will be provided.


Want to get in touch?

For any questions about the promotion of the events,
please contact:
The Electric Spring organising committee apologises that we cannot reply to unsolicited concert/project proposals.

University of Huddersfield
Richard Steinitz Building
Huddersfield HD1 3DH
United Kingdom

Admission to all concerts, installations, and the CCL Symposium is free of charge.