RMA Session: New Manifestoes for Process in Music 

We’re happy to share the details of our themed session at the RMA annual conference this year. The theme of manifestoes has yielded some very interesting and diverse results and talking points, and we’re looking forward to a rich discussion. Below are the titles of the manifestoes/positions that will be delivered and the biographies of our contributors. 

Introduction and chair
Dr Lauren Redhead (Goldsmiths, University of London)


Dr Richard Glover (Wolverhampton University)
“How to Communicate Music as a Gradual Process”

Sophie Stone (Canterbury Christ Church University)
“Extended Duration Experimental Music”

Dr Cara Stacey (Independent Composer)
“Reflections on Composition and Ethnomusicology from a Southern African Perspective”

Keren Levi (Independent Choreographer) and Tom Parkinson (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Footnotes for Crippled Symmetry: Making new work after Morton Feldman’s Crippled Symmetry in 2018 – a manifesto”

Dr Alistair Zaldua (Canterbury Christ Church University)
“The Processes of Translation”

Dr Lisa Busby (Goldsmiths, University of London)
“Protocols, Policies, and Proposals Performed”

Dr Matthew Sergeant (Bath Spa University)


Lauren Redhead is Senior Lecturer in 20th and 21st Century Music at Goldsmiths, University of London from 1st September 2018. Her primary research interests are the aesthetics and socio-semiotics of music. She is a composer of experimental music and a performer of music for organ and electronics.

Richard Glover is a composer and writer. His music explores gradual process, perception in reductionist sound environments and experimental approaches to notation. His portrait CD Logical Harmonies was released in 2013, and his music has been performed internationally by ensembles such as the Bozzini Quartet and musikFabrik, among others. He has published book chapters and articles on Phill Niblock, minimalism and technology, and the perception of sustained tone music. He is Reader in Music at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.

Sophie Stone is a composer of experimental music and is currently studying for a practice research PhD at Canterbury Christ Church University with Dr Lauren Redhead and Prof Matt Wright. Her research explores extended duration music and the performance situations, compositional strategies and the uses and types of silence that surround it. Sophie’s recent projects include a solo organ work titled Amalgamations (2016), “As Sure as Time…” (2016-?), an ongoing series for spoken voices, and Continuum (2017-2018), an electroacoustic 90-minute immersive installation. Her work has been presented in concerts, as installations and at conferences in Canterbury, Liverpool, Leeds, Huddersfield, Edinburgh and London. In 2018, New Sound: International Journal of Music published a co-authored article by Sophie, Dr Steve Gisby, Dr Alistair Zaldua and Dr Lauren Redhead on ‘Performing Temporal Processes’, which was presented at the Royal Musical Association Annual Conference at the University of Liverpool in 2017.

Cara Stacey is a South African musician, composer and researcher. She is a pianist and plays southern African musical bows (umrhubhe, uhadi, makhweyane). Her debut album ‘Things that grow’ features Shabaka Hutchings, Seb Rochford, Ruth Goller, and Crewdson (released in September 2015, Kit Records). In 2018, she released ‘Ceder’, a collaborative duo project with Peruvian musician Camilo Ángeles. Cara collaborates with percussionist and drummer Sarathy Korwar in the project Pergola and is a member of the Cape Town-based Shh..Art Ensemble. Cara holds a PhD in African music from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, a Masters in musicology (Edinburgh), and an MMus in musical performance from SOAS (London). Her doctoral research explored the makhweyane braced-bow of Swaziland. She has been an NRF Freestanding Doctoral scholar, a Commonwealth Split-Site scholar, and the recipient of funding from the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust and the University of Cape Town.

Choreographer Keren Levi (the Netherlands) and composer Tom Parkinson (UK) have made seventeen pieces together between Gravel in 2000 and Footnotes for Crippled Symmetry in 2018. This has included Territory (2004), CoupleLike (2005), The Dry Piece (2012) and Clubbing (2015). Their work is often concerned with creating other meeting points between music and dance than emotional or narrative affect or cross-modal metaphor. One of the recurring themes in their pieces is the performance of music as choreography. This is not to create a hybrid art form but to situate the performing body in an alternative disciplinary context.

Alistair Zaldua is a composer of contemporary and experimental music and has written work for: chamber ensemble, solo instrument, live electronics, audio/visual installation, and orchestra. His work has received performances from highly acclaimed ensembles and performers such as: ensemble surplus, Ensemble Aventure, Ensemble Modern, Composers Slide Quartet, and Ian Pace, Mark Knoop, Jonathan Powell, Rei Nakamura, Adam Linson, Lauren Redhead. His work consists of both fixed notated scores, as well as openly notated work and has been performed both internationally at festivals for contemporary music: Borealis (Bergen, Norway, 2014), UsineSonore (Malleray-Bevilard, Switzerland, 2012), REM (Bremen, 2011), Delmenhorst (2010), Quantensprünge ZKM (Karlsruhe, 2007 & 2008), Freiburger Frühling (2006), Música Nova (Sao Paolo, 2006), and Núcleo Música Nueva (Montevideo, 2006). Alistair currently teaches at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Lisa Busby is a Scottish composer, vocalist, DJ and Senior Lecturer is Music at Goldsmiths, University of London, and part of the core teaching team in popular music praxis. Lisa performs and composes with a number of ensembles (Rutger Hauser, The Nomadic Female DJ Troupe) and has a solo practice that situates itself across the boundaries of electronic music, improvisation, performance art, and pop music/culture. She often works across media in long duration forms, performance video, text based score, installation and site specific performance. Throughout her work she is interested in exploring the fringes of song; how pop culture artefacts can be set in new and unusual contexts; and the appropriation of everyday objects and scenarios with a particular specialism in using domestic playback media and objects as instrumentsHer research practice focuses on illuminating process; ‘availablism’ and lo-fi intermediality; DIY scenes and the ‘no audience underground’.

Matthew Sergeant is a composer and senior lecturer in composition at Bath Spa University. Matthew’s research currently focuses on the materiality of sound and the agency of non-sentient things. He is currently the director of SoMa, the Sonic Materialities Laboratory at Bath Spa University, the current chair of the Royal Musicological Association Sonic Makers’ Research Group co-founder of the pan-institutional Music and Materialisms research network. Current projects include co-editing volumes on theories and practices of contemporary music and on music and time. Matthew studied composition at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) before reading for his PhD at the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM) at the University of Huddersfield. He has held teaching positions at both the University of Huddersfield and the Royal Northern College of Music and has given numerous guest lectures around the world.