MARL Talk: Research at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast (SARC)

Abstract: The talk will provide an insight into current research at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast (SARC). Dr Franziska Schroeder and Prof Pedro Rebelo will present work from SARC, including in the areas of inclusive VR design and physics-based simulation and synthesis of mechano-acoustic systems and analog circuitry for development of new digital musical instruments.
They will also give insights into practice-based sonic arts research projects including their mobile listening app ‘LiveSHOUT’ as well as their work in the area of socially engaged sonic arts practice.

Dr Franziska Schroeder (Germany / UK)

Originally from Germany, Franziska is based at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast where she holds the post of senior lecturer in music and sonic arts.

Franziska trained as a contemporary saxophonist in Australia, and in 2006 completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, where her research focused on performance, digital technologies and theories of embodiment. She has published widely in diverse international journals and has given several invited keynote speeches on the topic of performance and emerging technological platforms.

Franziska has published a book on performance and the threshold, a book on user-generated content and a volume on music improvisation (Soundweaving, 2014). She performs as saxophonist in a variety of contexts and has released several CDs on the Creative Source label, as well as a recording on the SLAM label with a semi-autonomous technological artifact. In 2015 she released an album on the pfmentum label with two Brazilian musicians, and 2016 saw the release of a Bandcamp album with her female trio Flux.

Throughout 2018 Franziska is leading a research team at Queen’s University on a project that investigates immersive technologies in collaboration with disabled musicians and Belfast’s only professional contemporary music ensemble, the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble (HRSE). As part of this team, Franziska designed a new VR narrative work entitled “Embrace”. This piece critically investigates ideas of disability, identity, and empathy. “Embrace” is the first showcase piece created at the Sonic Arts Research Centre within its newly established research group “SARC_Immerse”, a group that has positioned itself as leading in the field of high-quality audio use in virtual environments.

Franziska leads the Performance without Barriers research group, a group of PhD and post-doctoral students investigating inclusive music technologies. At Queen’s University Belfast Franziska teaches students in improvisation, digital performance and critical theory.

Prof Pedro Rebelo (Portugal / UK)

Pedro is a composer, sound artist and performer working primarily in chamber music, improvisation and installation with new technologies. In 2002, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh where he conducted research in both music and architecture.

His music has been presented in venues such as the Melbourne Recital Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Ars Electronica, Casa da Música, and in events such as Weimarer Frühjahrstage fur zeitgenössische Musik, Wien Modern Festival, Cynetart and Música Viva. His work as a pianist and improvisor has been released by Creative Source Recordings and he has collaborated with musicians such as Chris Brown, Mark Applebaum, Carlos Zingaro, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros.

His writings reflect his approach to design and creative practice in a wider understanding of contemporary culture and emerging technologies. Pedro has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University (2007) and in 2012 he was appointed Professor at Queen’s and awarded the Northern Bank’s “Building Tomorrow’s Belfast” prize. He is a professor of sonic arts at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast.