All-female concert brings cutting-edge sounds to hallowed ground


Five female composers, a Hawksmoor church and a revolutionary 3D speaker are combining for a concert which aims to promote women in the music industry.

ComposersFive female composers, a Hawksmoor church and a revolutionary 3D speaker are combining for a concert which aims to promote women in the music industry.

Constructs sees the University of Greenwich Loudspeaker Orchestra bring its IKO box of audio wonders to neighbouring St Alfege Church on Wednesday 11 May (7pm).

Dr Brona Martin is an Irish Electroacoustic composer and sound artist. She is part of the university’s SOUND/IMAGE research group and hopes shows such as this can help women and girls realise that a world of music, technology and collaboration can be theirs.

Brona says: “In some schools there is little or no opportunity for students to engage with music technology. This means when someone comes to a university, such as Greenwich, where you have the opportunity to study sound and electronic music, it can be intimidating to see the equipment available.

“But music tech is very inclusive – people don’t need to be able to read music, for example. I did one module on music tech as part of my degree and from there I was hooked on electronic music, sound design and composition.

“There are exciting things happening in spatial audio and we hope this concert can help increase the visibility of female composers, as well as getting people talking about gender inequality in the music industry generally.”

Wednesday’s concert is a celebration of women in contemporary electronic music, featuring new compositions from five female composers, with Brona being joined by Emma MargetsonAngela McArthurNikki Sheth and Giulia Vismara.

It features the IKO, one of only six in the world, which is made up of 20 speakers which create a 3d soundscape. Using reflector panels, which were made at the university, to direct and reflect the sound within the space.

“This means the room becomes part of the performance,” adds Brona. “So, depending on where you are, the sound reflects differently, which means each person hears a different version of the piece. Composing with the IKO is really challenging because we’re learning about how sound behaves within many different types of spaces.

“Due to its portability, The IKO speaker has helped us bring our music to diverse and new audiences outside of academia. We no longer have to rely on the use of concert halls for performance. Therefore, we can explore different types of venues and spaces which results in a broader range of people attending our events.

Hosted by the Sound/Image Research Group, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The Loudspeaker Orchestra Concert series presents immersive acoustic experiences through programmed concerts of multichannel sound design, sonic art and electroacoustic music. The final show takes place on Wednesday 15 June: Diverse Frequencies at IKLECTIK, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Ln, London SE1 7LG

For more information:

Picture: From left to right: Angela McArthur, Emma Margetson, Nikki Sheth and Brona Martin.