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Feedback Musicianship Network Concert, The Meeting House, 6-9pm, 12th May, 2022 (+ online streaming)

Published onApr 28, 2022
Feedback Musicianship Network Concert, The Meeting House, 6-9pm, 12th May, 2022 (+ online streaming)

The Meeting House, University of Sussex Falmer Campus.

6-9pm, 12th May, 2022

Streaming link:

Entry is free, please register for a ticket here:

All our performers will be playing unique instruments that use feedback as their main method of producing sound.


Tom Davis and Laura Reid

Feral Cello and Friends…

The Feral Cello is an actuated feedback cello, whose signal processing is controlled through machine listening and machine learning. A pickup under the bridge sends the cello sound to a computer for processing and a machine learning algorithm analyses the audio to make decisions on the type of signal processing to apply. This processed audio is then played back through the cello through actuators placed upon its body. The system is designed to challenge common ideas of instrument control and mastery in performance through introducing a level of indeterminacy in the cello’s response to the performer. This performance will feature the Feral Cello and a number of other systems that are inspired by or related to the Feral Cello system.

The Feral Cello was designed and developed by Tom Davis in collaboration with Laura Reid and was in part funded by an Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice grant obtained by Reid.

Tom Davis is an improviser, instrument builder and sonic artist. He has performed at many festivals and conferences in Europe and the USA. His practice concerns technologically mediated interaction, embodiment and participatory practices. Davis is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Bournemouth.

Laura Reid is a composer whose music fuses vocal, instrumental, electronic and field recorded sounds. Her music has been broadcast on BBC radio, and performed internationally. Pop up Opera DETRITUS with librettist Oge Nwosu for Lost and Found was recently commissioned by The Royal Opera House at St. Pancras Station..

Laura has presented and performed work at international festivals including: Tête à Tête the Opera Festival; WOMAD; Celtic Connections; New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), Sound Music and Computing (SMC), Inside Out and Glastonbury.

Laura has recently been a holder two DYCP Arts Council Grants and is currently a PRS funded composer.

Luigi Marino

Improvisation for feedback cymbals 

This improvisation uses a set of three cymbals and analogue feedback generators I developed - the c-bows. All the sounds, including the electronic ones, are propagated by the metal surfaces of the cymbals, excited either by the bow or by the analogue devices. The cymbals are three rare large Wuhan cymbals on which I developed, between 2008 and 2010, a specific system for mapping the sounds produced with a bow. The c-bows used in this performance are one of the first performances presenting the last version of the circuit.

Luigi Marino is a musician based in Bristol. His work focuses on networks able to display relationships between human and nonhuman actors, with particular attention to how intuitive decisions can profoundly affect pre-existing conditions. He is an active improvisor performing on both electronic media and percussion, especially zarb and bowed custom cymbals.

The Curious Feet Bags

The Feedback Musicianship Network, supported by Koda/ Danish Composers Association and the Danish Arts Foundation, commissioned Lars Kynde to respond to a unique challange: write a set of ensemble pieces for feedback instruments. This will be the world premiere.

Composer: Lars Kynde


Paul Stapleton (volatile assemblage)
Thanos Polymeneas-Liontiris (feedback double-bass)
Adam Pultz-Melbye (feedback double-bass)
Tom Mudd (Gutter Synth)
Dan Overholt (overtone fiddle)
Alice Eldridge (feedback cello)
Chris Kiefer (feedback cello)

John Bowers

Khôra for Slapstick and Room Feedback

Khôra is a complex ancient Greek word which can alternately refer to the area outside a city boundary, a womb or other nurturing environment, or a spacing or interval between elements. It has, then, a curious multivalence between the geo-political, the biological-reproductive, and the structural-logical. It has a key role in Plato’s Timaeus as the philosopher gives an account of how worldly things could take shape from the unintelligible realm of ideal forms. Plato’s khôra features in commentaries by, amongst others, Jacques Derrida and in Julia Kristeva’s psychoanalytic account of the origins of semiosis in which the spacings that arise and are necessary for any punctuated, linguistic, or we might say, digital system, come when drives are obstructed. The khôra appeals to many hoping, perhaps half-heartedly, for an origin story but are nervous about a creator god, though some theologians are indeed tempted by a khôra-god equation. The intervals arising from uncivilised fertility and frustrated drives is an image that might well appeal aesthetically to the feedback musician: primitive sound engendered partly outside the law, with emergent order of its own design, yet something foundational in the wishful thinking of our shy ontologies. Khôra for Slapstick and Room Feedback is a performative sonic-philosophical experiment which places multiple analyses and transformations in the feedback loop and explores an idea, following Karen Barad, of intra-action where how the performer’s gestures get to effect all this is programmed on the fly. This is a premiere performance. It seems right that it is in a chapel. But, in case of the algorithms flatlining to silence or philosophical ambition going too far, a slapstick will be on hand to make a sharp noisy impulse or deliver a comedic blow to the head.

Scott McLaughlin

Open-forms for Feedback Clarinet(s)

The feedback clarinet was built by Sam Underwood. It simply replaces the clarinet mouthpiece/barrel with a small speaker and air-pressure sensor: there’s no reed, so in some ways it could be a feedback recorder (with more keys/holes…). The feedback system is from one or more microphones placed in or near the clarinet body. Typically, one is placed beside the speaker, and one outside the body to allow for spatial interaction. The pressure sensor connects to an external control box to fine-tune gain structuring and sensor offset. My interest as a performer is in ‘surfing’ the indeterminacy of emergent structures in feedback. Moving between stable and unstable configurations of fingerings to find meta-stable situations that can be explored.

Scott McLaughlin (b.1975) is an Irish composer and improviser based in Huddersfield (UK). He started out as a shoegaze/experimental guitarist before studying music in his 20s at University of Ulster then MA/PhD University of Huddersfield (with PA Tremblay & Bryn Harrison). Currently, Scott lectures in composition and music technology at the University of Leeds, and co-directs CePRA (Centre for Practice Research in the Arts), as well as convening the RMA Practice Research Study Group. His research focuses on composing for contingency and indeterminacy in the physical materiality of sound. Scott is currently Co-I on the AHRC SPARKLE (Sustaining Practice Assets for Research, Knowledge, Learning and Engagement), and recently completed an AHRC Leadership Fellowship, the ‘Garden of Forking Paths’ project, on composing for contingency in clarinets —

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