Soundstream is privileged to have four outstanding mentors to work with this years finalists:
Simon Emmerson came to De Montfort as Research Professor in November 2004 after many years as Electroacoustic Music Studio Director at City University, London. He originally studied sciences and music education at Cambridge before completing a PhD in Electronic Music at City.
As a composer he is committed to live performance with electronics and has now forty years of work reflecting the changing technology of music; commissions include works for the Smith Quartet, Philip Sheppard (electric cello), Philip Mead (piano) with the Royal Northern College of Music Brass Quintet, Darragh Morgan (violin) and Keynote+ (Jane Chapman and Kate Ryder – harpsichord and piano). He has also completed purely electroacoustic commissions from the IMEB (Bourges), the GRM (Paris) and the Inventionen Festival (Berlin).
CDs of his works have been issued by Continuum (1993) and Sargasso (2007 and 2008). He contributed to and edited The Language of Electroacoustic Music in 1986 (Macmillan, still in print) and Music, Electronic Media and Culture (Ashgate, 2000). His book Living Electronic Music was published by Ashgate in 2007. He has also contributed to Computer Music Journal, Contemporary Music Review and the Journal of New Music Research.
He was founder Secretary of EMAS (The Electroacoustic Music Association of Great Britain) in 1979, and served on the Board of Sonic Arts Network from its inception until 2004. He is a Trustee of its successor organisation ‘Sound and Music’. In 2009-2010 he was DAAD Edgar Varese Visiting Professor at the TU, Berlin. In the summer of 2011 he gave the keynote addresses at the Australasian Computer Music Conference (Auckland) and the International Computer Music Conference (Huddersfield).
Born and bred in Aotearoa/New Zealand Alison Isadora (1962) studied political philosophy and music at the Victoria University of Wellington (NZ), before moving to the Netherlands in 1986 primarily to study violin (with Vera Beths) and thereafter composition (Gilius van Bergeijk and Theo Loevendie) at The Hague Conservatorium (1994, with distinction) and post-graduate performance theater at DasArts in Amsterdam.
She has been a performing composer or a composing performer within numerous Dutch groups including Hex, Gending, Nieuw Ensemble, the Maarten Altena Ensemble and the multi-medi duo SYNC. Her works have been performed by diverse ensembles in the Pacific, Europe and North America including Ensemble Klang, David Kweksilber Big Band, Matangi Strijkkwartet, Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, Array Ensemble (Canada) and STROMA Ensemble (NZ). As well as composing for music ensembles, Isadora also creates music-theatre performances, audio walks and installations.
In the last years she has become increasingly interested in the possibilities of connecting music to other disciplines. Isadora’s works often incorporate elements of story-telling and participation while addressing social issues.
In her capacity as music educator Isadora has explored elements of sound and composition with dance, choreography and theatre students at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem (NL).
In 2016-2017 Isadora is the Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music.
Cat Hope’s music is conceptually driven, using mostly graphic scores, acoustic /electronic combinations and new score reading technologies. It often features aleatoric elements, drone, noise, glissandi and an ongoing fascination with low frequency sound. Her composed music ranges from works for laptop duet to orchestra, with a focus on chamber works, and in 2013 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to develop her work, as well as Civitella Ranieri (Italy) and Visby International Composers residency (Sweden) fellowships. Her practice explores the physicality of sound in different media, and has been discussed in books such as Loading the Silence (Kouvaris, 2013), Women of Note (Appleby, 2012), Sounding Postmodernism (Bennett, 2011) as well as periodicals such as The Wire, Limelight,and Neu Zeitschrift Fur Musik Shaft Her works have been recorded for Australian, German and Austrian national radio, and her work has been awarded a range of prizes including the APRA|AMC Award for Excellence in Experimental Music in 2011, 2014 and the Peggy Glanville Hicks composer residency in 2014. She has founded a number of groups, most recently Decibel new music ensemble, noise improv duo Candied Limbs and the Abe Sada bass project. She has also founded and written pop songs for Gata Negra (1999-2006).
The son of musician parents, GAO Ping was born in Chengdu, in the Chinese province of Sichuan, in 1970. He studied piano and composition in Beijing, and then in the USA where he took his Doctorate in Musical Arts at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. For several years from 2004 he taught at Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the ensuing decade, he developed significant ties between China, New Zealand and Australia. More recently, Dr Gao has returned to Beijing where he is currently Head of Composition at the Conservatory of Music – Capital Normal University, as well as composer-in-residence with the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble of musicians who play mainly new compositions on traditional Chinese instruments.
Two albums of his music on the Naxos label have received critical acclaim. A critic with the international music journal Percorsi musicali described him as “one of the most important composers to emerge from China in recent years”.
Increasingly in demand as composer, pianist, teacher and lecturer, Dr Gao has received many prestigious commissions, performances and awards from noted performers, venues and festivals around the world.
His music draws its inspiration from the folklore of his native China, from ancient Chinese poetry and the oral tradition of story-telling from his childhood in Sichuan. “I have always thought of myself as a story-teller of sorts,” he has written, “but in place of words, I use music.” Many of his pieces for solo piano required the player to sing, hum and vocalize, and play prepared piano and other percussion instruments. Habitually, his pieces comprise a mélange of Chopin and Shostakovich, popular Chinese song and post-Mao revolutionary music.