RESEARCH

Alongside his composition and practice based research, Andrew is also engaged in critical study focusing upon issues that are directly related to his compositional practice.

Books

Specific research areas of interest are: audience interpretation of electroacoustic musics, aesthetics of electroacoustic music, composition of sound and image and multichannel performance spatialisation.

Projects

Listed below are the main research projects that Andrew has been involved with to date.

Sounds of Leicester's Cultural Quarter

Part of the AHRC funded Affective Digital Histories project, Andrew was commisioned to make a sound art piece which engages with the East Midlands Oral History Archive and explores the past of the Cultural Quarter through sound.

Recording Machines

He is currently collecting sounds to be hosted on an interactive sound map of the Cultural Quarter area in Leicester.

"Changing Sounds of an Industrial City" - BBC News spot Evening.

"Quiet" - Composition Residency at NOTAM

Funded by Arts Council England and the British Council under the Artist International Development Fund, this project seeks to explore the notion of "Quiet" through electroacoustic composition.

Oslo

The Project Blog contains up-to-date information about the project and details about the composition process.

EARS2 / Compose with Sounds

The EARS2 (Pedagogical Electroacoustic Resource Site) and Compose With Sounds projects are part of a EU funded project, encouraged by UNESCO, to introduce electroacoustic music to young people.

The EARS2 project seeks to create an online e-learning environment for students at Key Stage 3 (11-14 years). This new site is a re-imagining of EARS, the Electroacoustic Resource Site website (designed for students, researchers and academics) providing a concept led approach to the introduction of electroacoustic music.

Andrew works as a Team Researcher and Project Coordinator as part of the EARS2 project, developing content and pedagogical tools for the site, as well as overseeing the development and functioning of the website itself (including web taxonomies and user acceptance testing) and leasing with an co-ordinating all other aspects of the project (for example, teacher packs and training, outreach projects and social media integration).

The Compose With Sounds portion of the project has focused upon the development of an intuitive and accessible desktop application for electroacoustic composition. Andrew was commissioned to write a piece using the CwS software and to collaborate with a young student to tutor and guide them in the creation of their own work. These works were premiered at the GRM in January 2013 (for more info and to hear the work Abstracted Journeys click HERE and select the Acousmatic Music tab).

Interpretation of Electroacoustic Audio-visual Music (PhD)

The basis of this research project stems from reflections upon the process of composition for electroacoustic audio-visual music. These are fixed media works in which sound and image materials are accessed, generated, explored and configured in creation of a musically informed audio-visual expression. Within the process of composition, the composer must decide how to effectively draw relationships between these time based media and their various abstract and mimetic materials. This process usually has no codified laws or structures and results in relationships that are singular to the individual artworks. The composer uses their own experience and intuition in assessing how best to associate sounds and images and they will use their own interpretation of the materials to evaluate the how successful they are in realising their intentions. But what is there to say that the interpretation made by the composer bares any resemblance to interpretations made by audiences?

The project challenges structuralist approaches to interpretation, drawing together theoretical materials and empirical research findings in support of a post-structuralist model of interpretation that demonstrates the absolutely vital role played by context – the framing of the artwork in the consciousness of the individual audience member.

This research project constituted Andrew's PhD research, and was examined and successfully defended in June 2012. The examiners were: Prof. Pete Stollery; Dr. Simon Atkinson.

Visit De Montfort University's Open Access Repository (DORA) to access the thesis and accompanying media.

Composing the Metaphor (MA)

This dissertation investigated the literature and theories regarding the interaction of sound and image applicable to audio-visual artworks. The role of synaesthetic inspired association strategies within the genre was considered and evaluated.

This dissertation proposed that sound-image association operating on hierarchical levels is the ultimate method for audio-visual association and that simplistic strategies for multimedia relationships (such as those based upon synaesthesia) contradict the exploration of sound-image interaction; thus these strategies are highly limiting when employed as overall compositional models.

Some of the most significant literature on audio-visual relationships was evaluated, the writings of John Whitney, Michel Chion’s Audio-Vision and Nicholas Cook’s Analysing Musical Multimedia. The views in these texts were compared and contrasted in an effort to distill the core fundamentals under discussion. A brief investigation of psychological studies, carried out within the last ten years, sought to attribute any physiological or psychological basis to these theories. After analysing and contrasting these texts the discussion reflected upon the compositional methodologies used in the creation of electroacoustic audio-visual artworks.

This dissertation and the accompanying compositional works (Flux and Decomposing the Light) constituted the submission for an MA in Music, Technology and Innovation and were awarded a distinction.

Click to download this dissertation.

Publications

List of published research with links where appropriate:

HILL, A (2013 a) Understanding Interpretation, Informing Composition: audience involvement in aesthetic result. Organised Sound, 18(1). pp. 43-59 [Available online from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355771812000234].

HILL, A. (2013 b) Abstracted Journeys. In: Compose with Sounds [CD]. Leicester: De Montfort University. [Available online from: http://cws.dmu.ac.uk/EN/18 - including session files].

HILL, A. (2013 c) Interpreting Electroacoustic Audio-visual Music. Thesis (PhD), De Montfort University. [Available online from: https://www.dora.dmu.ac.uk/handle/2086/9898].

HILL, A. (2011) What is Electroacoustic Audio-visual music? In Andrew Hill and Motje Wolf (Eds.) Proceedings for Sound, Sight, Space and Play 2010. Leicester 2-4 June 2010. [Available online from: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/research-faculties-and-institutes/art-design-humanities/mtirc/archive/sssp-2010.aspx]

HILL, A.; WOLF, M. (2011) Proceedings for Sound, Sight Space and Play 2010. Leicester 2-4 June 2010 [Available online from: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/research-faculties-and-institutes/art-design-humanities/mtirc/archive/sssp-2010.aspx]

HILL, A. (2010a) Investigating Audience Reception of Electroacoustic Audio-visual Compositions: Developing an Effective Methodology. eContact! 12(4) [Available online from: http://cec.concordia.ca/econtact/12_4/hill_reception.html]

HILL, A. (2010b) Desarrollo de un lenguaje para la música audiovisual electroacústica: investigación sobre su comunicación y clasificación. En el Límite — Escritos Sobre Sonido, Música, Imagen y Tecnología, pp. 144–165. Editado por Universidad Nacional de Lanús, 2010; compilado por Raúl Minsburg. [Available both in print and online from: http://www.unla.edu.ar/public/en_el_Limite/index.php ]

Link to Andrew's page on Academia.edu.

Presentations

List of previous talks and presentations:

Audience Interpretation Informing Composition. Tape to Type Def Conference, Sheffield University, 30th January 2013.

Mimetic and cultural responses to electroacoustic music. Music, Methods and The Social, CRESC, The Open University, 17th May 2012.

Initial Results: Understanding Electroacoustic Audio-visual Music. EMS12: Meaning and Meaningfulness in Electroacoustic Music. 11-15th June 2012.

Approaches to an Analysis of 'Dripsody'. New Multimedia Tools for Electroacoustic Music Analysis: Extending Analysis, De Montfort University, 29th February 2012.

Investigating Interpretation of Electroacoustic Audio-visual Music. Seeing Sound, Bath Spa University, 29-30th October 2011.

What is Electroacoustic Audio-Visual Music? Nomenclature and Cognition. Sound, Sight, Space and Play 2010, De Montfort University, Leicester, 2-4th June 2010.

Evocation in the Art of Composition. Sound, Sight, Space and Play 2008, De Montfort University, Leicester, April 8-9th 2008.