Leah Kardos is composer/producer, writer and music researcher.
She makes eclectic, mostly instrumental music that often explores a specific limitation, whether it be a single piano in Feather Hammer (2011), spam emails as lyrics in Machines (2013), the relationships between score and interpretation, composer and performer in Three Preludes (2013), or working with purely analogue instruments and technologies in Rococochet (2017). Bird Rib (2020), explores the reuse and reversal of previous compositions in the construction of new material.
Her work has been broadcast on BBC R3 and 6 Music (UK), Triple J and Double J (Australia) and NPR (US), and performed by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Ruthless Jabiru, R. Andrew Lee, Ben Dawson, Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz, Lara James & her trio Triquetra – many of these players also feature/collaborate on her recordings. Her library music has been synced in many prime time TV shows (Masterchef, First Dates, Love Island, Panorama, and many more, all over the world). Her string and orchestral arrangements have used in films, library music and Netflix documentaries.
At Kingston University she lectures in music and music technology, and is the Director of the Visconti Studio, a recording and research facility co-founded with legendary producer Tony Visconti. In 2019 she started the Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra, the only ensemble of its kind in the world. Their debut album, Stylophonika, co-produced with Visconti, was released in January 2022 on Spun Out of Control records. She publishes and releases music with Bigo & Twigetti, contributes reviews and criticism to The Wire, and has written a book that critically analyses David Bowie’s Last Works, published by Bloomsbury Academic in early 2022. She is currently writing a book about Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love for Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series.
Oded Ben-Tal is an Israeli born, London-based composer and researcher working at the intersection of music, computing, and cognition. His compositions range from purely acoustic pieces, to interactive, live electronic pieces and multimedia work. In recent years he is particularly interested in the interaction between human and computational creativities. Together with Dr. Bob Sturm he developed research applying deep learning to folk musics and interrogating the creative capacity of the resulting generative system within the folk tradition as well as outside it. He is also using AI-inspired approaches in the domain of interactive, live electronic music joint improvisation between human performers and semi-autonomous AI system. Machine listening techniques combined with algorithmically steered processes open space for musical dialogue, in real-time, between human performers and computer counterparts.
In 2022 he launched the Datasounds, Datasets and Datasense research network which aims to identify core questions that will drive forward the next phase in data-rich music research, focused in particular on creative music making. Stemming out of his own compositional interests in relating human and machine creativities and broadening the scope to consider the implications as well as applications of computational means used to make music, understand it, and engage with it.
Raised on a cocktail of Motown, early rap and ‘80s jazz funk, Ebby began working in the music industry via a dance music record shop, where he combined specialist record buying and selling with DJ-ing at rave parties.
In the early ‘90s, his interest in music technology eventually led to him trying his hand at sound engineering. Several years of freelance work led to an opportunity to work at the world-famous Mute Studios where he was employed an in-house engineer for seven years. Through this, he was fortunate to work with many incredible producers including Gareth Jones, Flood and Ben Hillier, as well as a broad range of artists including Richie Hawtin, Barry Adamson and Erasure.
Advancements in hard disk recording, coinciding with two small mouths to feed, saw him supplementing his income via a temporary music technician job at Kingston University. Eventually, this job became permanent. Since then, Ebby has had what he describes as a wonderful opportunity to pass on the knowledge he gathered as a recording engineer to many students, colleagues and visiting artists, as well as helping to create a suitable environment for recording and music technology to flourish within the Department. He is very excited by the Visconti Studio project, as it brings together a team of people of varying areas of expertise, with the goal to create a hybrid analogue/digital environment worthy of the legendary name we have to endorse: Tony Visconti.
Michael Gatt is an electroacoustic music composer who specialises in acousmatic and site-specific works. His research interests include: sound diffusion; installation art; loudspeaker performance systems; timbral composition and sound design; interactive musical works; and creative uses of technology for music creation and production.
Michael completed his doctorate at De Montfort University in 2014 reading electroacoustic music analysis. Part of his major contribution was the conception and creation of the OREMA (Online Repository for Electroacoustic Music Analysis) project: an open access knowledge repository and web 2.0 platform that allowed users to upload, share and discuss analyses of electroacoustic works. An open-access peer-reviewed online journal, called the eOREMA journal, was also created as part of the project in order to disseminate research.
His work as part of the composer collective Hear Th↓s Space (a group who curate site-sensitive acousmatic concerts) and his year-long research position within the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (investigating future accessibility issues of digitally stored music) during his Masters have also informed his creative practice.
In 2017 Michael founded Acid Grass Records: a student-led collective of music producers. The aim of the collective is to collaborate and produce new popular musical works that employ unique recording and post-production techniques.
Dr. George Reid is a (ludo)musicologist, electronic musician, composer and digital artist for interactive multimedia.
Growing up with the music of video games in the 1990s is the root of his love for music technology and sound synthesis in particular, which has developed into both research and musicianship centred around the remediation of obsolete music technologies. Chiptune, the name given to early electronic video game music, remains his first musical love and is his primary go-to as a composer. The more anachronistic, noisy, broken and glitchy the sound is, the better.
He completed his Ph.D. in music at Kingston University in 2022, which focussed on chiptune as a means of self-expression and developed an analytical framework for understanding identity as it shaped through non/human musical encounters – specifically between technology, timbre, memory and the body. He continues to publish on the subject of video game music and identity within the field of ludomusicology, and at present his research explores obsolete musical aesthetics and practices from a queer perspective.
George currently lectures in music technology and musicology at both Kingston University and the University of Northampton.
Alex Evans has extensive professional experience creating music through composition, recording and performance work. A classically trained musician, he has spent a large part of his life working in popular music.
A founding member of British rock group Moke, he has released two albums and numerous singles including the top 20 US hit, My Degeneration. Alex has been signed as an artist to Warner Bros, Ultimatum, Artemis and Dorado record labels and with Moke toured the UK, Europe and the US extensively throughout the late ‘90s/early 2000s along with many acts including The Goo Goo Dolls, The Black Crowes, Senser, Kings X, Tonic, Dogstar and Spacehog. He has recorded at Abbey Road, Rockfield, Olympic, Royal Tone, Strangeway, Sphere, Mix This and RAK studios with producers including Dave Eringa, Bob Clearmountain, Tim Palmer, Paul Stacey and Chris Kimsey.
Further to Moke’s hiatus in 2002, Alex worked as a Music Buyer for international entertainment retailing chain, Virgin Megastores, before finding work as an in-house composer at Matineé Sound & Vision Ltd. Following a return to study, where he completed both a PGCE and a Masters degree in Composing for Film & Television, Alex has worked as a lecturer within Higher Education.
He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Music and remains active in the music industry as a writer, performer and session musician. In his spare moments, and when his children allow it, Alex can be found tinkering with an assortment of cantankerous vintage synthesizers.
Originally from the south coast, Rob is the in-house engineer for Visconti studio. He specialises in tracking, utilising the fantastic and large live room, as well as the amazing selection of analogue equipment available.
Rob is a classically trained musician who originally came to Kingston to further his musical knowledge after an intense year of studying jazz on guitar. He is also responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the studio, working to ensure it functions in its fullest capacity; as well as looking after the Visconti interns.
He has worked with artists such as Romances, Flight Brigade, Ralph McTell and S.O.L. Collective, and engineered for many producers including Tony Visconti, Chris Porter, Chris Kimsey and Ian Davenport.
As well as working in the studio, Rob works as a live sound engineer at local venues and enjoys working on his own music projects.