Network Music Festival

Sound without Borders // 15-18th July 2020

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Panel Discussion // Accessibility in Networked Music Performance

Networked Music Performance allows musicians to collaborate across distances, allowing access to other musicians without geographic boundaries, and making connections outside their immediate social circles. This is particularly valuable for social and musical interaction when usual forms of music-making are not possible. On the surface this seems like an extremely accessible form of music-making – anyone can take part with minimal equipment using many different approaches, however there are barriers that prevent musicians taking part in Network Music Performance. This panel discussion aims to identify some of these barriers, but more importantly, discuss practical ways that Network Music Performance can be made accessible to all those who would like to take part.

The panel will features performers and participants in the Network Music Festival and experts in the fields of network music and accessibility, and will be moderated by researcher Miriam Iowerth. The panellists are Marlo de Lara, Kofi Oduro, Jilliene Sellner and Amble Skuse.

Miriam Iorwerth is a lecturer at the University of the Highlands and Islands, teaching on the BA Applied Music and MA Music and the Environment courses. Her research interests are around Networked Music Performance, and she completed her PhD in 2019, titled “Playing together, apart: an exploration of the challenges of Networked Music Performance in informal contexts”. Outside of academia she in the chair of the Loch Shiel Festival, a chamber music festival in the Highlands of Scotland, as well as being involved in community music as a percussionist. In her previous career she worked as an electronics engineer, including at the Halley Research Station in Antarctica.

Born in Baltimore, USA, artist/activist/academic Marlo De Lara received a PhD in Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. Her artistic practice works within the realms of sound performance, visual distraction, and film. De Lara’s research addresses subjects relating to feminism, representation of marginalized populations, and creative work as political action. As curator and organizer of the Ladyz in Noyz international compilation series/collective, an ongoing project from 2008 to the present, she continues to promote emerging artists and musicians who are women.

Kofi Oduro‘s artistic practice is an observation of the world around us, that he then puts into artworks for others to relate to or disagree with. Through Videography, Poetry and Creative Coding, Oduro tries to highlight the realms of the human performance and the human mind in different scenarios. These situations can be described as social, internal, or even biological, which we face in our everyday lives. Adding music and visuals often helps to perceive one’s own feelings, and to highlight the different subtleties that make us human. With a dose of technology, there is an endless range of progress in the human creative endeavours.

Amble Skuse is a composer working with acoustic instruments and live electronics. Her background working as a diversity and inclusion officer informs her focus exploring social themes around disability and feminism, the use of voice, non-hierarchical composition processes, found sound, oral histories and interviews. Her work has been performed from China to Canada to Croatia. She is currently undertaking an AHRC scholarship PhD in Composition and has just been commissioned to write an Opera with Toria Banks of Hera for Sound Festival based on interviews with disabled people.

Jilliene Sellner is a UK-based Canadian practicing sonic artist and producer. Her solo sound, video and photographic work considers the irrevocably entwined relationship between human activity and the environment. Her recordings emphasize human occupation and enterprise, evidence the interconnections between utility, exploitation, defense, leisure and environmental conservation. Sellner facilitates Heya (هي) a research project that works towards bridging women who make sound, noise, field recordings, experimental music, and electronic music with each other and a global audience. The main geographical areas of focus are Cairo, Tehran, Istanbul and Beirut.