Affilated Staff

Benjamin Hackbarth is the director of the Centre for Music, Technology and Creativity, the artistic director of the Open Circuit Festival and the Head of Composition at the University of Liverpool where he writes music for instruments and electronic sound. Ben has been named composer in residence for musical research and composer in research at IRCAM three times since 2010. He was also a composer affiliated with the Center for Research and Computing in the Arts (CRCA) and a Sonic Arts Researcher at CalIT2. He has had residencies at Cité des Arts, Centre Internationale de Récollets, Akademie Schloss Solitude and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. In addition to writing concert music, he has collaborated with other artists to create multimedia installations with realtime graphics, sound and motion tracking. Notable performances include those by the Arditti String Quartet, Ensemble InterContemporain, the New York New Music Ensemble, the L.A. Percussion Quartet, the Collage New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Ensemble SurPlus and the Wet Ink Ensemble. His work has been presented in venues such as Cité de la Musique, Akademie Schloss Solitude, the MATA festival, SIGGRAPH, the Florida Electro-acoustic Music Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Ingenuity Festival, E-Werk, the Pelt Gallery, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Roulette Concert Space and Espace de Projection at IRCAM. Ben's music can be heard on CD releases by the Carrier Records and EMF labels.,

Eduardo Coutinho works in the interdisciplinary fields of Music Psychology and Affective Computing, where his expertise is in the study of emotional expression, perception and induction through music, and the automatic recognition of emotion in music and speech. Before his appointment at Liverpool, he was a Research Fellow in Music Psychology at the University of Sheffield and the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, and a Research Associate in Affective Computing at the Technical University of Munich and Imperial College London. He has contributed significantly to a broader understanding of the emotional impact of music on listeners, namely on the link between music structure and emotion, the types of emotions induced by music, and individual and contextual factors that mediate the relationships between music and listeners. Coutinho pioneered research on the analysis of emotional dynamics in music, and made significant contributions to the field of music emotion recognition, setting the new standard approach for recognition of emotional dynamics in music. Currently his work focuses on the application of music in Healthcare. He has published significantly in peer-reviewed top journals and conferences in both Music Psychology and Affective Computing topics. In 2013, he received the Knowledge Transfer Award from the National Center of Competence in Research in Affective Sciences, and in 2014 the Young Investigator Award from the International Neural Network Society.,

Matthew Fairclough is a composer and the Director of Music Technology at Liverpool. He lectures on the creative applications of Music Technologies in both Popular and Classical music. His research is practice-based focusing on composition for acoustic instruments with real-time electronic processing. His most recent work explores the control and generation of electronic sound, video and computer graphics using data taken in real-time from an instrumentalist’s performance. In 2014 Matthew founded Open Circuit Festival, a festival of new music, sonic art and audio-visual media, which runs annually at the University of Liverpool. He regularly works with high profile performers, composers and organisations. These have included performers such as Joanna MacGregor, Andy Sheppard, Joby Burgess, John Kenny and Oliver Coates, and the composers Jonathan Harvey and Luciano Berio. He has also collaborated as a sound designer with many ensembles, orchestras and arts organisations including Britten Sinfonia, Psappha, Ensemble 10/10, Smith Quartet, London Sinfonietta, SoundUK and Sound Intermedia. In 2015, alongside composer and artist Kathy Hinde, he co-taught the Composition for Multimedia course at Dartington International Summer School and again in 2016 with composer Sarah Angliss. Matthew has enjoyed a long collaboration with percussionist Joby Burgess video artist Kathy Hinde through the trio Powerplant. Mathew’s work with Joby was the subject of an Impact Case Study for the REF2014.

Giles Hooper is a Senior Lecturer in Musicology at the University of Liverpool. Earlier research and outputs focussed on critical theory and its application to a wide spectrum of music, ranging from Mahler to Nirvana. His work is interdisciplinary and he has published in journals such as Music Analysis, Twentieth-Century Music, and the International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music. More recently, both his research and teaching have focussed on music and audio-visual media; and, in particular, on the role and function of music and sound in digital games. He is currently overseeing the development of taught provision, including a new programme, in Digital Gaming. With some background and a longstanding interest in computing and mathematics, and applying a combination of musicological, analytical and aesthetic perspectives, his work looks at the way in which technological developments (in gaming hardware and software) can both enable and constrain compositional possibilities; and also considers the affective and immersive role of music in games, including the use of procedural and dynamic strategies as a means of generating reactive music in interactive game-states.

Lee Tsang, Lecturer in Classical Music Performance, is an academic with a difference. On the one hand he trained as a music analyst and has diverse research interests that embrace the timbral and the filmic; on the other, he is an impresario with an insatiable passion for creating, curating and performing new work. His organisation Sinfonia UK Collective has, since its inception in 2004, championed the work of major living composers from across the world, and enabled him to pursue his research concerns about creative agency in music performance contexts. These concerns have often involved him creating new texts and contexts for new music, e.g. animation/film, multi-composer collected editions, theatricalised concerts/productions, performing translations, lyric writing, or exploring musical spaces where classical, jazz and indigenous folk may meet. His current focus is on ‘authentic flow’ (principles, contexts, discourses) and the post-jazz ecology of Canadian composer-pianist David Braid. His work with Braid has featured on BBC, CBC, and at major festivals, including Ottawa International Chamberfest, Festival International Hautes-Laurentides and the Festival of the Sound; he has performed across Europe, Asia and North America and contributed as researcher/producer/editor/writer/vocal consultant to two albums that have received Juno nominations (K52 and Steinway labels). As well as an active conductor and baritone working with Braid, he collects and curates artefacts for the Sinfonia UK Collective Leginska Archive, which he founded and has featured on BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters, for UK City of Culture and the Women of the World Festival.

Paul Turowski is a composer, performer, and Lecturer in Music for Digital Games at the University of Liverpool. He also serves as Subject Component Lead for the Game Design Studies Programme. Paul's research examines intersections of game design/gameplay and musical composition/performance. This includes the employment of digital games as interactive musical scores as well as the creation of video games that afford musical authorship to the player. (For more details, see his doctoral dissertation, "Digital Game as Musical Notation") His creative work has been performed by ensembles such as Dither, Ekmeles, and the Ligeti Quartet; has been presented at events such as the annual conference of the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, the Kyma International Sound Symposium and the conference on Technologies of Notation and Representation; and has been featured on such websites as and He has also given talks on game music at events like the North American Conference on Video Game Music.,

Oliver Carman is a composer based in the North West of England. He completed his first degree in Music at the University of Sheffield in 1998 and a Masters in Electroacoustic composition in 2004. He was awarded a PhD in electro-acoustic composition from the University of Manchester in 2011, where he was an active member of MANTIS (Manchester Theatre in Sound). He is now lecturer in Music Technology at the University of Liverpool. His work is regularly performed throughout the UK and internationally, and has also been recognised at several international competitions including; IMEB (Bourges) 2007/2008 (Prix Residence, Selection Triuvium category), International Electroacoustic Competition "pierre schaeffer" 2007 (2nd Prize), Diffusion Composition Competition 2010, Limerick (3rd Prize) and Destellos Competition, Argentina 2012/2013/2014 (selection).

Richard Worth is a Lecturer in Popular Music Composition at Liverpool and a flute player, composer and arranger, who in 1989 left the UK for New York City. There he launched a career in music, founding a jazz/latin/funk outfit called Groove Collective, recording six albums (while he was still with them).They toured around the world, including performances at The North Sea and Montreux jazz festivals, and large rock venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado, as well as making appearances on American and European TV. During this time he also worked as a session player often on hip hop and dance records. He then returned to the UK, and completed a PhD in composition. His Hendrix inspired string quartet, “….but those unheard are sweeter” was performed by the Edinburgh Quartet at Kings Place in October 2009, and at the same concert, he performed Vassilis Kitsos’s ‘Niobi’ for solo flute; both pieces were subsequently broadcast on Radio 3’s ‘Hear and Now’. In 2010 The Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble preformed his Trombone Concerto, and he frequently performs in various musical contexts, from salsa and jazz to contemporary classical music.

Collaborative Residencies

2018 Composer in Residence Composer, sound artist, perfomer and researcher at IRCAM, Gilbert Nouno lives and works in Paris. He received the Rome Prize Fellowship from the Académie de France à Rome Villa Médicis in 2011 and the Kyoto Villa Kujoyama Fellowship in 2007. His music draws inspiration from visual and digital art and design, spanning notated and improvised forms. Gilbert Nouno is professor of music composition at the Royal College of Music in London, and DAAD invited professor for sonic arts in Detmold-Germany for 2016-17. He teaches live electronics and computer musics design at IRCAM and at Goldsmiths University in London where he is currently Visiting Research Fellow and was invited as a sound and composition lecturer at the 2014 International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt.

2018 Ensemble in Residence Pixels Ensemble is a collective of established chamber music players with a shared passion for performing the finest repertoire, from the classical period to the present day. Vastly experienced and versatile, the group appears in a wide range of combinations and line-ups, lending itself to innovative programming and enabling huge variety within individual concerts. They will be working with postgraduate composers on a concert of works for the 2018 Open Circuit Festival of New Music at the University of Liverpool.

Affiliated Postgraduate Students

Liam Carey is a Postgraduate student working towards a PhD in Composition. Particularly interested in auditory perception and how it shapes the listeners experience of a piece of music he is currently researching to what extent the concepts of consonance and dissonance can be applied to elements of music other than harmony. As a composer his interest auditory perception has led him to be influenced by composers who all deal in some way with auditory perception, such as the minimalist La Monte Young and Steve Reich, the experimentalist Alvin Lucier and James Tenney, and the spectralists Tristan Murail and Georg Friedrich Haas, as well as other perceptual based art works such as the Op Art movement.

Daniel Fallon, previously a commercial film and theatre composer, is now working towards a PhD in music composition at the University of Liverpool. His academic interest lies in the aesthetic relationship between ‘sound’ and ‘music’ in audiovisual settings. His work is an attempt to unify the two through instrumental and electroacoustic composition. Central to his compositional process are techniques such as electronically manipulating ‘found sounds’ in order to draw out their aesthetic potential and scoring for instruments in such a way that the sounds of different objects and musical instruments dance in and out of a broader soundscape, making and breaking links with their origins and blurring the distinctions between them.

Ian Costabile is a composer and sound artist. His education includes an undergraduate degree in Composition from University FMU (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and a MA degree in Art Aesthetics and Cultural Institutions from University of Liverpool. He has also been performing jazz and Brazilian music in several places in the UK. Currently he studies at the University of Liverpool towards a PhD in Composition and his research interests include spatial music and the aesthetic relationship between music and time.

Isabel Benito-Gutiérrez (1981), was born in Santander (Spain), where she studied piano at the Conservatorio Municipal Ataúlfo Argenta with M. Isabel Charlón. In the lasts days of her degree she started to be very interested in harmony and counterpoint. For this reason, she finally decided to move to Barcelona to study theory and composition at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMuC), where she studied with the masters Luis Naón and Mauricio Sotelo, and attended seminars and master-classes by Lasse Thoresen, Daniel Teruggi, Joan Albert Amargós, José Nieto, Hilda Paredes, Kaija Saariaho, Jose María Sánchez-Verdú and many others. In 2013 she moved to England where she did her PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) at the University of Huddersfield, working in the City of Liverpool College. Currently she combines her job as music educator whilst a Master of research in music composition at the University of Liverpool being mentored by Dr. Ben Hackbarth. Within this course she worked along with other Postgraduate students composing music for a silent film, this project was carried out with the collaboration of FACT Liverpool and became part of the Open Circuit Festival 2016. Her music is intuitive and artisanal and with a strong and magnetic nature. She creates contemporary music to be attractive not just to musicians, but for people from any professional field, as she thinks art is for everyone, and any person can feel an artistic representation inside. Many of her works have an interdisciplinary sense, mostly combined with painting, as she is very interested in this plastic art, while also in architecture, photography and cinematography.