Programme 2019



24 – 27 April 2019

The Purcell Room, Southbank Centre

London SE1 8XX



We will soon have a detailed, day-by-day schedule with times for all the speakers. Here is an outline for the four days.

Wednesday, 24 April
0900      Doors open – Registration, Queen Elizabeth Hall / Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
1000      Programme begins
1800      Programme ends
              Drinks reception until 2000

Thursday, 25 April
1000      Programme begins
1800      Programme ends

Friday, 26 April
1000      Programme begins
1800      Programme ends

Saturday, 27 April
1000      Meet the Speakers until 1230
1800      Programme ends
              Drinks reception until 2000

Each day there are half hour breaks with coffee/tea served in the morning and afternoon. Lunch is for one-hour at approximately 1300.




Swiss/Dutch singer and composer Susanne Abbuehl (1970) has been an ECM recording artist since releasing April in 2001 and has toured worldwide with her own group. She studied jazz voice with Rachel Gould and Jeanne Lee at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, North Indian classical singing with Prabha Atre and composition with Diderik Wagenaar.

Susanne is currently Professor of jazz voice, ensemble and composing for and with words at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Lucerne as well as at the Haute Ecole de Musique HEMU in Lausanne.

Awards and prizes include an Edison award, the Grand Prix du Disque by the Académie Charles Cros and winning the ‘European musician of the year 2017’ award by the French Académie du Jazz. As a researcher she has recently contributed to conferences in Birmingham and Amsterdam.

Photo credit: Mario Del Curto


Mike Figgis is an artist who combines various disciplines. After studying music and playing with various ensembles Mike joined the experimental performance group People Show and toured extensively for ten years. After forming his own group Mike began to experiment with film and sound, combining these elements with live theatre and opera.

His first film, a one hour political fantasy for Channel 4 called The House, brought him into the domain of cinema.

Stormy Monday, set in the gritty crime world of Newcastle combines British and American actors and its success in the USA was followed by an extended period of mainstream feature filmmaking with Mike resident in Los Angeles.

Leaving Las Vegas, financed by an independent French company, was made on a very low budget and shot on Super 16mm film (in 24 days) and was a huge success, nominated for four Academy Awards, one for each of the actors and two for Figgis as both writer and director. Figgis also composed the score for the film. Nicolas Cage won the Oscar for best actor.

Encouraged by the success of a more experimental and minimal approach to filmmaking, Figgis continued to push boundaries and Timecode (2000) was the first real-time digital film ever made, preceding Russian Arc by a few years.

Since 2000 Mike Figgis has been at the forefront of the digital revolution. The Fig-Rig was designed by Figgis specifically for the new generation of smaller digital cameras and this innovative camera support system has spawned countless variations.

Mike Figgis devotes considerable time to teaching and writing books and articles on cinema techniques. Digital Film and The 36 Dramatic Situations for Cinema have both addressed the challenges of the new cinema and have become text books for young filmmakers.


Ain Bailey is a sound artist and DJ. Her practice involves an exploration of sonic autobiographies, architectural acoustics, live performance, as well as collaborations with performance and visual artists. Among these is artist Jimmy Robert, who commissioned Bailey to create a composition for his 2017 show ‘European Portraits’ at PEER Gallery, London. “Oh Adelaide” (2010), her collaboration with the artist Sonia Boyce, has shown widely, and includes: Tate Britain; the Whitechapel Gallery and The Kitchen, New York.

In 2016, Bailey was commissioned by Art Basel Miami Beach to compose for the Soundscape Park. Bailey also devised a Study Week at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, which considered the role of sound in the formation of identity. In addition to this, in 2017, Bailey collaborated with Gaylene Gould on the creation of a Sonic Trail for Tate Britain; London; performed at Guest, Ghost, Host: Machine!, the 2017 Serpentine Marathon.

Bailey is a research student at Birkbeck, University of London (on a break in studies), and was guest professor in sound at Kunsthochschule Kassel for the winter semester 2017/2018. Recently, Bailey completed a residency at the ICA, London where she curated three events, as well creating a new composition. Currently, following a commission by Serpentine Projects, Bailey is conducting sound workshops with LGBTI+ refugees and asylum seekers.

Bailey gives an overview of her practice leading up to current work on sonic biographies and grief.

Photo credit: Cacau Fernandes


Rod Stoneman is an Emeritus Professor at the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England. He was the Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, Chief Executive of Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board and previously a Deputy Commissioning Editor in the Independent Film and Video Department at Channel 4 Television. He has made a number of documentaries, including Ireland: The Silent Voices, Italy: the Image Business, 12,000 Years of Blindness and The Spindle. He is the author of Chávez: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, A Case Study of Politics and the Media; Seeing is Believing: The Politics of the Visual and Educating Filmmakers: Past, Present and Future with Duncan Petrie.

Rod addresses how artists and media producers can instill greater diversity in their work – both in content and working methods – and how this thinking must begin in the universities, art and film schools. This, of course, includes ways of working with sound because, as has become clear, new styles of narrative along with evolving technology allow us to rethink the place and purpose of sound.



Neil Brand has been a silent film accompanist for over 30 years, regularly in London at the Barbican and BFI National Film Theatres, throughout the UK and at film festivals and special events around the world, where he has inaugurated the School of Music and Image to teach up- and-coming young pianists about silent film accompaniment.

Training originally as an actor, he has made his name as a writer/performer/composer, scoring BFI video releases of such films as South (Shackleton’s Journey to the South Pole), The Ring by Alfred Hitchcock, Piccadilly (premiered at the Lincoln Centre), the great lost film The Life and Times of David Lloyd George and Early Cinema. His most recent DVD scores are for Sherlock Holmes (the great lost Gilette film), Ozu Classics for Criterion and, for the Cinematheque Francais, Maison du Mystere, Le Brasier Ardent, Les Adventures de Robert Macaire and Mauprat.

Neil is also a prolific radio playwright including Sony – and Tinniswood – nominated dramas Stan (which he adapted for BBC TV) and Getting the Joke, as well as establishing the regular live-recorded musical series The Big Broadcast. Recently he has toured to Edinburgh Fringe, Finland’s Midnight Sun Festival, Padua Opera House, Kilkenny comedy festival, the Middle Eastern International Film Festival and throughout the UK and abroad with his hilarious and touching one-man-show The Silent Pianist Speaks.

Neil is becoming well-known as a TV presenter on BBC4 with his hugely successful series Sound of Cinema, The Music that Made the Movies and Sound of Song, is a regular presenter on Radio 4’s Film Programme, a Fellow of Aberystwyth University and a Visiting Professor of the Royal College of Music and is considered one of the finest improvising piano accompanists in the world.


Built around a biography of the Soviet physicist, Lev Landau, Dau combines film, theatre, science, psychology, art, architecture and performance in an interactive experience the participant lives for 6 hours. Sound designer Rob Walker and composer Stefan Smith unveil how they created the soundtrack to this multi-faceted project involving 13 feature films, TV series and documentaries. Directed by Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Dau has been in production since 2006 and has its premiere in Paris on 24 January 2019.

In strict industry terms, Rob Walker has been a re-recording mixer and supervising sound editor while Stefan Smith is credited as a sound designer. But on Dau – a complex, evolving project involving a vast collection of material and a changing crew over 12 years – their constant roles at the core of Dau’s sound team merged in non-traditional ways.

Walker: “We both grew and changed to fit the material and the environment, and didn’t try to enforce our roles. It turned out the Dau films needed two key people – one to focus on the material world and the other on the density of atmosphere and emotion. And those things frequently crossed over when necessity dictated.”

Smith: “How Rob and I came from different angles (although there is also a lot of crossover) is a big part of the dynamic. I see what I do as composing but not in a traditional film composing sense. I feel like I am composing within the fabric of the film, rather than on top of it – perhaps for some this is sound design – but to me it’s composition.”

This presentation considers their special form of collaboration on a unique project.


With a background in electronic music, Paul Davies graduated from the sound course of the National Film and Television School in 1993. After working as a sound recordist, sound editor and dubbing mixer on a variety of feature, broadcast and corporate work, Paul was employed as a sound editor at Videosonics in Camden. In 2000, Paul became a freelance supervising sound editor and sound designer and in 2003 he established his own sound post-production company, PDSoundDesign.

Paul is best known for his long-time collaboration with director Lynne Ramsay, having created the tracks for Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar, We Need to Talk About Kevin and her latest film, You Were Never Really Here.

His other credits include Steve McQueens’s Hunger, John Maybury’s Love is the Devil, Stephen Frear’s The Queen, Film Star’s Don’t Die in Liverpool and The Proposition. His television credits include Red Riding 1980, Boy A and Southcliffe.

Paul is a regular visiting tutor at the National Film and Television School and has held masterclasses and workshops at Harvard, The Baltic Film School in Estonia, the School of Sound, BAFTA and at the CPH:Dox festival in Copenhagen.


Richard King has worked with directors as diverse as Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Peter Weir, Paul Tomas Anderson and Robert Altman, creating soundtracks for Oscar and BAFTA winning films Dunkirk, Inception, The Dark Knight and Master and Commander


The Quay Brothers were born in 1947 near Philadelphia where they studied at the Philadelphia College of Art, then later in London at the Royal College of Art. Since 1979, they have created a hybrid variety of film works: Puppet animation: Street of Crocodiles, Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies, The Comb, Maska, Unmistaken Hands; Live-Action films: In Absentia, Institute Benjamenta and Piano Tuner of Earthquakes; Documentaries: Anamorphosis, The Phantom Museum, Through the Weeping Glass, Inventorium of Traces; and three film collaborations for the Ballet: Duet and The Sandman for Will Tuckett and with Kim Brandstrup, Eurydice: She, So Beloved.

They have regularly designed decors for the Opera, Theatre and Ballet: Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges (Opera North and English National Opera); Feydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear (Old Vic); Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa (Bregenz Festival/Netherlands Opera; Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (Royal National Theatre; Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (Almeida); Ionesco’s The Chairs (Theatre de Complicite and Royal Court); and for the Wiener Festwochen, Olga Neuwirth’s opera Baalaams Fest; The Cricket Recovers by composer Richard Ayres for Aldeburgh and Almeida Opera. Britten’s Paul Bunyan for Bregenz and Luzern. Theater of the World, Louis Andriessen Opera and co-production between Dutch National Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic. For the Harold Pinter Theatre London, The Birthday Party and for Ballet Rambert, Calderon’s Life is a Dream.


Born in Croyden, Nashashibi studied art in Sheffield and at Glasgow School of Art. She was awarded the Beck’s Futures Prize in 2003. In 2007 she exhibited as part of Scotland + Venice at the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2017, she was nominated for the Turner Prize. She has exhibited widely and her solo shows include Murray Guy, New York (2013); Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp (2013) and ICA, London and Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2009).

Rosalind Nashashibi makes films which reveal the rhythms and patterns of everyday life, and explore the boundaries between reality and fiction. Although she uses real situations, Nashashibi is not interested in documenting real life in an anthropological manner. Rather, she is fascinated in the rituals played out by social groups, such as families, community groups and students. She explores the passage of time and the ways in which we interact with our environment and with each other, finding interest in everyday situations. In addition to short films, Nashashibi has also made drawings and collages. (Biography from National Galleries Scotland)



Dr Nigel Helyer (aka DrSonique) is a contemporary polymath whose work links Art and Science, or more accurately Poetics and Technics, in a strong embrace of the environment, identity and cultural history. He has an international reputation as a sculptor and sound-artist who creates large scale sound-sculptures, environmental artworks and inter-active projects that prompt the community to engage with their cultural histories, identity and sense of place; inviting us to examine the abstract conditions of our world and our complex relationships to it.

His practice is interdisciplinary and collaborative, developing projects that expand the boundaries of experimental practice, especially in the areas of Art and Science, Environmental-Art and Bio-Arts, leading to projects such as GeneMusiK, a prototype DNA+Music remixing system; Host a sonic installation with live insects that has toured to seven international festivals. Nigel was the Artistic Director of the ground breaking LifeBoat bio-art project and co-founder of the SoundCulture that produced a series of major international sound-art festivals in the Asia Pacific region from 1991 to 2012.

Nigel works across aesthetic and discipline boundaries with a prolific track record of projects at peak international centres. His Australian R&D work in augmented audio-reality with Lake Technology (now Dolby Australia) and as the Creative Director of the Audio-Nomad Research Group, resulted in a series international patents and major immersive sound exhibitions.

He is a leader experimenting in the creative sonification of bio-data, produced as a series of cultural and environmental audio-portraits: VoxAura, the River is Singing, European Capital of Culture Turku 2011; CrayVox, WA Spaced Biennale 2012; When Science meets Art, a three year ARC project with the Bundanon Trust 2014/8; and Under the Icecap, a long-term collaboration with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Conservatorium of Music (University of Tasmania) sonifying bio-logging data collected by Southern Elephant Seals in the Antarctic..

This year he realised Oratorio for a Million Souls, a series of bee listening spaces created in three botanical gardens (Leeuwarden, Emden and Oldenburg for the European Capital of Culture) this project also interact with one hundred local schools and three brass bands.


Peter Vuust is a unique combination of a jazz musician and a world class scientist. As a researcher, he is Denmark’s leading expert in the field of music and the brain – a research field he has single-handedly built up as leader of the group Music In the Brain. As a composer and bass player he has collaborated with a variety of artists, from Danish pop stars to some of the world’s major, international jazz artists.

Peter will focus on improvisation in Groove on the brain – the jazz improviser’s guide to the brain.


Theater director Sinéad Rushe studied at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France before training as an actor at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, UK where she currently teaches on the BA Acting CDT programme. She specialises in the Michael Chekhov Technique and Meyerhold’s Biomechanics.

Sinéad will discuss her recent theatre production of Bernard-Marie Koltès’s play Night Just Before the Forests for the Macau Arts Festival in China. Performed in the round, this pathbreaking work in a new translation reimagines the original monologue as a polyphonic work for five performers of different nationalities and genders, and features a ‘quadraphonic’ live sound design by German sound artist Niels Lanz.


Professor Morten L Kringelbach directs his Hedonia Research Group based at the Universities of Oxford and Aarhus. His prize-winning research uses neuroimaging and whole-brain computational models of, for example, music, sounds, infants, taste, sex and drugs to find ways to increase hedonia and eudaimonia – pleasure and happiness. He will discuss the notions of space, empathy and happiness in relation to jazz.



Rina presents Sound it out, a multi-sensory presentation of the art and the manner of creating soundscapes for films – documentary, ethnographic and fictional – and multidisciplinary exhibitions using a variety of media. She explores how the different dimensions (real and fabricated memories, field recordings, created sounds in and out of context) interact in the shaping and conceptualising of a sound world. The talk includes practical guidelines of how to continuously capture a sound environment whilst improvising an unscripted audio-visual writing of reality (caméra stylo).
As a filmmaker, ethnographer and photographer, I am constantly preoccupied with the sounds of everyday life. I’m a classical musician by training, and whilst I no longer practice any instrument, I am cataloguing the sounds around me all the time. In doing so, I create the conceptual sound matter for composing plausible sound tracks and soundscapes for film tracks and exhibition spaces.
I make documentary and ethnographic films, urban audiovisual poems, cine-portraits, and I work as a portrait and landscape photographer.

Rina Sherman is a filmmaker, ethnographer and photographer. She studied with Jean Rouch, under whose supervision she completed a doctorate with distinction at the Sorbonne in 1989.
A recipient of the Villa Médicis Hors les Murs prize and the Lavoisier bursary of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she undertook a seven-year fieldwork study of Ovahimba and other Otjiherero speaking communities in Namibia and Angola.
From the body of filmed and photographic images and sound recordings that she constituted during that time,she has produced films, books, multimedia exhibitions and photographic collections.
Her archival collection resides with the National Library of France, who dedicated an exhibition, “The Ovahimba Years / Rina Sherman” to the collection in 1915.

Rina Sherman’s films cover a range of interests, from her collection of filmed portraits,”Voices, Meetings with remarkable people”, including among others, Michel Zink, Bernard Esambert, Andres Serrano, J. P. Donleavy, Rhoda Scott, Alain Gheerbrant, François Roustang, to her collection, “Witnesses of our Times”, with works in progress about Jean Rouch, Claude Mollard, Michou… to her work on dance in Africa, her early art films, and her recent collection of slow cinema moving tableaux, “Cities & Elsewhere”.

Rina Sherman has published books in different languages, of which, Dans le sillage de Jean Rouch (2018), a collection of essays with a preface by Jean-Claude Carrière, Uitreis (Leaving),a first novel in Afrikaans, which is a fictional rewriting of her doctoral thesis, Le Huitième mort de Tibherine, a counter-investigation into the death of grand reporter Didier Contant, and Ma vie avec les Ovahimba, a first account of her seven years of life with an Omuhimba family in Namibia.

She has created K éditeur, and is preparing a photo book of the photographer, Philippe Ciaparra.

As a curator, Rina Sherman has participated in numerous cultural projects: In 2018, she has showcased an exhibition by photographer Philippe Ciaparra. She was audiovisual curator for the exhibition “South Africa: Music of Freedom” in La Villette, Paris, 1995.
In 1996, she was curator of Jean Rouch’s tour of South African universities in collaboration of the French Institute in South Africa (IFAS) and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Namibia.
In 2002, she presented a multimedia exhibition at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre in Windhoek.
In 2011, a retrospective of Rina Sherman’s films was held at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, with two programs, “Life in the City” and “The Ovahimba Years”.


Sponsored by