BEAST FEaST 2018: BEASTopia!

Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 April 2018
University of Birmingham, UK

Three days of music, meeting and ideas



Ideas of democracy and equality regularly feature in discussion of electroacoustic music. As an artform, electroacoustic music is rooted in the modernist idea that no sound lies outside the realm of music, hence, we might say, ‘all sounds are created equal’. Additionally, it is often claimed that the development of electroacoustic music is partly dependent upon the democratisation of technology, as large, expensive mainframe computers only accessible to academic researchers have gradually given way to home computers, laptops and smartphones—this giving rise to a ‘music from the bedroom studios’. Whether seeking sonic inspiration in the roar of political crowds, or by creating works that deliberately blur the boundaries and hierarchies between composers, performers and listeners, electroacoustic composers and sound artsits have frequently sought inspiration in principles of democracy and equality.

For this instalment of BEAST FEaST we seek to explore the theme of democracy and equality in relation to all its possible manifestations in electroacoustic music including sound, genre, representation and technology.


vaggione_ho.7182Horacio Vaggione

Horacio Vaggione is an Argentinian composer of electroacoustic and instrumental music who specialises in micromontage, granular synthesis and microsound.

Vaggione was a co-founder of the Experimental Music Center (CME) of the National University of Cordoba (1965-1968), member of the Madrid based ALEA live electronics music group (1969-73) and he also worked on the Computer Music Project at the University of Madrid (1970-73) and later at IRCAM, the INA-GRM, the GMEB. In 1987-1988 he was a resident of the DAAD Berliner Kunstler Program, working at the Technische Universität Berlin. Between 1989 and 2011 he was Professor of Music (Composition and Research) and director of the Doctorate Studies in Music and Technology at the University of Paris VIII, where he is currently Professor Emeritus.


Ottawa portrait 1Georgina Born

Georgina Born is Professor of Music and Anthropology at Oxford University and a Professorial Fellow of Mansfield College. Earlier in her life she worked as a musician on cello and bass guitar, performing with the groups Henry Cow, the Art Bears, the Mike Westbrook Orckestra, the Michael Nyman Band and other ensembles, as well as playing improvised music in various combinations including in Derek Bailey’s Company and as a member of the London Musicians’ Collective.

Georgina Born’s work combines ethnographic and theoretical writings on music, media and cultural production. Her ethnographies have often focused on major institutions – television production at the BBC, computer music at IRCAM, interdisciplinary art-science and new media art at the University of California, Irvine.

Nicholas Bullen_1_Photo Credit - Kevin Thomas

 Nicholas Bullen

Nicholas Bullen is an artist and composer based in Birmingham, England.

Working in the field of acousmatic sound, his sound compositions are explorations of the transmutation of elements, using process to explore time and place. Focusing on source material gathered from the immediate environment, sound is transformed by analogue and digital technologies before re-presentation in new contexts.

Current sound performances concentrate on the combination of fixed media acousmatic compositions and sound generation through improvisation, both of which are transformed and augmented in real time by electronic processing and analogue techniques.


Brona-MartinBW-300x225Brona Martin

Brona Martin is an electroacoustic composer and sound artist from Banagher, Co. Offaly, Ireland. Brona’s research interests include narrative in electroacoustic music, soundscape composition, acoustic communication and spatialisation. Her work explores metaphorical and real-world representations of diverse soundworlds, images and experiences, where the aim is to reveal particular sonic characters that are not normally the focus of listening. Her works explore the layers and textures of sounds that contribute to the overall sonic-makeup of specific places both real and imaginary.


 Mari Fukumoto

Mari Fukumoto was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1987 and graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts  in 2009. She studied organ with Prof. Tsuguo Hirono and associate Prof. Yuichiro Shiina. She also studied non-idiomatic improvisation with Masahiko Satoh and plays musical improvisation as a member of the Alien Networks.
She completed a masters in perrformance of early music at Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Hamburg in 2013, supported by scholarships from DAAD and the Otto Stöterau Foundation.


For BEAST FEaST 2018 we invite submissions that touch on any aspect of the theme of democracy and equality in relation to electroacoustic music. We seek to represent the broadest range of electronic music practices and practitioners at the festival, and we aim for diversity of music, background, and ethnicity, as well as balance in gender representation. We therefore encourage all to submit to our call for works, and ask that you repost this call as widely as possible.


Works and performances of electronic music of any style are welcome. We encourage you to exploit the capabilities of the BEAST system and schematics are available via the online application system. Works involving video are welcome, as are works involving live performance (including instrumentalists).

Please be aware that any costs or fees arising from including performers will most likely need to be borne by the submitter. Due to limitations on space, and our desire to include as many artists as possible, we will only be able to consider works of under 14 minutes duration, and will prioritise shorter works. Since we feel that community is a crucial part of BEAST FEaST, and because of the very high level of interest in past years, we regret that we will only be able to consider works by artists who can commit to attending the festival. At the time of submission applicants will be required to submit a programme note and biography (in final, print-ready copy), technical requirements and a brief statement of how the work fits the festival theme. Incomplete or over-length submissions will not be considered.

Submit music online


We invite proposals for installations that reflect the festival theme and respond to the campus surroundings.

Accepted installations will be expected to run for the whole duration of the festival (Thursday to Saturday evening) and artists will be expected to handle their own installation/de-installation. Any transportation costs arising will most likely need to be borne by the submitter. At the time of submission applicants will be required to submit an programme note, biography (in final, print-ready copy), technical requirements and a brief statement of how the installation fits the festival theme.

Submit installation online 


We invite short informal talks in the tradition of TED. Academic topics are welcome, as are intellectually demanding ones, but talks should be pitched for a general festival audience rather than a group of specialists. We also invite proposals for high speed PechaKucha style presentations.

The BEASTdome system (30+ channel periphonic setup) will be available for all presentations, so multichannel demonstrations are possible and welcome. Applicants will be required to submit an informal description of the talk, biography (in final, print-ready copy), technical requirements and a brief statement of how the talk fits the festival theme.

Submit talk online


We know that many artists struggle with costs when attending events of this type. We aim to keep these as low as we can, but must balance that with our goal of keeping the call open to as many as possible. We regret that given the numbers involved we are not able to offer fees or travel support for artists selected via this call. That said, we are happy to confirm that as in past years there will be no conference fee, that talks and installation access will be free and open for all, and that accepted artists will be offered a low price discount pass to attend all other concert events in the festival. We are naturally happy to support applications for external travel funding for accepted artists.

Submissions are open until Friday 15 September 2017, 23:59 UTC+1

Only work submitted via the online submission portal will be accepted


We aim to notify successful artists within one month of the submission deadline.