BEAST FEaST 2019: ▶︎▶︎fast-forward▶︎◀︎rewind◀︎◀︎

Thursday 2 – Saturday 4 May 2019
The University of Birmingham, UK

Since its inception, electronic music has been wedded to notions of modernity and futurity. Composers like Edgar Varese and Iannis Xenakis styled themselves as musician-scientists, blazing a path into the future, while popular electronic music from Louis and Bebe Barron to Kraftwerk frequently drew on images of space travel and nuclear power to frame the new sounds of electronic synthesis. Recent years have seen postmodern tropes of revivalism, pastiche, and appropriation make an appearance in popular electronic music genres like hauntology, as musicians have become increasingly interested in plundering the past as a resource for the present. Yet this fervour has not taken hold to the same extent in electroacoustic music, and much of the discourse around the form remains at least outwardly committed to the modernist ideas of the new it espoused in the 1950s; an ‘old’ ideal of the new, rather than a ‘new’ fashioning of the old.

Under what conditions might the old be reimagined as the new? Is the ‘old-fashioned’ ideal of the perpetually new more productive and necessary than ever, or simply the intellectual underpinning for well-established styles and schools? For this edition of BEAST FEaST, we invite composers and listeners of electronic music to rewind in order to fast-forward: What new paths may open up by engaging more closely with works, idioms, and technologies from the past? What ideas, old and new, might take us forward?

Join us for three days of music, meeting, and ideas, along with featured guest artists Norah Lorway, Pete Stollery, AnoThai Nitibhon, Jean-David CaillouëtAnton Lukoszevieze and Apartment House.

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For BEAST FEaST 2019 we invite submissions that touch on any aspect of the theme ▶︎▶︎fast-forward▶︎◀︎rewind◀︎◀︎described above. 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.

Online submission system (includes sample system schematics):


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

Examples of potential and past installation sites

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 a programme note, biography (in final, print-ready copy), technical requirements and a brief statement of how the installation fits the festival theme.

Online submission system:


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.

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.

Online submission system:


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 of course happy to support applications for external travel funding for accepted artists.

Submissions are now closed

Notification: Autumn 2018