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Duncan MacLeod

Assistant Professor Music, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

Duncan's practice utilises both acoustic and digital forces. His output encompasses concert music, participatory arts and interdisciplinary practice that draws inspiration from a diverse range of sources encompassing art, folklore, philosophy, anthropology and acoustic ecology as well as social and political issues. His work has been professionally commissioned, commercially recorded and broadcast internationally by various ensembles and soloists. These include the Arditti Quartet, Jane Chapman, Juice vocal ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Musarc, Ensemble Okeanos, Orkest de Volharding, Piano Circus, and Quatuor Diotima. His work has been performed at festivals such as Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Gaudeamus music week (NL), Sonorities, and at prominent venues namely The Muziekgebouw (NL), Walt Disney Centre (USA), Southbank Centre, and Kings Place. Upcoming commissions include works for SoundKarD, Fretwork and Galvanise Ensembles as well as a large-scale multichannel electro-acoustic work drawing upon the acoustic ecology of London's markets in response to Orlando Gibbon's The Cries of London.

Duncan is an active performer (electronics) and founding member of the trio SoundKarD which specialise in the performance of contemporary electro-acoustic music. He is also an experienced music animateur, leading large-scale composition and community music projects for organisations such as the RNIB, English National Opera, London Sinfonietta, Southbank Centre and Wigmore Hall.

Duncan studied composition with John Woolrich at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and at the Royal Conservatoire, The Netherlands, under the tutelage of Louis Andriessen, Clarence Barlow and Martijn Padding. He holds a PhD in composition from the University of Kent/Trinity Laban, where he studied with Michael Finnissy. He has also been awarded residences at Acanthes, the Banff Centre, Handel House Museum, iPark artist enclave and IRCAM.

Expertise Summary

Composition (acoustic and electronic forces); Contemporary Music; Electroacoustic Music; Interdisciplinary Practice; Participatory Arts; Technology in Performance.

Teaching Summary

Skills in Composition; Electroacoustic Composition; Portfolio of Compositions; Elements of Music 1; Specialist Studies II; Work Placement.

Research Summary

Duncan's practice-led research explores Spatial Music, microtonality and manipulation of timbre utilising acoustic and electro-acoustic forces. This reflects a broader compositional interest in the… read more

Current Research

Duncan's practice-led research explores Spatial Music, microtonality and manipulation of timbre utilising acoustic and electro-acoustic forces. This reflects a broader compositional interest in the exploration and creative manipulation of music perception and cognition. As such, his research interests encompass spectator immersion and the blurring of spatial boundaries between performance platform and audience as well as challenging the traditional distinctions of high/low culture. This is realised through reinterpreting traditional performance spaces alongside exploring unconventional public spaces, engaging new technologies, and interdisciplinary practice. Microtonality and timbre are explored by way of non-equal and hybrid temperaments as well as the application of real-time digital signal processing/live electronics as an extension of acoustic instrumental/vocal technique.

Past Research

Duncan's work has been professionally commissioned, commercially recorded and broadcast internationally by various ensembles and soloists. These include the Arditti Quartet, Jane Chapman, Juice vocal ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Musarc, Ensemble Okeanos, Orkest de Volharding, Piano Circus, and Quatuor Diotima. His work has been performed at festivals such as Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Gaudeamus music week (NL), Sonorities, and Bang on a Can Marathon (NY) and at prominent venues namely The Muziekgebouw (NL), Walt Disney Centre (USA), Southbank Centre, and Kings Place.

Future Research

Upcoming commissions include works for SoundKarD, Fretwork and Galvanise Ensembles as well as a large-scale multichannel electro-acoustic work drawing upon the acoustic ecology of London's markets in response to Orlando Gibbon's The Cries of London.

Department of Music

The University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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