Pen Arts

Friday 26 - Sunday 28 February
Celebrating 11 years of musical innovation

"Plymouth University's 10th annual Contemporary Music Festival was a captivating fusion of science and art."
BBC Focus

"It's all highly experimental, but the work being done does have practical, real-world consequences."
The Creators Project, Vice Media

"In every sense, a memorable weekend."
The Telegraph

"The festival teems with compositional creativity."
New Statesman

"One of the UK’s most innovative festivals of contemporary music."
The Sampler

"It's enough to make Beethoven roll over in his grave."
Daily Mail

"Firmly establishing itself as an important platform in the UK for new music."
Seen and Heard International

"Anyone complaining that classical music is boring clearly needs to take a trip to Plymouth."
Sinfini Music

Festival Directors:
Simon Ible, Director of Music, Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University
Eduardo Reck Miranda, Professor of Computer Music, Plymouth University
Frontiers is the theme of the 2016 festival. It will showcase extraordinary new technologies and approaches to composition and performance that are pushing the boundaries of music and promoting widening participation in the art of creating music. Promoted in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research


All event are Admission FREE, excepting the GALA CONCERT, which costs £10. (Free for students.)
Tickets are available (even for FREE events) at Peninsula Arts Gallery's shop, in Roland Levinsky building.

11th Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, PACMF2016
Frontiers: Expanding musical imagination


Friday 26 February
1st Floor Foyer, The House

Free event
Immersive Vision Theatre
Sonification of Dark Matter (Nuria Bonet Filella)

Sonification of Dark Matter is an installation that combines visualisations and sonifications of a dark matter simulation produced by the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University. The audience will experience and understand this complex data through sound and music.
[programme notes .pdf]

Saturday 27 February

Free event
Immersive Vision Theatre
Sonification of Dark Matter (Nuria Bonet Filella)
[programme notes .pdf]

Free event
Jill Craigie Cinema
The Paramusical Ensemble Project: towards novel creative opportunities for motor-disabled individuals (Eduardo Reck Miranda)

This talk will introduce the unprecedented music technology developed at ICCMR, which allows a person to make music with electrical brain signals detected with electrodes on the scalp. The talk will be followed with the screening of a short documentary by Tim Grabham (cinema iloobia) about the preparation and performance of Prof. Miranda’s composition "Activating Memory" by the Paramusical Ensemble, comprising of four severely motor-impaired patients and a string quartet,which took place at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, London, on 17 July 2015. (See trailer below.)

Free event
17:30 - Introduction and instructions for interaction
18:00 - Performance
Crosspoint, Roland Levinsky Building
Embodied iSound (Marcelo Gimenes)

Embodied iSound is an immersive sound ride across frontiers of sonic spaces that members of the public will be invited to enjoy and, at the same time, control in real time with their own hands using iOS-based smartphone devices from the centre stage of the installation.

[programme notes .pdf]
[audience instructions .pdf]

19:30 ends 21:30
Ticekts £10, £8 Friends of Peninsual Arts, SPiA, Artory
The House

Simon Ible, conductor
Pierre-Emmanuel Largeron, violin
Esther Coorevits, viola
Federico Visi, electric guitar


Shadows (Linas Baltas)
Kineslimina (Federico Visi)
Dreamscape (David Everson)
Shockwaves (Eduardo Reck Miranda)

Shadows is created using binary technique. In this work there is no place for synergy. Two independent sound lines will fight for survival with only one place for the winner. Who will become dominant body of the sound and who will stay in a shadow? I’ve dedicated my new piece Shadows to the victims of Paris’s terror attack of Friday 13 November 2015. This was the day I began work on Shadows.

Kineslimina is a piece for viola, electric guitar and live electronics that explores the use of the musicians’ instrumental gestures as an expressive medium. While playing their instruments, the musicians wear an armband fitted with motion sensors. A computer processes the movement data responding with a wide range of dynamics: from subtle timbral alterations that follow the movements of the bow during string changes to deeper resonances when more overt gestures are performed by the musicians.

Dreamscape is a tone poem, which submerges the listener into the strangeness and mystery of a dreamworld. Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "Dream-Land", the piece evokes the imagery of the obscure and mystical plains to which we all journey in our sleep.

Shockwaves is a violin concertino for orchestra, percussion and electronics. It evokes a multi-coloured soundscape of an immense stained glass window shattered by an impactful blast. After the blast free tonal palettes of varying complexity are interspersed by musical passages evoking the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

Below is a highlight of Visi's Kineslimina:

Sunday 28 February

Free event
11:00 - Introduction and instructions for audience participation
11.30 - Performance
Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Centre
Performance without borders introduction/instruction (Pierre Largeron & Marcelo Gimenes)

Performance without borders is born from a meeting of music and technology that challenges the idea of a live show, asking members of the audience to input their musical ideas simply through a mobile phone application, extending the boundaries of performance to the limits of the Internet.

[programme notes .pdf]
[audience instructions .pdf]

Free event
Theatre 1, Roland Levinsky Building
Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Centre
Biocomputer Rhythms (Eduardo Reck Miranda and Edward Braund)

The biocomputer is an innovative computing device developed at ICCMR based on programme organisms cultured on circuit boards, and which are capable of growing their own circuits. The biocomputer is programmed to listen and generate musical responses in real-time, which will be played back on the composer’s piano and various metal percussion instruments through electromagnets that set the piano strings and the percussion instruments into vibration. Below is a documentary about this extraordinary project:

[programme notes .pdf]

Free event
The House's Theatre

Esther Coorevits, viola
Katherine Williams, saxophone

A Stark Mind (Joel Eaton)
11 degrees of dependence (Federico Visi)

A Stark Mind is an audiovisual performance piece for brain‐computer music interface (BCMI), three musicians, and live visual projections. Expanding the frontiers of neuroscience and music, A Stark Mind combines novel methods of brainwave control to allow a BCMI conductor to arrange the performance by drawing a graphical score in real-time for the musicians to perform, using nothing but their brainwaves.

11 degrees of dependence is a piece for saxophone, motion sensors, and live electronics. The piece explores the relationship between the performer and her instrument, focusing on the constraints that instrumental practice poses on body movement. The sensors capture movement and muscular activity data in real time and an algorithm compares it with data recorded during rehearsals. This turns the idiosyncrasies of each performance into an audible feature, with which the musician interacts during the performance.

[programme notes .pdf]

Free event
Immersive Vision Theatre
Sonification of Dark Matter (Nuria Bonet Filella)
[programme notes .pdf]

Free event
Theatre 1, Roland Levinsky Building

Pierre-Emmanuel Largeron, violin
Marcelo Gimenes, piano

Bat Wars: The Four Awaken (Alexis Kirke)

Imagine a movie in which Darth Vader meets Batman. In this performance four computer movie-bots interact with each other using artificial intelligence (AI). Their dialogue is generated live during the performance and they emotionally evolve and communicate together, with four characters acting like Darth Vader, Batman, Superman, and Luke Skywalker. A classical violinist and pianist provide a live soundtrack which, because the bots can hear through a microphone, further manipulates the bots’ emotions. See below for a preview teaser about this performance:

[programme notes .pdf]

Box Office
Peninsula Arts
Roland Levinsky Building
Plymouth University
Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AA

T: 01752 585050

Buy tickets online


PACMF2015 will take place in The House - Plymouth University's new performing arts centre.

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Previous years: PACMF2015
Previous years: PACMF2014
Previous years: PACMF2013
Previous years: 2012 and earlier