Dr Ruth Herbert, Associate Lecturer in Music Performance at SMFA, invited to give guest lecture at the oldest University in the Netherlands

RuthBook picture

Following the continued success of her book Everyday Music Listening: Absorption, Dissociation and Trancing, (to be reissued in paperback next year), Associate Lecturer in Music Performance at School of Music and Fine, Dr Ruth Herbert, has been invited to give a guest lecture on the topic of ‘ubiquitous listening’ at the University of Leiden, the oldest University in the Netherlands (founded 1575), early in October.

Says, Dr Herbert, “A music psychologist and performer, “The lecture is part of a Music and Society module that asks some pretty big musical questions. What makes music so important in our contemporary society? What is the role, the function, and the position of music in our everyday lives? That’s very much the territory of my book. The digitization of music has allowed people to seamlessly interweave music into all aspects of daily life. Young people especially use music as an extension of self – to experiment with identity and mediate subjective experience in all sorts of ways – from mood control to totally cutting off (dissociating) from self, activity or situation.”  

Dr Herbert’s work focuses on the subjective experience of music in daily life, and the transformations of consciousness that may occur in conjunction with listening to and making music. Her extensive research interests also embrace music and wellbeing, music education, evolutionary psychology, ethology and performance psychology. Publications include book chapters and articles in both peer reviewed journals and specialist magazines. She is currently Junior Fellow in the Faculty of Music at Jesus College Oxford and has performed widely as a classical pianist and as a member of a diverse range of ensembles, notably recording soundtracks for two classic silent films.

She has also published extensively on aspects of music teaching and education in mainstream specialist magazines, in addition to undertaking consultancy work for OMD UK (featured in the Mail Online), the Daily Telegraph and the BBC. Ruth is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Sonic Studies. She is also a member of the Music Education Expo and Musical Theatre and Drama Education Advisory Committee, the NYJC/IoE Jazz and Gender Forum, and (latterly) the Musical Progressions Roundtable.

For more about Ruth go to http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/staff/staff-profiles/musicandaudio/Herbert.html

And also http://www.music.ox.ac.uk/people/staff-listings/academics/r_herbert.html


Info about the Leiden module: https://studiegids.leidenuniv.nl/en/courses/show/55475/music-and-society

Info about Ruth’s nationwide study of 10-18s experiences of music: http://experiencingmusic.com/

Links for Everyday Music Listening: Absorption, Dissociation and Trancing: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409421252

Everyday Music Listening proves that Music Studies can reach areas and problems inaccessible to other disciplinary modes of investigation. It will be required reading for music scholars, philosophers and clinical psychologists. Professor Tia DeNora, Exeter University

ROOM for art


An innovative mobile art space, ROOM, will soon be sited outside the Pilkington building on the Medway campus as a main campus presence for fine art and music, with plans for a series of residencies, projects and events through the year, thanks to Tim Meacham, Lecturer in Fine Art & Partner College Liaison Officer at the School of Music & Fine Art. ROOM is a studio and gallery inside a shipping container – which transforms a familiar utilitarian object into a comfortable, mobile environment, moving regularly to new locations across the South East to create a flexible space for making and showing art.

Commissioned in 2010 by Art at the Centre Swale, architect/artist Simon Barker designed a series of window boxes in the container’s skin, each with a distinctive character, filling it with natural light and setting up visual connections between the space of the interior and the surroundings.

Says Tim, “ROOM will be a student bookable space helping to extend activities beyond the studio. It responds to and reflects the growing interest in engaged practice.”

For more information on ROOM go to https://roomnorthkent.wordpress.com 

Fun Palaces in October: Exciting Community Engagement Projects

Over the weekend of Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th October, staff and students from the School of Music and Fine Art are collaborating on two exciting community engagement projects with Kent Fun Palaces.

The 3rd and 4th October, from 10.30am to 3.30pm, sees a project with Gravesend Fun Palace and on Sunday 4th October 9.00am to 4.00pm, a collaboration with Whitstable Fun Palace

SMFA initiated an interdisciplinary Student Success EDI project in collaboration with Gravesend community group, the Fun Palace. Led by Dave Thomas, Student Success (EDI) Project Officer, students from BAs in Fine Art, Music and Event & Experience Design will have the opportunity to work with a broad range of participants, children, teens and adults on a Community Engagement event. This will incorporate Peer Mentoring, peer/vertical learning, and interdisciplinary working and will be run by students along with artists and volunteers from the local community.

Says Dave, “I am excited by the prospects of our students collaborating with volunteers, professionals and people from the local community to use the arts as a therapeutic agent to promote community engagement. I feel this event can be a change catalyst which may provide our students with knowledge of the dynamic use of their repertoire of skills to promote health and wellbeing”

The event will be run over two days. Day 1 will be run at the Gravesend library, with Day 2 to be held at the St Andrew’s Arts Centre, with two workshops which are themed “Environmental Art”. The concept is the brainchild of Emma Griffiths and Ayda Majid Ardekani, two final year BA (Hons) Fine Art students who have established an Environmental Art group. This explores the use of recycled products to create art. The workshop activities will be run by students under the supervision of staff.

The event in Whitstable comprises a building/structure that can be developed during workshops.

Says Peter Hatton, Director of the BA Hons Event & Experience Design, We have discussed using trikes and making two travelling structures – which may be towers of memories, built onto the trikes, with sounds (sound words and actual recordings) that can be cycled from the Seawall to the Umbrella Centre, where most of the activities are taking place. We are delighted to be invited to be part of the Fun Palaces and participation in this event will serve to build a collaborative relationship with the School of Architecture and the local community”

The workshop activities will be run by students under the supervision of staff and there are plans for a web link/live video feed from the Seawall to the Umbrella Centre.


About the Fun Palaces

In the early 1960s, Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price conceived the Fun Palace as a ‘laboratory of fun’ and ‘a university of the streets’. It was to be a temporary and movable home to the arts and sciences, open and welcoming to all. For various reasons, wasn’t possible in 1961 and the Fun Palace never came to fruition as a building. The idea however, of a space welcoming and open to all, bringing arts and sciences together, where everyone is an artist and everyone a scientist, remained.


This is the link to the Gravesend Fun Palace site, which has tabs for further information about the Fun Palace concept.



This is the link to the Whitstable site, which has tabs for further information about the Fun Palace concept.



Staff and Students talk about award winning Meditation Project

A project aiming to provide practical strategies for students to help them manage stress and anxiety, and which resulted in the team responsible being jointly awarded the 2015 Barbara Morris Prize for Learning Support, resulted in the production of an innovative meditation CD.

The innovative collaborative project team included Louise Frith (School of Music & Fine Art/SLAS), Frank Walker  and Moses Malekia (School of Music & Fine Art), Gerard McGill and the Wellbeing Team.

Charlotte Harding, a student from the BA (Hons) Event and Experience Design,  was instrumental in the project, coming 2nd in the 2015 Kent Student Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity.

Click the video link to find out more.

Meditation Mix 2015


Related links:




Occupy: A People Yet to Come: Book Launch Friday 25 September at ICA


Friday 25 September at the ICA, London, sees a book launch to celebrate the publication of Occupy: A People Yet to Come, a collection of essays by leading Deleuzian scholars about the nature and impact of the occupy movement. The book is available from Amazon, is open access from the Open Humanities Press and discounted copies will be available at the launch.

The Book Launch will feature presentations from contributors Nick Thoburn (Deleuze and Marx) and David Burrows (Head of Fine Art: Slade) and Dr Andrew Conio (Senior Lecturer and Director of Fine Art at the School of Music and Fine Art: University of Kent).

For the authors, the term Occupy is a synecdoche for the world-wide proliferation of struggles that fall outside of conventional and ‘vanguard’ politic and are based on new tactics, revitalised democratic processes and nomadic systems of organisation. This collection assesses the value of Deleuze and Guattari’s political ontology to the movement and looks at modes of organisation, economics, social and political forces, democracy, representation, occupation, resistance, aesthetics, leadership and so forth. Essays are written by Claire Colebrook, John Protevi, Ian Buchannan, Eugene Holland, Rodigo Nunes, Giuseppina Mecchia, Andrew Conio, Nicholas Thoburn, David Burrows and Verena Andermatt Conley.  The authors hail from USA, UK, Brazil and Australia and most had intimate experience of Occupy

In a review of the book Bert Oliver says ‘It should be abundantly apparent from Conio’s words that the invention of new words or concepts to grapple with the undeniably urgent issues raised by him, above, is a challenge to all the humanities. The incredibly creative work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari is indispensable in this regard, as the just published book, Occupy – A People yet to Come amply demonstrates.

Book launch time:  2 – 4pm, followed by drinks 4 – 6pm.
Location: ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

Further details: www.ica.org.uk


The School of Music and Fine Art joins Academic Supporters Programme of BASCA


The School of Music and Fine Art has joined the Academic Supporters Programme of BASCA, the British Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. BASCA is the independent professional association representing music writers in all genres, from songwriting to media, contemporary classical to jazz and runs the world renowned Ivor Novello Awards. www.basca.org.uk

Benefits include:

  • An established writer/music industry professional will come to present to SMFA
  • Invitations to an Introducing BASCA seminar followed by a networking session that will also be attended BASCA members
  • 10 lucky students will have their music critiqued by an industry professional.
  • Monthly BASCA e-newsletter with music industry and BASCA updates.
  • Invitations to BASCA seminars, workshops and socials (subject to availability)
  • Regular offers of discounted rates for equipment and sheet music, digital distribution, music conferences, other trade body events, recording and rehearsal studios, industry publications and insurance.
  • The Member’s Area on the BASCA website has industry news and updates, sample contracts and agreements, commission fee guidelines, digital marketing and self promotion tip sheets, and copyright, intellectual property and publishing information.

BASCA will be including SMFA in all their issues of The Works magazine and on their website and from time to time, BASCA are also able to offer work placements at the BASCA offices.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for all our students as it gives us direct access to industry events and some very important links with BASCA activities and their members. We look forward to our relationship with BASCA over the next year and the opportunities on offer”, says Richard Lightman, Lecturer in Music at SMFA.

Open Day Saturday 10th October, 9am – 2pm

A chance to explore the fantastic facilities in a unique environment and explore our exciting courses in Music, Fine Art and Event and Experience Design.   See the library and student accommodation and the NEW academic facilities and social spaces due to open in September 2015.

Talk to tutors and students and find out more about what we have to offer. Due to the popularity of our open days, we ask that you book a place online. Online booking will open approximately four weeks’ before the event. Please use the link here:  http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/visit/openday/essentials-medway.html

Our courses:


  • BMus Music
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology
  • BMus Popular Music
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Computing
  • BA (Hons) Music Technology with English and American Literature

Fine Art:

  • BA (Hons) Fine Art

 Event and Experience Design:

  • BA (Hons) Events and Experience Design


We offer:

  • Award winning facilities, studios, equipment and workshops
  • Inspiring, supportive and award winning tutors
  • Great waterfront location on historic site with easy access to London in under an hour
  • An intellectual culture that provides the basis of cutting-edge practice, research and scholarship
  • Excellent career and professional outcomes
  • The chance to spend a year in industry or a year abroad
  • Flexible course structure, with full and part time options
  • Outstanding professional links and international work placements
  • Many opportunities for collaborative and autonomous practices
  • Financial assistance, fee waivers and scholarships available


For more details contact e.dhiman@kent.ac.uk

The Letter: Astounding New Performance Work by Artist Goshka Macuga

Photo by Stacey Cooper

As part of the Kantorbury Symposium on 18th and 19th September, with 23 UK and international speakers, performances and film screenings organised by the The European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) on the Canterbury campus, in which the life and work of Polish theatre director and visual artist Tadeusz Kantor is celebrated 100 years after his birth, the School of Music and Fine Art are providing support to enable a new performance work by visual artist (and previous Turner Prize nominee) Goshka Macuga, starting at Chatham Historic Dockyard on the afternoon of Friday 18th September.

Led by Adam Chodzko, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the School of Music and Fine Art, the performance will involve 7  Fine Art and Event & Experience Design (BA and MA) students walking an enormous letter (over 10m long), as a group, dressed as Polish postal workers, from Chatham Historic Dockyard, in order to deliver it to Goshka at the symposium on the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus.

The tapestry is a several meter long postal envelope made of textile, bearing the address of the Jarman Building, University of Kent. It refers to the famous happening by Tadeusz Kantor carried out in 1967, but also to the potential tensions occurring between art institutions and the society. At the heart of these tensions lies the censorship in Polish art after 1989, the period sometimes referred to as the cold war of artists against the society, and marked by attacks targeted at artworks, artists, curators, directors, and institutions, often committed on anti-Semitic grounds.

To document those difficult times, Macuga decided to embrace within the show also the hate mail addressed to Zachęta and its then director, Anda Rottenberg. The Letter is a testament to those struggles, as well as to the ongoing transformation in the society, which has to confront its fears and prejudices in order to fully accept artistic freedom. This is how the performance looked when staged in Poland
:  http://artmuseum.pl/en/kolekcja/praca/macuga-goshka-the-letter


About Goshka Macuga

Interdisciplinary artist, born in 1967 in Warsaw, Goshka Macuga is now based in London. In 2008, she was among the four nominees for the prestigious Turner Prize, awarded each year to the most outstanding young British artist.  Her practice moves beyond the artist’s traditionally perceived role into a form of ‘cultural archaeology’. Despite incorporating traditional media, such as sculpture, drawing, painting, photography and film, she creates installations in which she also appropriates the work of other artists, archive materials, ready-mades, combining them with objects of her own making. Macuga appropriates the techniques and tactics used by curators of exhibitions or archivists (because of this, her art is often compared to that of Marcel Broodthaers). Macuga has been exhibiting internationally at major museum and galleries since 1999.  In 2016 she has a solo exhibition at the New Museum, New York.

About Tadeusz Kantor:  http://www.cricoteka.pl/en/main.php?d=tkantor&kat=33&id=13

About the Kantorbury Symposium 18-19 September:  https://www.kent.ac.uk/arts/drama/news-summary.html?view=801

Sarah Turner’s film PUBLIC HOUSE shortlisted for Grierson Award and screened at BFI London Film Festival 2015

griersonlogoThe film, Public House, by award winning artist, filmmaker, writer, curator and academic, Sarah Turner, Director of Research and Reader in Fine Art at the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent, has been shortlisted for the Grierson Award and is being screened at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival.

The hugely prestigious Grierson Award in partnership with the Grierson Trust, recognises documentaries with integrity, originality and social or cultural significance. Public House, a 120 minute film has been described as “A triumphant genre-blending documentary that turns community action to save the local pub from gentrification into an exhilarating participatory opera….this is not just a film about resistance; it is a film that itself refuses categorisation, reinventing documentary reality as a polyphonic clamour of musical subjectivities. (Helen de Witt on the BFI website).

Sarah’s feature films have been broadcast on Channel 4 and she has had scripts commissioned by the BFI, Film Four Lab and Zephyr Films.

Public House is funded by a production award from Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), a research award from the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent and is supported by Arts Council England.

Festival screenings take place across London. The film will be shown as follows:

Monday 12 October 2015 20:45, Picturehouse Central, Screen 1

Saturday 17 October 2015 15:20, Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

To order tickets for Public House click here: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=publichouse

Related news item: https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/news.html?view=1397

For info on the BFI London Film Festival go to: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff

Celebrate the 2015 Platform Graduate Awards at Turner Contemporary, Margate

Saturday October 10th will celebrate the opening of the Platform Graduate Award 2015 exhibition.  The School of Music and Fine Art is delighted that three of our recently graduated BA (Hons) Fine Art students – Ben Crawford, Evdokia Georgiou and Nadia Perrotta are shortlisted for this prestigious award, and their work is currently exhibited at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Now in it’s third year, the Platform Graduate Award aims to support graduate professional development and nurture emerging talent from universities and colleges in the South East region.

Also on October 10th is the opening celebration for Risk, Turner Contemporary’s autumn exhibition – and much more! The day includes:

  • Artist Ruth Proctor enacting her falling stunt from a 4m high scaffold in the gallery
  • Thanet Parkour Academy leading workshops and creating guerrilla-style interventions in, on and around the building
  • Saxophonist Evan Parker playing improvisation experiments
  • Free workshops by the Platform artists
  • Networking with fellow students from East Kent Universities

Students from the University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury Christ Church University and University of Kent students can travel FREE to Margate. To book your free place on one of the coaches leaving from each university go to Platform-travel.eventbrite.co.uk

For more info go to: http://e-turnercontemporary.org/t/24UF-3NI6Y-B9ISH0TZB5/cr.aspx

Turner Contemporary
Rendezvous, Margate, Kent
Tel: +44 (0) 1843 233 000
Tel: +44 (0) 1843 233 029

Open Tuesday to Sunday and bank holidays
10am – 6pm (Closed Mondays)

Related news item: http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/news.html?view=1528