SMFA – Main Sponsor and Education Partner for 2015 Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival


The School of Music and Fine Art is excited at embarking on a new partnership – as one of the main sponsors and education partners for the 2015 Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival.

“Creativity and passion is at the heart of music which has a very tangible association with our exciting partnership with the University. We are delighted to be collaborating with the University this year and into the future,” says Ian Bowden, Producer and Director of the Festival.

Now in its 4th year, the Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival is established as one of the leading intimate, high quality boutique music festivals in the UK.

The initial impetus for the partnership with the University of Kent School of Music and Fine Art came from Kyla Wight, a student on the BA (Hons) Event & Experience Design programme (the only degree of its kind in the UK) in the School of Music and Fine Art at the Chatham Historic Dockyard campus. Having just completed her first year of the programme, Kyla was appointed Creative Director for the Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival, with directorship of a section of the festival entitled Chapter & Lyric, a unique and inspirational live music performance and educational project that encompasses both live performances and educational music master classes, encompassing Jazz, Swing, Blues, Soul, Latin, Funk and World music.

“Kyla is the creative driving force behind Chapter & Lyric and I and my team supply the blank canvas for Kyla to apply the many colours that will become Chapter & Lyric,” says Ian Bowden, Festival Director.

This event will take place at the stunning and beautiful National Trust property Lamb House which is situated within the heart of Rye. Lamb House has strong literary connections with both writers Henry James and E. F. Benson residing at Lamb House. Kyla is developing this connection between literature and music to hold masterclasses in composition and song writing as part of the festival, with a mix of established and upcoming musicians. One of the festival’s core values is to provide the opportunity for new music talent from across the region to perform to a wider audience. Chapter & Lyric will provide musicians with the opportunity to both perform as part of the festival programme and to also gain invaluable experience through participation within the scheduled Masterclasses.

Racheal Lawrence, 2015 graduate from BMus Music in the School of Music and Fine Art, will be one of the one of the headline performers, and 3 more BA (Hons) Event & Experience Design graduates are also working on the event – Beth Tabeart as Event Manager and Ross Martin & Sophie Sprowell as designers. The stage is being designed as a stack of books, with open books providing the proscenium arch, with Lamb House as backdrop.

The festival, which runs from 27 – 31 August, will create an-going legacy of education, inspiration, immersive and transferable work experience, International bonds, nurturing of talent and create the opportunity to be part of the on-going development of the annual festival.

For more info go to

BA (Hons) Fine Art graduates selected for 2015 Platform Graduate Award

The School of Music and Fine Art is delighted to announce that Ben Crawford, Evdokia Georgiou and Nadia Perrotta, three recently graduated BA (Hons) Fine Art students, have all been selected for the prestigious 2015 Platform Graduate Award. Their work will be exhibited at Turner Contemporary, Margate, in September, after which the final winner from the region will be chosen.

waiting for tide
‘Waiting for the Tide’  by Nadia Perrotta      Photo by Panayota Koushiappa, 2015.

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.

Last year’s winner, Sophie Dixon, was also from the BA (Hons) Fine Art in the School of Music and Fine Art, for which she received a £2500 bursary from Platform and a year of mentoring from an experienced art professional.

The Platform programme is a coalition of visual arts organisations in the South East: Turner Contemporary, Margate; Aspex; Portsmouth; De La Warr Pavilion; Bexhill; MK Gallery; Milton Keynes and Modern Art Oxford, and has been initiated by CVAN (Contemporary Visual Art Network South East).

For details on the 2014 awards, and last year’s winner, Sophie Dixon, go to


“Symptoms of the World” by Harriet Gifford

SYMp 24 with URL

“symptoms of the world”


Programme of publication

 3 – 23 August 2015

each day from 

midnight to midnight (b.s.t.)

a short section of sound and moving image comprising the artwork

“symptoms of the world”

will appear and disappear

What do you do when the archive, the official record or one’s own family legends do not match your own memories or contradict your sense of self? And where do you keep the things that you are tacitly but firmly invited not to talk about?

Symptoms of the World  is a new online sound and image work by Harriet Gifford, an MA Sound and Image student at the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent,  which addresses these issues through layers of time, progressively deteriorating sound cues, visual mementos and in-built ephemerality.

Over the course of 22 days in August, starting on 3rd at midnight (b.s.t.) each day a new one-minute segment will be posted on then exchanged with the next day’s piece 24 hours later. Each minute long segment being available for one day only.

Constructed around a 22 minute sound work, the sections of published imagery layer meaning and memory cues of landscape and family memorabilia against the sound environment. The imagery, the collection will be lost to view, in the way of all web content, after its allotted time. The sound piece will, in opposition to the normal nature of sound, endure.

This work emerges from a practice that is deeply engaged with the landscape as a site of memory. Landscape is understood here as a palimpsest of human endeavor that forms the background through which personal and cultural identities are developed. Having collected the landscape and the world photographically and through film and sound samples throughout her practice this work finally unites these several strands that have run in parallel for years.

“This work engages the listener with memories and forgetfulness, archive and deletion. Layers of sound, moving and still images disrupt smooth viewing and develop the haptic properties of near indecipherability, evoking places, events and memories not quite captured or complete,” says Harriet.


To experience Symptoms of the World  go to:


‘DIJ-I-TL-EK-SPER-UH-MENTS’ – MA Sound and Image Exhibition



DIJ-I-TL-EK-SPER-UH-MENTS bring together works by MA Sound and Image students from the School of Music and Fine Art at the University of Kent, Amie Rai and Angela McArthur. Their work explores issues of technology’s symbiotic influence on us, the changing status of reading and our relationship to the spectacle created by novelty and immersion.

Amie Rai’s practice investigates our bodily relationship with technology and the way in which the fleshly and organic negotiate and interface with the technological. Her current work explores reading and narrative structures in the digital age and proposes ways in which reading can become a more embodied and material act. She uses existing books to reformulate new narratives through sound, image and material interventions.

Angela McArthur’s work meanwhile exposes the allure of novelty in technology, questing our notions of control, and the corporeal contract we enter into, via immersive experience – an eternal present which is sensorially active yet reflexively mediated. She questions ‘memorabilia as a substitute for historical memory, resisting binary oppositions in trying to understand our “pleasure in playing with the undecidable’ (Ranciere, c 2009).


Artist Adam Chodzko shortlisted for prestigious Derek Jarman Film Award!

chodzko by Borejko 2013
Adam Chodzko, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, School of Music and Fine Art


Artist Adam Chodzko, a senior lecturer in Fine Art at the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent at Medway, is one of just 6 directors shortlisted for the prestigious £10,000 Jarman Film Award, it was announced this week. Organised by Film London and named after artist, activist and experimental filmmaker Derek Jarman, who died in 1994 aged 52, and made films that include Caravaggio, Jubilee and the astonishing and deeply moving Blue, the award showcases outstanding artists working with the moving image. The shortlisted directors will see their work screened across the UK.

Chodzko’s art works have been  exhibited extensively in international solo and group exhibitions including: Tate, St Ives; Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (MAMBo); Istanbul Biennale, Venice Biennale; Deste Foundation, Athens; PS1, New York; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.

This recent success follows on from an announcement last month that Chodzko’s work, Ghost, was selected for Sculpture in the City, an annual public art exhibition in the City of London, in which contemporary art pieces are placed in and around the Square Mile from 9th of July 2015 May 2016.

For more information go to:

Over 100,000 plays for Medway Music Graduates!

Music Technology BSc (Hons) graduate (2015) Greg Hummell, from the School of Music and Fine Art, released his first single, Turning Tides, earlier this year – and it has already had over 100,000 listens!

Apidae press shot (2)
Greg Hummell & Drew York founders of Apidae (Photo by Piers Bailey)

Available from: and featuring lyrics and haunting vocals from Drew York, who graduated from a Music Tech BSc in 2014, also from the School of Music and Fine Art, the stunning track was featured earlier in the year with a special mention in Q magazine as one of 5 songs to watch for and hear:

The signing with Dumont Dumont, a record label based in Stockholm, came about after Greg put Turning Tides up on SoundCloud as a demo, and it was picked up by a couple of blogs including HillyDilly and Pause Musicale, which led to discovery by Dumont Dumont, who then got in touch about working with them on a release – and Turning Tides became their label debut.

Greg performs in a number of local bands, in different roles including guitarist, drummer and vocalist, and also co-established and managed a record label for the University in the latter two years of his degree.

Founder of electronic project Apidae (the name derives from Greg’s surname, which is German for Bumblebee, and Apidae, a collective term for bees), his joint project with fellow university student Drew York first came into being in 2013, in the first year of Greg’s Music Tech degree, when he started remixing local bands to hone his skills as a producer. From there, he started writing original material and putting together a live show.

Greg, who credits his time at University as a big factor in supporting his career launch – “an incredible experience meeting so many like-minded people, and being inspired by lecturers and speakers” – also feels the local music scene has been a huge influence.

To keep in touch with further exciting developments for Apidae, follow @ApidaeUK on Twitter

Emma Murton recognised for her Outstanding Contributions to Music at Kent

The Canterbury Festival Music Prize, which is awarded to a University of Kent final-year student who has made an outstanding contribution to music was presented to Emma Murton, who graduated from the University of Kent in 2015 with an MDrama specialising in Creative Producing and has recently joined the University staff in the School of Music and Fine Art as Receptionist and PA to Kevin Dawe, Head of School.

Winners of 2015 Music Prize together with those presenting the award.

A multi-talented musician, Emma is a harpist, singer, conductor and producer, and was this year’s student conductor of the Chamber Choir, who she also sang with. A mezzo-soprano, Emma has sung with the University Chorus and Cecilian Choir, and was harpist with the Symphony Orchestra and Lost Consort.

Emma Murton also received an award for “Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture”.

Emma also received an award from the University this year at the Kent Student Awards, 3rd place for “Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture”.

“Kent has been a fantastic place for me to get involved in creative projects from theatre to music making, all of which have been enjoyable and broaden my experiences. And the School of Music and Fine Art in the Historic Dockyard campus is a lovely place to work, with talented and creative people. I’m excited for the term to start!,” says Emma.

For information on the University of Kent 2015 Music Awards click the following link:

Under Siege at Rochester Castle showcases Medway Music on Sunday 19 July


Young musicians and performers will be showcasing their talents for the eighth year running in Rochester Castle Gardens – on the same stage that famous names like Status QuoPeter AndreBlue and Billy Ocean will have been performing to huge crowds only days before.

Part of Medway’s Festival of Music, Under Siege offers the opportunity for local gifted performers aged from 13 – 19 the chance to perform on the Castle Concerts’ stage to as many as 4,500 people, with music that encompasses a range of genres that includes rock, pop, and classical.

The gates to Rochester Castle gardens will open at 12 noon on the day and the show, which is FREE to attend, will begin at 1pm and end at around 3.30pm.

Alan Mash, from the School of Music and Fine Art at the Chatham Dockyard campus of University of Kent said: “I am thrilled to be involved in Under Siege again this year – it is one of the highlights of the Medway Festival of Music.”

Under Siege is organised by Medway Council in partnership with the University of Kent and MidKent College.

Public House: Ground-breaking Community Arts Project Film

Public House, a new feature length film for cinema by award winning artist and academic, Sarah Turner, Director of Research in the School of Music and Fine Art, explores the centrality of pubs and social spaces to communal narrative and memory and takes participatory documentary to a whole new level.

Sarah lives near the pub in London SE15, and has been documenting key moments of the community take over since April 2012. Then, the pub’s staff were given a few days notice of eviction and closure; the cherished Ivy House had been sold for conversion into flats. However, the community ensured the sale was blocked through an English Heritage listing, the pub was registered as the first Asset of Community Value in the UK, then purchased and re-opened in August 2013 as a community pub, hosting events as diverse as folk music, swing classes, knitting circles, big band Sunday roasts and samba workshops for pre-schoolers. The film mirrors this cultural transformation in a movement through documentary events, to forms of community participation that are rooted in pub culture – in this case, spoken word and performance poetry – to a minimalist opera that is composed of ambient sound and the collective voice.

Sarah, an artist, filmmaker, writer, curator and academic, whose feature films have been broadcast on Channel 4 and who has had scripts commissioned by the BFI, Film Four Lab and Zephyr Films, is now editing the footage, which offers an alternative portrait of Peckham Rye. 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. For more information go to:

Sarah is giving a talk about the work and its progress on July 8th, which includes a screening of her moving image work and an exclusive preview of the first act of Public House, followed by a discussion with Rebecca ShatwellDirector of AV Festival, addressing the concepts and approaches involved in her practice.  For details go to: