SoundImageSound International Festival of New Music at SMFA


On Tuesday 7th March at 5pm in the Clock Tower Lecture Theatre, School of Music and Fine Art, there will be a screening of pieces from the SoundImageSound International Festival of New Music. Robert Coburn, Conservatory of Music, University of the Pacific, will present the works and give a short pre-concert talk.  This event is FREE to attend!

From 2003 to 2014, the SoundImageSound International Festival of New Music and Visual Image presented annual performances of new works by composers and visual artists who merged sound and image in a form of inter/multi-media. Curated from an open call for works, SIS featured a widely diverse collection of styles and media from artists across all continents. 

Robert Coburn 
Influenced by minimal visual art and traditional Japanese music and theatre, composer, performer, and sound artist Robert Coburn merges minimal sound and silence in a perceptual experience of time and personal memory.  His compositions often integrate field recordings with live performance and video. He was a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology and has created gallery installations and permanent soundworks as public art throughout the US.

Works to be presented:
Polis (2003 – 04),  Joseph Harchanko/John Fillwalk,  9′
Lines (2006),  Stephanie Loveless,  9′ 30″
Boreales (2008-09),  Jean Piche,  10′ 30″
Juicy (2009),  Jaroslaw Kapuscinski,  10′ 44″
The Mechanism of Spring (2010),  Atsushi Wada,  4′ 20″
Kaze no Yume Part 1 (2012),  Robert Coburn,  10′

Haydn’s Nelson Mass performed in Royal Dockyard Church

The Royal Dockyard Church, Historic Dockyard Chatham


Haydn’s popular Nelson Mass will be performed in the Royal Dockyard Church, Chatham on Wednesday 29 March by the University of Kent Choir and Orchestra (Medway).

The Mass will be conducted by Dr Stelios Chatziiosifidis and the soprano will be School of Music and Fine Art alumna Philippa Hardiman. It will be preceded by a talk from Richard Holdsworth MBE about Nelson and the Historic Dockyard Chatham

In 1771, a 12 year-old Horatio Nelson arrived in Chatham to begin one of the most celebrated careers of all time.  In a unique collaboration to celebrate these historic connections between Britain’s most celebrated naval figure and the award winning Historic Dockyard Chatham, the School of Music and Fine Art (whose Medway campus is located on the Dockyard) and the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust present a performance of the present a performance of the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei of Haydn’s popular Nelson Mass.

The Nelson Mass is Haydn’s largest – and his only minor-key mass, set in D minor at the opening, but leading to a victorious D major finale.  It is also one of his most well-known and beloved choral works, and notable for the demands on the soprano soloist. Haydn later catalogued the Nelson Mass as Missa in Angustiis (mass for troubled times).

Comments Dr Ben Curry, Lecturer & Director of Music Programmes,  School of Music & Fine Art:

“The Nelson Mass is widely regarded as one of Haydn’s greatest works.  It’s performance in the Royal Dockyard Church, built around the time that the mass was composed, provides a unique opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate the drama and beauty of Haydn’s music and the extraordinary naval history of Chatham.”

The first half of the concert will feature items from the School of Music and Fine Art World Percussion Ensemble, Pop, Rock and Soul Choir, and Chamber Music Forum, and includes Bach Keyboard Concerto in F minor, 1st movement; Khachaturian trio for clarinet, violin and piano, 1st movement; Message Ground for two violins and bass guitar by Robert Davidson, Guitar Ensemble and Advanced Improvisation Group.

The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced £10, are available for purchase from the Gulbenkian webpages and the Historic Dockyard.

Simon May, composer of East Enders theme, gives talk in School of Music and Fine Art


Simon May, one of the most successful and celebrated composers for television the UK has ever produced, will be giving a talk on Monday, 27th February from 10:30am – 12:30pm in the Clock Tower Lecture Theatre at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, together with music lecturer Richard Lightman, the School of Music & Fine Art’s Director of Employability Placement Coordinator and Admissions Officer.

Best known for writing the EastEnders theme, Simon’s long and impressive list of TV themes includes the 1980s smash-hit drama series Howards’ Way, as well as such perennial favourites as Holiday and Animal Park. In his book, Doof Doof: My Life in Music, Simon describes the creation of these works, and the success they brought, with self-deprecating humour and the sharp eye of the true professional.

Simon was a Choral Scholar at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he gained an MA (Hons) in French & German. He taught modern languages at Kingston Grammar School before signing to ATV Music as a professional songwriter. He is currently visiting Professor at the Faculty of Media, Arts and Society, Southampton Solent University who in 2015 conferred on him the degree of Honorary Doctor of Music. He is also Patron of the Devizes Junior Eisteddfod, Vice President  of the British Federation of Festivals and  Patron of the Swindon 105.5 Community Radio Station.  He currently teaches music therapy part time at his local school for Asperger students, Unsted Park near Godalming, Surrey.

Simon has received numerous awards and nominations for his music, including winning an Ivor Novello for Every Loser Wins and three TRIC Awards for Best TV Theme for EastEnders, Howard’s Way and Trainer. 


More info:

Please book for the talk via SMFA Reception – 01634 888980.

SMFA composer and lecturer in Amazon top 100

Tear Me Apart, 2015


A film for which composer and music lecturer Richard Lightman, the School of Music & Fine Art’s Director of Employability Placement Coordinator and Admissions Officer, wrote the music score features in the top 100 choice for Amazon Prime. Directed by Alex Lightman, Tear Me Apart , a dystopian cannibal love story, received its European premiere at the International Ravenna Nightmare Horror Film Festival, Italy and had its world premiere at the annual Austin Film Festival in Texas on 31 October 2015. It was also selected for the Bronx International Film Festival and Newport Beach Film Festival, USA in 2016. You can find more about the film here and

Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Richard is a composer, producer, sound design practitioner, lecturer and researcher  who has composed for a many artists, films and television series including Eldorado, America’s Most Wanted and The Big Miracle, news and current affairs programmes, TV and radio commercials, and contributed to the sound design of a number of Hollywood films including An American Werewolf in London, Herbie Goes Bananas, Superman II, III & IV, Flash Gordon and Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

As the Chief Executive Officer of the Music Producers Guild, he has produced over 35 albums, covering a wide spectrum of music including Heavy Metal, Reggae, Blues, Bollywood, Bhangra, Rock and Roll, New Age, Jazz, Pop and Garage, and played on over 170 recordings and performed in 28 countries on 5 continents.


More info here

And here


Life Drawing Workshop Wednesday 8th March


SMFA Fine Art students are organising a series of creative workshops and events to engage with the University of Kent’s students and staff, as well as the general public, with the aim of presenting a platform which provides insightful experiences and raises awareness of the upcoming Degree Show.

The first event, organised by the Fine Art Degree Show Private View and Engagement Team, will be a life drawing workshop on Wednesday 8th March from 6-8pm in the Clock Tower Building (Rooms 301-302) at the Historic Dockyard Chatham. It is open to everyone (age 16+) and only costs £1.

Please contact Charlene to reserve your space.

Shona Illingworth’s Time Present in contemporary art exhibition

Time Present, 2016. Image by Shona Illingworth


Fine Art Reader and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Music and Fine Art work, artist Shona Illingworth’s work, Time Present  (2016) opens in a new exhibition called Turning Point at the Sayle Gallery, Douglas, Isle of Man from 25 Feb – 26 March. Featuring boundary pushing contemporary artwork by international artists Keith McIntyre, Kevin Atherton, Mark Wallinger and Susan Collins, the exhibition is curated by Helen Fox, Programme Manager for Art, Design and Media at University College Isle of Man.

Time Present explores memory, and individual and cultural amnesia.

Shortlisted for the prestigious 2016 Jarman Award, the widely exhibited Illingworth works across sound, film, video, photography, drawing and painting. Her work combines interdisciplinary research (particularly with emerging neuropsychological models of memory and critical approaches to memory studies) with publicly engaged practice.


More info here:

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