Category Archives: music

SMFA Music student compositions performed by leading ensemble Octandre

On Monday 21 May at 1pm, the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent, Medway is excited to present a special lunchtime recital to celebrate the work of our BMus, year 2 composition students. Having spent the term working alongside one of the UK’s leading contemporary music ensembles, we are delighted to have three musicians from Octandre – Audrey Milheres (Flute), Sam Cave (Guitar) and Corentin Chassard (Cello) – to showcase selected submissions. Octandre are developing an international reputation for their work with a recent commission receiving a BASCA composition award, multiple broadcast recordings for BBC Radio 3 and several high profile performances at venues including LSO St Lukes and St John Smith’s Square. With Sir Harrison Birtwistle as their patron and a consistently thriving programme they are well and truly at the forefront of our nation’s music scene.

Audio link –

The concert takes place in the Galvanising Shop Performance Space on the Historic Dockyard Chatham and is free to attend but please book via Eventbrite

SMFA Associate Lecturer in Music, Anna Neale Widdison’s new album Wide Sky out FRIDAY 23rd March

Wide Sky. Anna Neale-Widdison, 2018.


SMFA music lecturer Anna Neale-Widdison has released a new album Wide Sky, which is available on all the usual music platforms such as Spotify and iTunes. Anna Neale is a multi-talented singer/songwriter, composer, session vocalist and voice-over artist. She’s worked professionally in the music industry for over a decade. In that time she has toured the world, and has showcased at major music conferences across the globe and released two albums and two EP’s to critical acclaim.

Inspired by personal experience, tumultuous current affairs, and views surrounding her home, Wide Sky fuses modern pop with Arabic music, and continues the world music theme of her previous album River Man to ask the question, “Where is humanity going?”

Dan Chisholm, BBC Broadcaster, commented:  “It reminds me how I felt the very first time I heard Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. Like then, I feel this is a very special piece of work. Many congratulations.”

Featuring performances by a talented array of Syrian musicians and vocalists from the English National Opera (ENO), Wide Sky was co-produced with Jez Larder at Skyline Studios, who has previously worked with David Bowie, Estelle, The Damned, and Amy Macdonald.

Anna’s previous album River Man was voted by R2 (Rock’n’Reel) magazine as one of their top albums of 2012.

Anna’s showcase appearances include Brighton’s Great Escape Festival in 2010; the world renowned Canadian Music Week festival in 2009 in Toronto; the sell-out BPI showcase as part of Canada’s NXNE festival in 2006 (where she was the highest rated solo artist); and the NEMO Music Festival in Boston USA in 2005. After her Boston performance Anna’s track “All For Nothing” topped the NEMO Starbucks download charts across New England.

As well as her composing and performing credits, Anna has lectured at the University of Cambridge, The British Museum, BIMM (Brighton & London), Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Hertfordshire. She is also a member of the Oxford Brookes’s music industry board.  Her research interests include songwriting and the music of Ancient Greece.

More info here:


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MAAST Concert in Royal Dockyard Church on Friday 25th May 2018


On Friday 25th May at 5.30pm in the Royal Dockyard Church, the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent, Medway is delighted to present an exchange concert (the second in the series) between Greenwich University and SMFA students.  It will involve multi-channel electroacoustic compositions of spatial sound and audiovisual works by students.

Music and Audio Arts Sound Theatre (MAAST) is a portable and flexible sound diffusion system designed for the performance of electroacoustic music and research in spatial sound.

The system comprises a custom-made 32-channel Gluion console, two MOTU audio interfaces, an array of Genelec loudspeakers which include sixteen bi-amplified 8020s, twenty 8040s, four tri-amplified 1038s, 7060B and 7070A subwoofers, and custom-made loudspeaker stands that can be extended up to 3 metres in height. The console controls the sound diffusion through OSC and Max/MSP. The system allows for diffusion of stereo and multichannel works, and its setup is flexible, depending on the spatial characteristic of concert and sound installation venues.

FREE to attend but booking via Eventbrite.

Ahoy there! SMFA music students lead creative project on HMS Gannet


On 14th March SMFA music students worked with The Dockyard Development Trust and Kings Hill School to lead a creative music project on HMS Gannet in the Captain’s Cabin. They also had a tour of the ship.

Music Education students from Level 2 designed an interactive performance and composition workshop inspired by the Gannet, life at sea, sea shanties and film music inspired by the sea.  The children learned some Pirate Metal, sea songs, took part in a musical “boat race”, and composed and performed their own pieces based on the sights and sounds of the day.


Says organiser, SMFA Lecturer in Music, Jackie Walduck , “The project is a fantastic opportunity for students to engage in the kinds of arts events taking place all over the UK, in which musicians work alongside museums, galleries, arts venues, orchestras, record labels or festivals to create accessible projects for members of the community.”


To see the KMTV feature click on this link:

Music in March at SMFA


The School of Music and Fine Art is proud to present no less than 4 concerts during the month of March – all FREE to attend – on a unique campus at the Historic Dockyard Chatham.  Details below:


Thursday 15th March, 7.30pm-9pm SMFA Music Ensembles Showcase

A chance to hear from talented SMFA students in the Chamber Music Forum, Guitar Ensemble, Little Big Band, Improvisation Groups and the Saxophone Ensemble. Repertoire will showcase familiar favourites and new pieces. Free to attend – book via Eventbrite

Wednesday 21st March, 11am-2pm, Galvanising Shop Performance Space: SMFA Undergraduate Lunchtime Concert

Free to attend – book via Eventbrite

Wednesday 28th March, 11am-2pm, Galvanising Shop Performance Space: SMFA Undergraduate Lunchtime Concert

Free to attend – book via Eventbrite


SMFA Easter Concert Wednesday 28th March at 7.30pm, Royal Dockyard Church

A celebration of music featuring the World Percussion Ensemble, the University Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Forum, Choir and Band. The event will include a wide range of music from classical pieces (Vivaldi, Mendelssohn) to Iive improvisation and a selection from Queen’s iconic album A Night at the Opera. FREE but booking via Eventbrite.

SMFA Music Lecturer Jackie Walduck performing with her ensemble Ignite at London’s Wigmore Hall

Ignite.  Photo by Hannah Strijbos


SMFA Lecturer in Music, Jackie Walduck, will be performing with her improvising ensemble Ignite at London’s Wigmore Hall, in an early evening performance at 5.45pm on Wednesday 21st March. Tickets cost £5.

A composer and vibraphone player, whose work explores the meeting points between composition and improvisation, and their impact on ensemble performance, Jackie Walduck has performed across the UK, Europe and in the Middle East, with musicians as diverse as the Philharmonia, Sinfonia Viva, Kala Ramnath, and the Royal Army Band of Oman. For more info go to:

The programme will include her new piece Skeeter, which plays with the sounds of mosquitos.  Other pieces include works written for Ignite by Luke Bedford, Stephen Warbeck and a new commission form Layale Chaker. for more details.

SMFA’s Dr Ruth Herbert performing with her trio Table Music Friday 2nd March in London

Table Music – left to right: Ruth Herbert (piano), Natalie Rozario (cello), Mandhira de Saram (violin)


Dr Ruth Herbert, Lecturer in Music Performance, will perform with her trio Table Music at Schott Music, London on Friday 2 March 7.30pm – 9.30pm. They are joined by renowned jazz pianist Tim Richards and Ruth’s daughter Asha Parkinson (BBC Young Jazz Musician Award semi-finalist 2016) on soprano sax for an evening of music featuring contemporary, jazz and world influences, including commissioned works from Tim and Asha, plus music by Piazzolla and Zimmerli.

Formed early in 2017, and at core a piano trio, Table Music break new ground with a focus on new, recent and 20th century music displaying a rich mix of influences: contemporary classical, jazz and world, sometimes incorporating improvisation and other instruments. An album is planned for 2019.  More info


As a professional pianist, Ruth has performed with various ensembles, notably recording soundtracks for silent films commissioned by the British Film Institute (BFI) with the piano trio Triptych, subsequently touring these works at major venues in the UK and USA (e.g. Barbican and Lincoln Centres).

Academic positions held include Head of Performance Studies at Dartington College of Arts and Lecturer in Music for the Open University. Prior to her appointment at Kent, Ruth held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellowship at Jesus College, Oxford.


For concert reservations, ring Schott Music: 0207 534 0710. Tick­ets: £10 (full-time stu­dents £5)

SMFA Lecturer in Music Performance, Dr Ruth Herbert features in the Routledge Companion to Sounding Art


SMFA Lecturer in Music Performance, Dr Ruth Herbert features in the Routledge Companion to Sounding Art (2017) which contains 36 essays that cover a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to studying sounding art from the fields of musicology, cultural studies, sound design, auditory culture, art history, and philosophy.

Her chapter, Sonic Subjectivities, compares subjective experiences of sounding art with informal everyday multimodal experiences of music – the way individuals customise mundane experience with music. It goes on to consider Experience Design and examine the faculty of imagination as a psychological given and evolutionary adaptation.

For more details go to

A music psychologist and performer, Ruth has diverse research interests in the fields of music in everyday life, music, health and wellbeing, music and consciousness, sonic studies and music education.

She is currently co-editing a volume for Oxford University Press on Music and Consciousness, together with Professor Eric Clarke (Oxford) and Professor David Clarke (Newcastle).  For more info on Ruth go to

SMFA music Lecturer Dr. Sean Williams on Radio 3

Dr. Sean Williams, 2018.


School of Music and Fine Art Audio Electronics Lecturer, Dr. Sean Williams, was featured on a programme called Radio Controlled on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday February 11th at 6:45pm with several other academics, talking about early experimental electronic music on West German radio in the 1950s.

Presented by Robert Worby, the programme tells the fascinating story of how post-war West German radio, and modern music, was conscripted to win the cultural cold war, often juggling political, economic and cultural forces outside of their control.

To listen to the programme go to:


Dr. Sean Williams is a researcher with a strong background in music practice. He has released a number of records on various labels in the UK, Europe and the USA, and performs solo and with groups including Grey Area, and the Monosynth Orchestra. For more info go to