The Research Department regularly organises research seminars, symposia and other events.
Find our 2022-23 events programme on this page.
Seminars take place on occasional Wednesdays from 17.15-18.15 – all welcome!
The Spring/Summer 2023 seminars will be presented in a mix of online and in-person.
Please contact the Research Administrator Eden Longson with any queries or to book your place.
17 Jan 2024
Sam Hayden & Zoi Dimitriou
Description to come…
24 Jan 2024
Transmedial Perspectives on Music and Sound in Early French Radio Plays from the 1930s: The Tangible Legacy of Le Douzième coup de minuit.
During the 1930s, most French radiophonic music was composed within the context of the radio play. A lack of surviving primary sources has meant that these experimental musical practices have largely gone undocumented and their legacy overlooked. One key work of the period, Le Douzième coup de minuit, offers us a lens through which to consider how the medial boundaries between theatrical and musical performance were redefined through radiophonic techniques, and how these, in turn, redefined the scope of radio art more than a decade before Pierre Schaeffer’s widely acknowledged radiophonic experiments in acousmatic music.
26 June 2024
my feet will follow (working title)
A desire path crossing a field, light streaking across a landscape at dawn, water coursing between rocks as it rushes down a mountainside. Each one seeking a course, each one orientating itself with its surroundings. my feet will follow explores journeying, navigation and choice. Are we led by our gut, by intuition, or by a map, a compass? What are we seeking; an escape, an easy life, an adventure or a way home? A score of possibilities navigated each time live in performance and an electronic map of obstacles and interventions changing the course of the piece.
Our Prime Minister has decided that the main problem with our education is that we stop learning maths at 16. It just so happens that I’ve been developing a piece of music software that turns a simple musical maths technique into a generative musical tool. Come and hear about The IsoRhythmic Step Sequencer as well as the technique of Isorhythm. There will be musical examples, audience participation and a few diagrams. Rishi will be delighted.
08 Mar 2023, in-person: Lecture Theatre, Laban Building
The aim of this presentation is to expose Transitory Architecture: a practice research project that sits in the space between choreography and architecture. During the seminar I will show the trailers and some pictures of the three main artworks produced throughout the project, and use them as case studies to unravel the design of my praxis and question the versatility of my interdisciplinary methodology. Finally, I will advance some theoretical claims which derive from my insights into the project as a practitioner researcher. The intention is to address the aesthetic impact of both my practice and artworks on our perception and cognition of architectonic space, seen as individuals, as members of sociocultural communities, and as human beings.
22 Mar 2023, in-person: Lecture Theatre, Laban Building
Lizzi Kew Ross
The connections between notions of time and place and poetic image making in reference to the poetry of Seamus Heaney and the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, with consideration of my site-specific choreographic work
For three months last year I was the Ruth Etchells Fellow at St Johns College, Durham University.
This gave me an opportunity to research into why these two artists, Seamus Heaney and Andrei Tarkovsky, have been significant in my work as a choreographer. During this time, there were performances of Stations of the Crossing in Durham Cathedral at Easter. This work was developed from previous collaborations with the video artist Mark Dean over the last five years, which have included performances in St Paul’s Cathedral and St Stephen Walbrook, and two productions here in the Laban Theatre.
The lecture is followed by the opening of an exhibition in the
Laban Theatre Bar from 18.30 to 20.00:
Process | Rehearsal | Performance
Mark Dean / Lizzi Kew Ross & Co
15 Mar – 6 Apr 2023
Laban Theatre Bar
Three videos by Mark Dean, working in collaboration with Lizzi Kew Ross & Co, that together convey the energy of interdisciplinary art practice.
Ne me touche Pas de trois combines three iterations of a devising improvisation by Lizzi Kew Ross & Co in their first gathering since lockdown, still under conditions of social distance.
Dance City of God layers footage of Lizzi Kew Ross & Co rehearsing Stations of the Crossing in Newcastle with constituent video works drawn from Mark Dean’s Stations of the Cross.
Stations of the Crossing is a documentary video produced from two performances of the resulting work as presented in Durham Cathedral.
17 May 2023, in-person: Peacock Room, King Charles Court
Counter point as a freeing device
Further information to follow.
31 May 2023, online
Words, Voice, Movement: language as a choreographic source
Further information to follow.
14 Jun 2023, online
Zoi Dimitriou and Sam Hayden
in conversation on the making of Funky Turn and/or Legally Live (2021), by Zoi Dimitriou
In this research seminar I shall be unpicking methods of practice and collaborative approaches to the making of Funky Turn and/or Legally Live, which premiered at the online edition of the international Arc For Dance Festival, in May 2021.
Funky Turn and/or Legally Live adopts a media epistemology and supports the view that the artwork in the era of technical reproduction cannot escape the socio-economic technological sovereignty that determines its aesthetic dimension. With sampling technologies and digital techniques, the smallest detail/gesture can assume a life of its own and become the basis for the birth of ever more new iterations and reverberations. What is the place of origin and how can we, if at all, keep track of the many travels and echoes in the future? Within the fast-changing pace of our world’s imaginary, I am interested in slowing down and amplifying the detail as I follow it on a path that legitimises its persistence as much as speak of the desire for a return to a perhaps lost future. Influences for the development of this work have been notions of liveness in mediatised performance and the philosophical concept of hauntology as introduced through the writings of Mark Fischer.
16 Mar 2022
Prof Sophie Fuller My amateur shell’: women creating music and professionalism at the end of the 19th century
In this seminar, I will explore the ways in which women creating music in late 19th-century Britain navigated the expectation that they were working as amateurs rather than professionals.
What did the term ‘professional’ mean at that time for anyone whose creative expression was through composition? This was a time when women were fighting their way into established professions such as engineering, law and medicine. In musical composition, was professionalism a question of earning money, critical recognition, publishing work, moving in establishment circles, receiving high-profile performances or prestigious commissions?
By telling the stories of composers such as Rosalind Ellicott (1857-1924), Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) or Maude Valérie White (1855-1937), I will demonstrate that distinctions between the amateur and the professional composer are hard to establish and that boundaries between professional and amateur worlds were frequently blurred and confused.
By emerging from her ‘amateur shell’, was White making a bold and disruptive move away from the protection of an expected but belittling status?
30 Mar 2022
Prof Sam Hayden Computer-assisted composition and the recent works of Sam Hayden
I am currently in the process of recording a new album of solo and duo works for Divine Art Recordings and will discuss some of the works that will be included on this album (including attente (2018-19) for solo flute and remnants III (2021) for cello and piano). All my recent works continue my interest in computer-assisted composition using IRCAM’s OpenMusic, combing algorithmic and ‘spectralist’ approaches to composition. I will show how I use OM to generate underlying duration structures and their rhythmical subdivisions, and transformations between synthetic 12TET or 24TET microtonal scales and more overtone-based pitch structures. I always regard such computer-generated structures as starting points, or ‘found objects’, for further elaboration rather than being ends in themselves. I will show how such initial rhythmical and pitch materials are combined by the computer algorithmically during a highly formalised ‘pre-compositional’ stage before being overwritten to a great extent during a later much more intuitive compositional stage. In particular, this ‘overwriting’ is often achieved through an extensive use of instrument-specific techniques such as multiphonics, overtone harmonics and other such ‘spectral’ sounds, in-between pitch and noise. Fundamental to my formal conceptions are the tensions between such sonic instabilities and the rationalised computer-mediated structures.
27 Apr 2022 Prof Dominic Murcott A bit of a Song and Dance!
I’m in the early stages of composing a new album for the nonclassical label. The starting point is to force three unlikely musical styles together to try and make something that is unified and coherent. One of the elements is Colombian Cumbia, an infectious dance music that is itself a fusion of three distinct cultural identities. The process is producing a few demanding questions: will I be guilty of cultural appropriation? Just because one aspect of this project is a dance style, does this hold any interest for contemporary dancers? What audience is this aimed at?
Join me for some great musical examples and (hopefully) an entertaining discussion about the project.
4 May 2022
Prof Jonathan Clark Some applications of Phenomenology to Arts and Aesthetics
My research work in the last ten years has focussed on using the insights of both classical phenomenology, and its contemporary variants, to shed light on various problems in aesthetics, art history and the philosophy of history, as well as work within the disciplines of music and dance. This inaugural lecture will draw some broad themes from this totality of research work, and explain some recent developments that I am exploring that involve pursuing this method further, namely: some aspects of image consciousness; the question of whether artificial intelligence can make art; an approach to the fundamental definitional problem in aesthetics- what is the distinction between art and non-art?
18 May 2022
Dr Dario van Gammeren On a Political Note: Cultural Policy Making and Orchestral Repertoire in the Nazi-Occupied Netherlands
Dutch cultural politics in the 1930s were plagued by funding cuts, drawing strong criticism from artists who suffered through considerable hardship. Following the Dutch capitulation in May 1940, the German occupying forces, aware of art’s potential to drive social change, acted on this discontent in their campaign to sway the Dutch in favour of National Socialism. By way of a comparative study of orchestral repertoire and programming in the interwar and occupied Netherlands, this seminar assesses the impact of cultural policy making under German occupation on the transformation of the Dutch orchestral landscape.
15 Jun 2022
Dr Rebecca Stancliffe
Meeting (on) Zoom, Dancing Online
During the COVID-19 pandemic, performing arts activities moved from studios and practice rooms into people’s homes with the adoption of video conferencing platforms. Digital tools such as Zoom, which were adopted for delivery end engagement at an unprecedented pace, present an unfamiliar associated technical milieu that undeniably influences practice and challenges the traditional/typical co-presence at the heart of performing arts experience.
Drawing from 14 semi-structured interviews conducted with Higher Education dance faculty and class accompanists, this seminar presents preliminary findings of postphenomenological research that explores the human-technology relations at play in online delivery.
Please contact the Research Administrator, Eden Longson, with any questions.
Parallax 14 – Craft and Art Symposium
Wed 12 February 2020, 09.30 – 17.00
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
A one-day symposium curated by
Zoi Dimitriou and Jonathan Owen Clark
What is the relation between craft and the performing arts? What are the socio-political connotations these relations hold today and how do these challenge, redirect and nourish artistic, curatorial, pedagogical and social practices?
Craftmanship as an intimate working with materials and their transformation has recently been drawing attention in both the artistic and academic milieu. Notions of repetition, persistence, resistance, foresight and ‘following the materials’ are but some of our anchoring focal points. One line of theoretical inquiry can be traced through the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, who suggest that to ‘follow the materials’ is to think from the materials – to find ‘the consciousness or thought of the matter-flow’ (Deleuze and Guattari 2004:454). Another way of approaching the subject is through Tim Ingold’s anthropological analysis of the embodied processes of enskillment that join both art and craft-making.
Practices of craftmanship have close links to the daily practices of the dancer, musician and artist. How can we discuss these processes from the viewpoint that even the smallest of ‘gestures’ (actions) can produce things, affects and change that encompass the potentiality for domain shifts and moving us through/across borders?
Please book your place by emailing the Research Administrator Eden Longson.
Parallax 13 – Melting, Shifting, Liquid World
16 Mar 2019, 17.30, 19.30, 21.30, National Maritime Museum, Romney Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
With the Trinity Laban String Ensemble
Composer Hollie Harding
Director/ Electric Viola Nic Pendlebury
The world premiere performances of Melting, Shifting, Liquid World on the iconic Great Map at the National Maritime Museum. This is a new immersive, site-specific piece written by composer Hollie Harding (PhD candidate Creative Practice, Music) for Trinity Laban String Ensemble and electric viola soloist Nic Pendlebury. The work explores themes of climate change and ocean pollution and includes a pre-recorded tape part delivered to the audience over bone-conduction open-ear headphones. Hear the composer talk about her work.
Parallax 12 – Moving as a thought process: studio development and creative encounters
Wed 21 Nov 2018, 17.15-18.15, Lecture Theatre, Laban Building
Through investigative practice involving stillness processes and relational moving, this artistic research, conducted by Naomi Lefebvre Sell, Tara Silverthorn and Lucille Teppa over an eleven year period, has fostered a methodology where a refinement of the “felt sense” (Gendlin, 2003) was embodied, articulated and documented. This has taken place through the writing and moving of scores, or ‘Pathways’; compositions of improvisational agreements/frameworks, designed collectively. All this has provided a framework for the consideration and examination of dance-making from a mindfulness perspective.
Naomi, Tara and Lucille will present a new film,developed in collaboration with Jason Brooks, which captures this work. The film exposes the research at a point in time, as well as reveals some of their engagement with various groups (Cando2, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Centre for Advanced Training). The presenters will share some of their current concerns, inviting questions and dialogue surrounding their practice.
Presenters: Dr Naomi Lefebvre Sell, Tara Silverthorn and Lucille Teppa
Chair and mentor of the project: Prof Sarah Whatley, Professor of Dance and Director: Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE), Coventry University
Free and open to the public. External visitors who would like to attend are requested to book their place in advance by contacting the Research Administrator, Eden Longson.
Concert and research seminar: Professor John Wallace and ensemble
Fri 27 Jan 2023
Professor John Wallace, Trumpeter and Former Principal, Royal Conservatoire Scotland and his ensemble, The Wallace Collection, present:
CONCERT 13.05, Old Royal Naval College Chapel
Take time out of your day with a free lunchtime concert in the beautiful Old Royal Naval College Chapel, featuring performances from John Wallace, The Wallace Collection and Trinity Laban’s Brass Ensemble. No booking required.
Following the Brass Ensemble performance, Professor John Wallace, Sandy Coffin, Tony George, Fergus Kerr, and Professor John Miller will be sharing their research and exciting new finds in the development of brass chamber music from its origins in Paris of 1848 with a focus on historical brass instruments.
Sounding Moves/Moving Sound
A day of panels, presentations, arguments and cocktails!
Friday 16th December 2022 (all day)
We are delighted to be hosting a cross-faculty event to relationship between music and dance at Trinity Laban. A day of conversations and exchange, sparkled up by various refreshments throughout the day!
Please contact the Research Administrator Eden Longson with any queries.
Research Lab brings together all MA, MSc, MFA, Phil and PhD students from the Faculties of Music and Dance. It is a space for you to explore what practice might mean in the context of the programme of study you are pursuing at Trinity Laban.
You can find out more about our range of research programmes and facilities here:
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