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Personal profile

Overview

Rob is Reader in Music at the University of Hertfordshire, the group leader for Creative Arts Practice Research Group and a founder member of Arts:Sci.

He has been active as a composer involved in concert hall and installation art since the 1990's. His works have been commissioned by many of the worlds leading festivals including the St Magnus Festival, Orkney (Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Bath International Festival.

Working as a composer, sound designer and programmer, Rob has a passionate interest in how sound behaves acoustically and has developed a number of techniques for controlling and building virtual spaces for use within live performance and installation. As well as creating generative, responsive and interactive installation audio works, he regularly performs live - focusing on a transparent relationship between technology, audience and performer.  Performances over the past ten years have included the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2013, Kings Place and Frome Festival 2014.  Rob is part of the collaborative team with Simeon Nelson and 2016 saw work commencing on their new Wellcome Trust funded (£150k) project Cosmoscope for the 2017 Durham Lumiere and the 2018 London Lumiere.  In 2017 they were awarded a commission by Modus Operandi (with funds provided by an anonomous donor) to create Hydrosiren - a mobile, floating and singing sculpture.  The work traversed its way up and down the Grand Union Canal, near Meanwhile Gardens, London.

Rob is involved in a series of projects with the clarinettist and producer Kate Romano (CEO Stapleford Granary).  These have included a new realisation and performance of Poeme Electronique by Varese and his companion composition - Faraday Waves, for live sound projection and video (which images created in collaboration with Prof. Stephen Morris, Physics Department, University of Toronto and Sam Jury).  The project has recieved ACE, Britten Pears and RVW Trust funding (£37k) and premiered at the Cheltenham Festival 2016.  Faraday Waves has gone on to receive performances at the prestigious Art & Science Days Concerts, Concours Bourges, France June 2016 and the Diffrazioni Festival November 2016, S. Maria Novella, Florence, Italy.

For linear film, he has composed the sound for Kamila Kuc’s Batum, Uchronia No.1 and Noonwraith Blues; plus Sam Jury’s film To Be here (AHRC Research in Film Awards 2018) and This you must remember (2020/22 - recently premiered as a multi-screen/speaker installation at Depo İstanbul and KCB, Belgrade). This you must remember features hybridised music and sound design compositions, whereby environmental sounds (on-camera and field recordings) are used as structural musical devices. Many sounds were recorded on location in Abkazia (using native speakers), with other field recordings made in England and Wales during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

He has contributed a chapter to the 'Companion to the Reception of Vitruvius' (a project under contract with Brill and co-edited by Prof. Ingrid Rowland, to be published Spring 2023), the topic of the contribution being "Echeia" - a very early example of assisted resonance in Roman Theatres.

He has a long list of awards ranging from The Royal Philharmonic Society Prize for Composition to many ACE funded commissions. 

http://www.robgodman.com


Research interests

  • The combination of live instrument with live and responsive electronics
  • Collaborative work with architects, sculptors, glassmakers and other artists
  • Creative use of programming techniques for composers and visual artists
  • Integration of algorithmic techniques into live performance and public art works
  • The study of 'ancient' acoustics (Vitruvius)
  • Spatial sound and the perception of movement in space

 

Rob has presented many papers on contemporary arts practice at international symposiums and has been a regular performer/presenter at ICMC.

 

Other research and compositional interests include interactive audio (live and responsive), multi-speaker sound projection (Rob is the director of UH Diffuse – the Music Centre’s multi-speaker diffusion system), programming, commercial expectations and industry requirements, further collaborative methods and cross-arts (music and real-time moving image, music and text etc.).

 

Teaching specialisms

Rob Godman is Reader in Music at the University of Hertfordshire teaching on Music Composition and Music Technology pathways.  The demand for this programme is reflected in huge numbers of applications and very high student satisfaction and success.

Rob has worked as a supervisor and external and internal examiner for a number of successful PhD completions.  He has validated external BA and MA courses and is an External Examiner.

His teaching focus is composition with technology with emphasis on algorithmic and live composition involving coding.  He maintains a balance between technique and aesthetic understanding and knowledge whilst emphasising practical concerns regarding professionalism for composers.

Commercial and public engagement

Rob has worked for many commercial organisations included the BAFTA award winning Braunarts, The Philharmonia Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the PRS.  Whilst being most well known for his high-profile public art activities which have been shown throughout the world he has worked in a variety of education capacities including the PRS Composer-in-Residence schemes as well as HE.  He is extensively involved in international development, currently collaborating with Concordia University, Canada on knowledge transfer, collaborative provision and student exchange.  He has been responsible for a large number of UH music students taking part in Study Abroad activities.  His writings are widely published, his work most recently included as an in-depth case study for Andrew Hugill's book The Digital Musician (Routledge, 2nd Edition 2012).

Rob has worked in more traditional forms of the commercial sector including VJing for major London nightclubs with large regular audiences.

External positions

External Examiner The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance

1 Jun 2021 → …

External Examiner, University of Wolverhampton

15 Sept 20201 Jun 2022

External Examiner, University for the Creative Arts

1 Sept 20171 Jun 2021

External Examiner, University of Worcester

1 Jun 20121 Jun 2016

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