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Dr. Nicholas Brown
Ussher Assistant Professor in Sonic Arts, Music


Nicholas Brown (GB) is an artist-composer, performer and researcher. He currently holds the post of Ussher Assistant Professor in Sonic Arts at Trinity College Dublin and is an Associate Researcher at the Orpheus Institute, Ghent. He was educated at Oxford University (BA, 1996; DPhil, 2006) and Manhattan School of Music, New York (MM, 1998). He has previously held lectureships in music at St Catherine's College, Oxford University (2002-05); Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, London (2007-9); the University of East Anglia, Norwich (2009-14) and served as Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of Performance Studies at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (2014-16).

Nicholas's work has been widely presented at international festivals such as Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival; BBC Proms (London); Three Choirs Festival (UK); Sonorities (Belfast) and at venues including Lincoln Center (New York); Ishibashi Memorial Hall (Tokyo); the Barbican Centre (London); Concertgebouw Brugge (Belgium); Scenkonstmuseet (Stockholm); and Turner Contemporary (Margate). He has also written film music, including a score commissioned by the British Film Institute for a DVD release (Mad Love, BFIVD515) that received critical acclaim in the Los Angeles Times

Recent work includes Chit-chat (2017), an interactive installation for Science Gallery, Dublin that transforms a visitor's vocalization into birdsong; Vanishing Points (2017) for clavichord, mobile phones and live electronics; and Structural Cohesion (2019), a site-specific work for singers, choir and live electronics that was recently performed at Concertgebouw Brugge, Belgium, featuring voice students from The Royal Conservatoire Antwerp.

As a performer, Nicholas has conducted his music at venues including Lincoln Center (New York); The National Gallery (Washington D.C.); London's Barbican Centre; and has performed as a pianist at venues including Wigmore Hall and Kings Place in London. As a writer and researcher, he has published journal articles and book chapters on issues in contemporary music/audiovisual culture in journals such as Organized Sound and Contemporary Music Review.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

The Composer's Domain: Method and Material in, editor(s)Jonathan Impett , Sound Work: Composition as Critical Technical Practice, Leuven, Leuven University Press, 2021, [Nicholas Brown] Book Chapter, 2021

Game-show; or, the Playful Work of the Voice in, editor(s)William Brooks , Experience:Music:Experiment - Pragmatism and Artistic Research, Leuven, Leuven University Press, 2021, pp141 - 155, [Nicholas Brown] Book Chapter, 2021

Nicholas Brown, 'Theory Across Time', Contribution to EdX Online Course (MOOC) by Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium, titled, 'Artistic Research in Music', Katholieke Universiteit Leuven &, 2020 Oral Presentation, 2020

Nicholas Brown, 'On the Division of a String', Eight-channel sound installation-performance for performer and monochord, First performance at Open Circuit, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium, September 1, 2019, - Musical Score, 2019 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'Structural Cohesion', Site-specific, large-scale work for two singers, choir, piano and live electronics, First performance co-produced by Concertgebouw Brugge and Orpheus Institute, Ghent in collaboration with Antwerp Conservatoire, Concertgebouw Brugge, Belgium, November 21, 2019, - Musical Score, 2019

Electroacoustic Composition and Silent Film in, editor(s)Barton, R. and Trezise, S. , Music and Sound in Silent Film: From the Nickelodeon to the Artist, London, Routledge, 2018, pp187 - 197, [Nicholas Brown] Book Chapter, 2018 DOI

Nicholas Brown, 'The Undulatory Theory of Light', Three-channel sound installation, Turner Contemporary, Margate. Part of Oscillate Festival of Experimental Music and Sound, June 2, 2018, - Exhibition, 2018 URL

Nicholas Brown, What can network theory tell us about polyphony?, The Power of Networks, Ghent, Belgium, February 21-22, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Nicholas Brown, 'Vanishing Points', Composition for clavichord, electronics and distributed (web) audio, World premiere performance given by Nicholas Brown (clavichord) at the Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium. Part of 'Open Circuit', Ghent, Belgium, Sept 3 , 2017, - Musical Score, 2017 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'Chit-chat', Four-channel interactive sound installation, Exhibited as part of Science Gallery Dublin's summer exhibition, 'SOUND CHECK', June 10 - Sept 24, 2017, - Exhibition, 2017 URL URL

Nicholas Brown, Composition Pedagogy in an Age of Electronic Media, Composition as Critical Technical Practice, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium, November 22, 2016 Conference Paper, 2016

Nicholas Brown, 'On the Production of True Consonance', 8-channel sound installation for automated monochord, loudspeakers and MaxMSP, Exhibited at Helmore Building, ARU, Cambridge, UK, April 23, 2016, - Exhibition, 2016 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'Starfish', Composition for tenor & piano with live electronics, First performed by James Geer (tenor) and Nicholas Brown (piano) at Mumford Theatre, Cambridge, UK. February 12, 2016, - Musical Score, 2016

Nicholas Brown, From the Temporality of Pulse to the Generation of Sounds, The Making of Musical Time, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium, February 25-26, 2015 Conference Paper, 2015

Nicholas Brown, 'On the Generation of Sounds', Electroacoustic lecture-performance after Robert Grosseteste, First presented/performed at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, UK, 2015, - Music Production, 2015 URL

Composing as a Way of Doing Philosophy in, editor(s)Darla Crispin & Bob Gilmore , Artistic Research in Music: A Sourcebook, Leuven, Leuven University Press, 2014, pp225 - 230, [Nicholas G Brown] Book Chapter, 2014 DOI

Nicholas Brown, The Composer's Art in an Age of Digital Mediation, Composition in the 21st Century, Trinity College Dublin, March 5-7, 2014 Conference Paper, 2014

Nicholas Brown, 'Chant', Installation. Exhibited as part of 'From Birdsong to Light', Hungate Medieval Art, St Peter Hungate, Norwich, 2013, - Exhibition, 2013 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'Medicatio', Interactive sound installation. Exhibited as part of 'From Birdsong to Light', Hungate Medieval Art, St Peter Hungate, Norwich, 2013, - Exhibition, 2013 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'From Birdsong to Light', Solo exhibition of sound installations, St Peter Hungate, Norwich, UK, Hungate Medieval Art, May 24 - June 16, 2013, - Exhibition, 2013 URL

Nicholas Brown, Composing the Performer: On the relationship between the work of making a work of music and the idiosyncrasies of a performer's practice, Artistic Experimentation in Music, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium, April 27-28, 2011 Conference Paper, 2011

Nicholas Brown, Being Among the Living: On the Inter-relationships Between Performers, Witnesses & Environment in 'As I Have Now Memoyre', Organised Sound, 16, (2), 2011, p176 - 183 Journal Article, 2011 DOI

Nicholas Brown, 'On the Operations of the Sun', First performed by Musica Beata at the Three Choirs Festival, Worcester, August 13, 2011, - Musical Score, 2011 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'Bird Chamber', Sound installation, featured as part of the inugural Greenwich International String Quartet Festival, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, April 17-19, 2009, - Exhibition, 2009

Nicholas Brown, 'As I Have Now Memoyre', Performance-installation for two singers and live electronics. Co-produced by Sound and Music & Kings Place, London and first performed on February 10, 2009 as part of 'The Sound Source' series at King's Place, 2008, - Musical Score, 2008 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'The Soul Finds Rest in Unity', Installation at the George Hotel, Huddersfield as part of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 2007, - Exhibition, 2007 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'The Bravery of Women', Composition for violin/voice, electronics and video. First performed by Monica Germino at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 2007, - Musical Score, 2007 URL

Nicholas Brown, The Flux Between Sounding and Sound: Towards a Relational Understanding of Music as Embodied Action., Contemporary Music Review, 25, (1-2), 2006, p36 - 45 Journal Article, 2006 DOI

Nicholas Brown, 'An Audience with the Trees', First installed at Addison's Walk, Magdalen College, Oxford as part of the College's May Morning celebrations, 2005, - Exhibition, 2005 URL

Nicholas Brown, Notes on Rosa, Review of Rosa - A Horse Drama. An opera by Louis Andriessen and Peter Greenaway, Commissioned by Lincoln Center, New York for the U.S. film premiere of Peter Greenaway's film 'The Death of a Composer: Rosa, a Horse Drama' at Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center, New York., 2004 Review, 2004

Nicholas Brown, 'Songs from the Sky', Commissioned by Bristol Bach Choir. First performed at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, conducted by Peter Leech, 2004, - Musical Score, 2004

Nicholas Brown, 'Vivaldi's Menagerie', Violin concerto commissioned by Orchestra of St John's, London. First performed as part of 'Music in the Abbey', Dorchester Abbey, England, 2003, - Musical Score, 2003

Nicholas Brown, 'After Death', Music for the 1915 silent film by Evgenii Bauer, London, British Film Institute, 2002, - Film production, 2002 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'Silence is Golden', Performance piece for violinist-actor, Oliver Lewis. Premiere: Great Hall, Dartington International Summer School, 2002, - Musical Score, 2002

Nicholas Brown, 'Dancing in the Aisles', For saxophone and piano. First performed by Sarah Field and Simon Lepper at the British Saxophone Congress, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, 2002, - Musical Score, 2002

Nicholas Brown, 'On Jealousy', For tenor, piano and video. First performed by Mark Milhofer, Magdalen College Auditorium, Oxford, accompanied by Paul Plummer (piano), 2002, - Musical Score, 2002

Nicholas Brown, 'Bookcruncher', Music for the film by Dan Wilde. , 2002, - Film production, 2002 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'The Truck', Music for the film by Jasper Goldman, 2002, - Film production, 2002

Nicholas Brown, 'Lady Windermere's Fan', Music for the 1916 silent film by Fred Paul, London, British Film Institute, 2001, - Film production, 2001 URL

Nicholas Brown, 'Mirabile Misterium', Commissioned by the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, for its Christmas Carol Service, 2001, - Musical Score, 2001

Nicholas Brown, 'Two Pieces Concerning Time', Commissioned as part of the PRS/NFMS 'Adopt-a-Composer' Scheme, UK for the Phoenix Singers of Shrewsbury, England., 2001, - Musical Score, 2001

Nicholas Brown, 'The Lily-White Rose', For male vocal consort. First performed by the Orlando Consort at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 2000, - Musical Score, 2000

Nicholas Brown, 'Stillness', First performed by the BBC Singers as part of an SPNM anniversary concert at St Paul's Knightsbridge, London, 1999, - Musical Score, 1999

Nicholas Brown, 'The House of the Hanged Man', Piano trio. First performed at the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York, 1998, - Musical Score, 1998

Nicholas Brown, 'The Divine Image', For SATB choir and organ. Text by William Blake. Commissioned by St Peter's Church, Formby, Liverpool, 1997, - Musical Score, 1997

Nicholas Brown, 'Miserere', Anthem for men's voices. First performed by the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, 1996, - Musical Score, 1996

Nicholas Brown, 'The Magdalen Service', Written for and first performed by the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, conducted by Bill Ives, 1995, - Musical Score, 1995

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Nicholas Brown, The Impact of Digital Technology on the Standard Model of Musical Performance, Research Exchange Lunchtime Session, Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, 6 December, 2016, Long Room Hub Invited Talk, 2016

Nicholas Brown, Presentation for sixth-form students on my professional practice as a composer working in film, Study day for sixth-form students, Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge, 5 February, 2015, Cambridgeshire Film Consortium Invited Talk, 2015

Nicholas Brown, Presentation on my creative work based on Robert Grosseteste's De Generatione Sonorum & De Operationibus Solis, Ordered Universe Symposium, Norman Chapel, Durham University, 26 November, 2015, The Ordered Universe Project Invited Talk, 2015

Nicholas Brown, Presentation-demonstration of physical computing and sensor technology in the context of my compositional practice, Dorkbot #2, Makespace, Cambridge, UK, 21 April, 2015, Dorkbot Invited Talk, 2015

Nicholas Brown, Practising Every Day: Musical Acts in our Daily Lives, Lunchtime Talk given as part of the exhibition, 'The Artist's Studio', Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, UK, 20 May, 2010, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts Invited Talk, 2010

Nicholas Brown, Guest speaker on the subject of collaborations between composers and performers, London Symphony Orchestra 'Discovery' series, LSO St Luke's, London, April, 2008, LSO / SPNM Invited Talk, 2008

Research Expertise


Electroacoustic composition and improvisation; creative coding; network theory; installation and sound art; philosophy and aesthetics of music; ecological theories of perception; ludomusicology/game studies; computational creativity


  • Title
    • Structural Cohesion
  • Summary
    • Creation of a new musical work by Nicholas Brown in association with Concertgebouw Brugge; Orpheus Institute, Ghent; and the Royal Conservatoire, Antwerp, Belgium. The project culminated in a site-specific performance on November 21, 2019 at Concertgebouw Brugge by voice students and international vocal artists, Maribeth Diggle and Natasha Lohan. Included a preliminary voice workshop, led by Natasha Lohan, for students from Antwerp Conservatoire.
  • Funding Agency
    • Co-produced/funded by Orpheus Institute, Ghent and Concertgebouw, Brugge
  • Date From
    • 06/2019
  • Date To
    • 11/2019
  • Title
    • Opening the Red Book: The digital Audio CD format from the viewpoint between musicology and media studies
  • Summary
    • I am academic mentor and PI for Dr Eamonn Bell's research project, 'Opening the "Red Book". The overall goal of Dr Bell's project is to produce an interdisciplinary account of the Audio CD format.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • 10/2019
  • Date To
    • 09/2021
  • Title
    • Sound Check
  • Summary
    • Advisor and contributing artist for Science Gallery Dublin's summer exhibition, Sound Check (June 9, - Sept 24, 2017) and subsequent show tour to Scenkonstmuseet, Stockholm (Feb 26 - Aug 18, 2019).
  • Funding Agency
    • Science Gallery Dublin/Scenkonstmuseet, Stockholm
  • Date From
    • 01/2017
  • Date To
    • 08/2019


Composition and Algorithmic composition, spectral music; Computer Music; computer-aided music pedagogy; Electroacoustic composition; Electroacoustic Music Composition; film sound, dialogue, music; Installation & sound art; Music in medieval thought; Music Technology; Notation and performance; Performance with digital technologies; Philosophy & aesthetics of music; Sound Studies



Peer Reviewer, Journal for Artistic Research 2020

Peer Reviewer, 'Seismograf' journal for contemporary sound arts 2019

Peer Reviewer, Technologies for Music Notation conference 2016

Specialist Advisor (External Examiner), Composition Department, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 2016

Member, Validation Panel for FdA Music Practice & BA Creative Practices and Enterprise, City College, Norwich, UK 2011

Member, Validation Panel, PGA Certificate, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London 2007

Awards and Honours

Apgar Scholarship, Magdalen College, Oxford University 1999

Foundation for Sports and the Arts Scholarship 1997

Performing Rights Society Foundation, Composer Bursary Award 2003

PRS/NFMS, UK 'Adopt a Composer' scheme 2001

Instrumental Scholarship, Magdalen College, Oxford University 1994


Associate Researcher, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium. Member, research cluster, 'Music, Thought & Technology'. 2016 – present

Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UK. 2013 – present

Writer-member, Performing Rights Society, UK 2001 – present

Writer-member, Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, UK 2000 – present