Senior Lecturer in Composition and Head of the Unit for Sound Practice Research (SPR)
+44 (0)20 7919 7652
Dr John Levack Drever has been lecturing in and around the Electronic Music Studios (EMS) at Goldsmiths since 2003. He studied Music at the University of Wales, Bangor (1992-95), followed by an MMus study in Electroacoustic Music Composition at the University of East Anglia (1995-6). In 2001 he was awarded a PhD from Dartington College of Arts, for a programme of research titled 'Phonographies: Practical and Theoretical Explorations into Composing with Disembodied Sound'. Following his PhD he co-coordinated Sounding Dartmoor, a participative soundscape study of Dartmoor National Park (2000-2) for the Digital Crowd (University of Plymouth). During 2003-04 he was an ACE/AHRB Arts and Science Research Fellow with Centre for Computational Creativity, City University exploring ‘electronic music performance interfaces that learn from their users’, and in 2012 he was awarded a Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control from the Institute of Acoustics, with specialist modules in Building Acoustics and Environmental Noise.
Before taking up his post at Goldsmiths, Drever was an associate lecturer for City University (London), Dartington College of Arts, Exeter University and the University of Plymouth, lecturing in Music, Media Arts, Media Lab Arts and Visual Arts. During the autumn semester of 2007 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Critical Intermedia Laboratory, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.
An elected director of Sonic Arts Network since 2004, Drever became its final chair in 2008. He is also co-founder (1998) and currently chair of the UK and Ireland Soundscape Community (a regional affiliate of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology) for whom he chaired Sound Practice: the 1st UKISC Conference on sound, culture and environments in 2001 at Dartington and Sound Practice 2006 at Goldsmiths. He has also been actively involved in the Noise Futures Network (EPSRC).
Drever is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, 2009-12, and is Visiting Research Fellow at Seian University of Art and Design, Japan, 2012-13. In 2013 he became an Academician of The Academy of Urbanism.
BMus (Hons), MMus in Electroacoustic Music Composition, Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control, PhD
Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FSRA)
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) (FRGS)
Associate Member of the Institute of Acoustics (AMIOA)
Academician of The Academy of Urbanism (AoU)
PhD students and their fields of study:
Antonis Antoniou (Composition Pathway): Aural Aura and Haunting Echoes: Sites with Complex Biographies
Janie Armour (Sonic Arts Pathway): Sonic scenography: an Exploration of Sound in the Performance Environment
Wayne Binitie (Sonic Arts Pathway): Liquid Aural Architecture
James Bulley (Sonic Arts Pathway): Sound Art Trajectories and the Archival Impulse
Lucia, Hsiang-Ying-Chung (Sonic Arts Pathway): From Centre to Circumference: Sound, itself, and its Double
Ruth Hawkins (Sonic Arts Pathway): Interpenetrations of Recordings and the Real
Marcus Leadley (Sonic Arts Pathway): Reconfiguring Acoustic Space: Soundscape and Perception
Sam Murray (Mixed Media Composition) – joint supervisor with Lisa Busby
Tommaso Perego (Sonic Arts Pathway): Sonic Choreography in 2D and 3D surround sound environments
Kathrine Sandys (Sonic Arts Pathway): I Thought I Grew An Ear in My Stomach - The Phenomenological Experience of the Art Event as a Sublime Encounter
Dawn Scarfe (AHRC) (Sonic Arts Pathway): In the Surround – Sound and Phenomenal Experience(completed 2011)
Emmanuel Spinelli (Sonic Arts Pathway): Acoustic Phenotypology: The Territory of the Disembodied Voice in Electroacoustic Music and the Perception of Acousmatic Identities
Selected Performances & Exhibitions:
2004-10: Ochlophonic Study: Hong Kong – 8 channel soundscape composition
2005: Close to the Literal – 8 channel text-sound composition in collaboration with Lawrence Upton
2005: Airborne Trial – sound installation of recordings made in Orford Ness in collaboration with Louise K Wilson:
2005: Cattle Grids of Dartmoor
2006: -scape – a site-specific dance work based on Goodwin Sands, in collaboration with Tony Thatcher and Emma Redding:
2007: Verbal Iterations – in collaboration with Lawrence Upton, Artist Review Series:
2007: audience: hearing – a sound installation in collaboration with Rachel Gomme, commissioned by Arts Council England:
2007: NAMING for Adrian Clarke # 1 & #2, in collaboration with Lawrence Upton,
2008: –stance – in collaboration with Ina Dokmo (dancer) and Tony Thatcher (choreographer).
2008: that the tongue is a whip, in collaboration with Lawrence Upton.
2009: In Between and Around Liminal Places, Van – L Dance Company
2009: Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A (1965), with Martin Hargreaves and Robert Coleridge.
2009: NAMELY for Peter Manson by John Drever / Lawrence Upton (commissioned by Birkbeck, Contemporary Poetics Research Centre)
In 2012 he was awarded a Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control from the Institute of Acoustics, with specialist modules in Building Acoustics and Environmental Noise.
Invited Presentations and Keynotes:
2002: Sounding Dartmoor, SpaceX & Liquid Press, i-dat.
2003: Phonographies: Glasgow, Frankfurt, Exeter, Sound-Marked (SM03-01CD).
2006: Cattle Grids of Dartmoor, Pataphonic (SM06-05CD).
Operating at the intersections between sonic arts, sound art, experimental music, sound poetry, architecture, anthropology, cultural geography, documentary film, live-art and soundscape studies, Drever’s theoretical and practice-based research demonstrates an ongoing inquiry into the affect, perception and practice of everyday environmental sound and human utterance. Projects are often derived from extensive fieldwork in particular soundwalking and field recording, the most recent of which explores the crowd sounds of Hong Kong, Ochlophonics Hong Kong (2001-2010).
Fundamentally, much of Drever’s work is collaborative, including projects with Rachel Gomme, Alice Oswald, Alaric Sumner, Tony Thatcher, Tony Whitehead (RSPB) and Louise K. Wilson. He is a member of Blind Ditch and has worked on many projects with poet, Lawrence Upton. Commissions range from the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (1999), Arts Council England (2002 & 2007), to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (2002). His work has twice been awarded a prize in the annual Musica Nova competition, Prague (1997 & 1998). He has discussed his research on BBC Radio 3’s Here and Now and BBC World Service’s Discovery.
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Content last modified: 25 Nov 2013
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