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Dr Michael Young

Position held:
Pro-Warden (Students and Learning Development)

+44 (0)20 7919 7297

m.young (@gold.ac.uk)


Dr Michael Young is currently a member of the Senior Management Team and Pro-Warden (Students and Learning Development) at Goldsmiths, University of London. He was formerly Head of the Department of Music. His research interests include computational creativity, interactive media and generative music. He is co-founder of the Live Algorithms for Music network, which investigates autonomous computer music systems for live performance.

He studied at the Universities of Oxford and Durham, completing a PhD in Composition in 1995.

Areas of supervision

Current PhD Students

Rob Canning: Acoustic Composition, Interactive Performance, Open Forms

Chris Halliwell: Studio Composition

Ryo Ikeshiro: Studio Composition, Generative Music, Installation

I-Chin Li: Studio Composition, Improvisation

Stephen Wilkinson: Studio Composition

Alistair Zaldua: Composition and Live Electronics

Recorded works

New release (February 2014) Chris Redgate’s new double CD Electrifying Oboe (Métier Records), including two versions of oboe_prosthesis

Research interests

Computational systems able to collaborate with human improvisers are live algorithms: able to cooperate proactively, on an equal basis, with musicians in performance. This is an ideal that raises fundamental questions about creativity and group interaction, how these might be computationally modelled. Can musicians and computers relate to one another, just as human musicians do? Can an audience recognize and appraise this relationship? Live algorithms offer the prospect of a new understanding of real-time creativity and ’social’ interaction that differs from other paradigms in live electronic music, e.g. the "computer as instrument”.

He is currently a partner investigator with the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Project "Controlling Interactive Music Performance: Enhancing live performances by human musicians and algorithmic computer systems" led by Andrew Brown, Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane.

The _prosthesis series (2007–present) and recent Trio for Two Players (2013) are improvisation systems in human and computer improvisers collaborate in a structured, partially composed musical environment: there are currently versions for flute (for Anne La Berge and Ellen Waterman), oboe (for Chris Redgate), clarinet (for Brigid Burke), and piano.  His work for interactive systems includes Argrophylax (2006) and ebbs– (2007); score-based compositions in which real-time interpretation influences computer events.  


Performance interaction

Trio for Two Players, piano_prosthesis, oboe_prosthesis, flute_prosthesis, au(or)a for human and computer improvisers. Selected performances: Sonorities Festival 2013, SARC Belfast; Newfound Music X, Memorial U Newfoundland  Center for New Music and Audio Technology, Berkeley; International Computer Music Conferences 2007 & 2008; Bmic Cutting Edge Concerts 2008 & 2009; International Double Reed Soc. Conference 2009.

piano_prosthesis, oboe_prosthesis, flute_prosthesis, au(or)a for soloist and computer improviser. Selected performances: Center for New Music and Audio Technology, Berkeley, Digital Resources for the Arts and Humanities Conference 2007, International Computer Music Conferences 2007 & 2008, Bmic Cutting Edge Concerts 2008 & 2009, Central Washington U, Adephi U, International Double Reed Soc. Conference 2009.

ebbs- for violin, cello and interactive electronics.
 Performed by Stefani Prenn, Marlene Weston, Ors Közeghi. Bachzaal, Amsterdam  2006, Week van de Hedendaagse Kamermuziek, Nieuwe Muziekgebouw aan't IJ, Amsterdam 2006.

Argrophylax for amplified oboe and live electronics. Chris Redgate (oboe); BMIC Cutting Edge concert series, The Warehouse, 2004.
 RADAR 4, XX1 Festival de México, Mexico City. Centro Educativo Y Cultural, Queretaro, México, 2005. 
Royal Academy of Music; Kingston University; LAM Conference 2005.
 CD Oboe+: Berio and Beyond.  Oboe Classics CC2015, 2006.

Chatterbox (15 min.) Amplified flute and live electronics. Jos Zwaanenburg, flute. Forthcoming CD: Twenty Odd Years (2010). Performances 1999-present: SEA 03 Scarborough Electroaoustics; Rotterdam Music Biennial; Stedelijk Museum  Amsterdam (Gaudeamus event); Oxford Contemporary Music Festival; Internationale Studienwoche für zeitgenössisch Musik, Lüneburg, Germany.


Groundbreaking: Past Landscapes in Grains and Pulses and Exposure: Living in Extreme Environments, Generative real-time installations and exhibitions. For National Science and Engineering Week, 2007-10. With support from the Research Councils UK. Tolbooth Gallery, Stirling, Sensation Centre, Dundee, National Museum of Scotland.  E-v-e-n-t 3 Festival, Prague. www.ground-breaking.net

Soundscape for John Goto’s New World Circus.  Surround sound DVD 5.1 audio, 30 minutes. Seven installations 2006-7; inc. Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate; Focal Point Gallery, Southend on Sea; Ovada Gallery, Oxford; Rugby Art Gallery and Museum; Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Greenwich.

Loss of Face
. Electroacoustic series of works for a collaborative exhibition with photographic artist John Goto.  Selected music presented at the EuCuE Series XXII (Électroacoustiques université Concordia university Electroacoustics), Montreal, 2004. Exhibition shown at the Norwich Gallery; Wolsey Art Gallery, Ipswich; Hartlepool Art Gallery. 2002. CD and catalogue (ISBN 1 872482597/Cat.No. NZKH104).

Capital Arcade. Computer generated soundscape for an exhibition by John Goto.
Exhibitions 1999-2001: Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth; Andrew Mummery Gallery, London; Howard Gardens, Cardiff; Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry; the Hasselblad Centre, Stockholm.


Less is More, JH4. Flat Five Records. GBH CD06. Commissioned by Direction des Affaires Culturelles, Antibes, for exhibition by Richard Long. Performances 1999- (Young as pianist) include Chantier Naval Opéra, Antibes; Jazz à Vienne Festival; Soho Jazz Festival.

tournent dans l’air du soir... for violin duo, performed by Clio Gould and Joan Atherton. SPNM/London Sinfonietta ‘State of the Nation’ concert QEH, 1998.

Oread for SATB, string orchestra, harp & percussion, performed by Lloyd’s Choir & Isis Ensemble. Commissioned by the 
National Federation of Music Societies. London, 1996.

Train of Thought for large mixed ensemble, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra players. BBC Young Composers’ Forum concert, RCM, 1995. Selected by SPNM.

She tells her love while half asleep
for soprano, alto flute, viola, cello & harp. Performed by Ensemble Alternance & Sharon Cooper at the Huddersfield International Contemporary Music Festival, 1992. BBC Radio 3. Selected by SPNM.

The Red Shoes - an imaginary ballet
for large mixed ensemble. Performed by Music Projects UK at Musica Nova International Festival, Glasgow, 1990. Selected by SPNM.

String Quartet performed by Kreutzer Quartet at the Lüdwig Maximilians Universität, Munich; Bergano, Italy, 1994. Selected by SPNM.

Selected publications

Young, M. and Blackwell, T. 'Live Algorithms for Music: Can Computers Be Improvisers?' in George E. Lewis and Benjamin Piekut (eds) Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies, Vols. 1&2. New York: Oxford University Press. 2014. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199892921.013.002

Blackwell, T., Young, M. and Bown, O.  'Live Algorithms', in J. McCormack, M.D'Inverno and M.Boden (eds), Computers and Creativity. Springer, Berlin 2012.  

Young, M. (2010) ‘Identity and Intimacy in Human-Computer Improvisation’. Online supplement to Leonardo Music Journal 20.

Young, M. and Bown, O. (2010) 'Clap-along: A Negotiation Strategy for Creative Interaction with Computational Systems.' Proc. of the 1st International Conference on Computational Creativity, Lisbon.

Young, M. (2009) 'Creative Computers, Improvisation and Intimacy'. In Boden, M et al (Ed.s) Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings 09291 Computational Creativity: An Interdisciplinary Approach.

Adderley, W.P. and Young, M. (2009) Ground-Breaking: Scientific and sonic perceptions of environmental change in the African Sahel. Leonardo. 42/5 401-411.

Young, M. (2008) NN Music: Improvising with a ‘Living’ Computer. In Kronland-Martinet, R. et al (Eds) Computer Music Modelling and Retrieval: Sense of Sounds. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4969. Springer-Verlag. 337-350.

Young, M. (2007) ‘Au(or)a: Attributes of a Live Algorithm’.  Electroacoustic Music Studies Conference, Leicester.

Adderley, W. P. & Young M.(2007)  Here is now and there is the sound of the land: scientific and sonic perceptions of the African Sahel. MutaMorphosis: Challenging Arts and Sciences. International Conference, Prague.

Blackwell, T. and Young, M. (2004) Self-Organised Music. Organised Sound 9:2 123-136.

Blackwell, T. and Young, M. (2004) Swarm Granulator. In G. R. Raidl et al (Eds): EvoWorkshops 2004, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3005, 399-408. (Best Paper Award at the Evomusart Workshop 2004, Coimbra, Portugal).

Young, M. and Lexer, S. (2003) FFT analysis as a creative tool in live performance. In Davies, M. (Ed): Proc. of the 6th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects. 65-69.

Content last modified: 06 Feb 2014

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