Dr Freida Abtan

Staff details

Position Lecturer
Department Music
Email f.abtan (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7640
Dr Freida Abtan

Freida Abtan is a Canadian multi-disciplinary artist and composer living in London, UK. Her music falls somewhere in between musique concrete and more modern noise and experimental audio and both genres are influential to her sound. Her work has been compared to bands such as Coil, and Zoviet France, because of her use of spectral manipulation and collage.

Freida primarily works with samples of both musical and non-musical objects that she records herself and then manipulates, often beyond recognition, through techniques derived from musique concrète and through successive layers of digital signal processing. She uses structures reminiscent of popular music and more abstract compositional variants to sequence these sounds into melodic songs before incorporating her own treated voice.

As well as having created visual shows for and performed with the internationally renown group Nurse with Wound, Freida has presented her own sound and visual work at festivals across North America and Europe. Her first album “subtle movements” is available on United Dairies / Jnana Records. Her second “the hands of the dancer” is available on finite state and through Jnana Records.

Academic qualifications

PhD Brown University (May 2013)
Computer Music and Multimedia
My dissertation is on inter-sensory composition and multimedia performance and is called "Expanded presence and inter-sensory gesture in multimedia performance."

M.Mus Université de Montréal
Electroacoustic Composition
My thesis was on audio visual composition, and called "A phenomenological, time-based approach to videomusic composition."

B.F.A. Concordia University
Specialization in Digital Image and Sound in the Fine Arts, Minor in Electroacoustic Studies

BMath University of Waterloo
Joint Honours degree in Combinatorics and Optimization and Computer Science

Areas of supervision

Freida will be supervising final year projects and teaching all levels in Music Computing.

Presentations and exhibitions


Multimedia Productions

Fear of Flight (1:00:00 – 2012,  for Electroacoustic Music, Dance, Costumes, and Surround Video)
Hexagram Black Box, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 2012

Bird Woman (12:00 – 2009, for Electroacoustic Music, Solo Dancer, Costume, and Video)
Grant Recital Hall, Providence, RI, USA, 26 May 2009 and BUME Festival, Providence, RI, USA, 30 October 2009

heartstrings : a string quartet (30:00 - 2005, for Electroacoustic Music, String Quartet, Video, and Sets)
Pixilerations Festival, Brown University, Providence, USA, 29 September2007
Send + Receive Festival, Winnepeg, Canada, 13 May 2007
Signal and Noise Festival, VideoIn, Vancouver, Canada, 29 April 2005
Tabernacle! Sound in Architecture Festival, Roy Street Art Collective, Montreal, Canada, 30 September 2005  


Flight of birds (30:00 – 2010, Videomusic)
International Festival for Innovations in Music Production and Composition, Leeds College of Music, UK, April 2012
SOUNDplay Festival, New Adventures in Sound Art, Toronto, Canada, November 2011
Centre Regart, Lévis, Québec, Canada, December 2010
Staller Center, SUNY Stonybrook, Stonybrook, NY, USA, November 2010
SOUNDplay Festival, New Adventures in Sound Art, Toronto, Canada, October 2010

The death of a muse – with Erin Gee (7:29 – 2009, Videomusic)
AKA’s Video Exchange, toured: Peterborough, Toronto, Guelph, London, North Bay Canada, Syracuse USA, 2009
Z-Axis, Paved Arts Center, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, June - July 2009

The hands of the dancer (21:49 – 2008, Videomusic)
Solo Show, Fleishman Gallery, Toronto, Canada, January - February 2012
DIEM, Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark, November 2010
2 Visages de la Musique Électroacoustiques, Musiques et Recherches, Brussels, Belgium, May 2010
International Computer Music Conference, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada, August 2009 
Box Salon, The Rivoli, Toronto, ON, Canada, July 2009
Exhibit Festival of Digital Culture, Venezio, Italy, July 2009
Festival International ZEMOS98, Sevilla, Spain, March 2009
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA, February 2009
Steel Ball, Zaphod Bebblebrox, Ottawa, ON, Canada, December 2008
ART TECH MEDIA, Vimcorso, Cordoba, Spain, November 2008
(dis)Embodied Touch, McGuffey Art Center, Charlottestown, Virginia, USA, November 2008
Pixilerations Festival, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA, October 2007

Yellow Flowers : a study (5 :09 – 2006, Videomusic)
Factory Works Screening Series, The Factory, Hamilton, ON, Canada, October 15th 2008
SOUNDplay, New Adventures in Sound Art, Toronto, Canada, October 3rd-15th 2008
Analogue vs. Digital, 4th Fair of Culture, Zagreb, Croatia, 13th-16th December 2007
NWEAMO Festival, New York City, USA, Octoer 27th 2007
NWEAMO Festival, Boulder, USA, October 19th 2007
Pixilerations Festival - Ornament, Cable Car Cinema, Providence, USA, October 3rd 2007
Friesland Media Art Festival, Friesland, Netherlands, September 20th-30th 2007
International Computer Music Conference - Immersive Sound, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 27th-31st, 2007

Multi-Channel Diffusion Work

She's swinging her hammer (7 :00 - 2011 8 channel)
International Computer Conference 2012, Ljubljana, Slovenia, September 2012
Open Ears Festival, Kitchener, ON, Canada, 30 April 2011 

Interactive (Video & Web-based Installation) 

Dreamscape (2009, Interactive Video Installation)
Expo’74 (Cycling’74 Conference), Mission Bay Conference Center, San Fran, CA, USA, May 2009

Firewall - Eric Conrad and Freida Abtan  (2006 - Interactive Video Installation)
Journée de la culture: Elektra Festival, Montreal, Canada, September - October 2006 

  (2002, Web-based Interactive Installation)
Net.Art Open, The Irish Museum of Modern Art (online), 2003

Visual Work (including Digital Print)

Solo Show: Stills and Motion  (42” x 22.5” – 2003, 6 Digital Prints)
Solo Show, Fleishman Gallery, Toronto, Canada, January - February 2012

Claire 2  (4’8” x 3’ – 2003, Oil on Canvas)
Show Off, Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, Montreal, Canada, April - May 2004

Several versions of the end of the world (Series of 9, 11” x 17” - 2002, Digital Print)
Twin Dogs: A multiples show, Art of the Union, Toronto, Canada, June 2002

Select Digital Prints (assorted sizes – 1998 - 2000, Digital Prints on Assorted Paper Media)
Solo Show: Analog to Digital, KOR Gallery, Kitchener, Canada, June 2000

Views from a window (Series of 3, 6” x 4” - 1999, Multimedia)
Miniature Show, Isolated Ground Gallery, Kitchener, Canada, November-December 1999



Audio & Audiovisual Solo Performance
Dialoges Festival, InSpace Gallery, Edinburgh, UK, October 2012
WORM, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, September 2012
Studio Loos. Den Haag, The Netherlands, September 2012
Fleishman Gallery, Toronto, Canada, January - February 2012
Pitch Black Audio Series, Raw Sugar, Ottawa, ON, Canada, July 2011
DIEM, Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark, November 2010
KulturHaus Abraxus, Augsburg, Germany, November 2010
STEIM, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, November 2010
CREALAB, Nantes, France, November 2010
dia de los muertos Festival, Caen, France, November 2010
Modern Fuel Gallery, Kingston, Canada, October 2010
The Knot Gallery, Athens, Greece, July 2010
Mutek Festival, Monument National, Montreal, Canada, June 2010
Holophon.ca, Regina, SK, Canada, July 2009
VideoIn Arts Center, Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 2009
Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, USA, March 2009
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA, February 2009
Naropa University, Boulder, CO, USA, October 2008
Mutek Festival, Theatre du Nouveau Monde, Montreal, Canada, May 2008
Altavoz Festival, Venice, Italy, May 2008
Cap Sembrat Festival, Barcelona, Spain, May 2008
Noise Istanbul : Signals from Outside, Dogzstar, Istanbul, Turkey, March 2008
Spark Festival, The Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis, USA, March 2008
Htmlles festival, The Savoy/Metropolis, Montreal, Canada, October 2007
Freida Abtan’s CD Release Party, le Cagibi, Montreal, Canada, June 2007
Send + Receive Festival, Winnepeg, Canada, May 2007
Epoxy Festival, Sala Rossa, Montreal, Canada, May 2007
TILT 4: A tribute to Hugh LeCaine, Société des Arts et Technologies, Montreal, Canada, November 2006


In Collaboration with other Sound Artists 

Freida Abtan and Erin Gee, Z-Axis Exhibition Concert, Paved Arts Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada, July 2009

As part of Nurse With Wound, Radar Festival, Mexico City, Mexico, March 2008

Freida Abtan with Aircraft!, La nuit Blanche, Galerie B-312, Montreal, Canada, March 2007

Subtle Movements with Scant Intone, Panospria Night, Sala Rossa, Montreal, Canada, August 2006

Freida Abtan with Joda Clément, Mutek Festival, Société des Arts et Technologies, Montreal, Canada, June 2006

As part of Nurse With Wound, Great American Concert Hall, San Francisco, U.S.A,  2006


Television and video output


The Carnie - Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller (2010, Multimedia Installation)
Lightness and Weight – 6 :42 (2006) is used as the soundtrack music.
Solo Show, Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York City, NY, USA

A Murder of Crows - Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller (2008, Multimedia Installation)
Lightness and Weight – 6 :42 (2004) is used as the soundtrack music.
Solo show, Park Avenue Armoury, New York, New York, USA, August – September 2012
Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland, February – May 2012
Solo show: the Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, 2010
Solo show, Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany, 2009
16th Sydney Bienniale : Revolution – Forms that Turn, Sydney, Australia, June – September, 2008

The Killing Machine and Other Stories - Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller (2007, Multimedia Installation)
Heartstrings –  3 :48 (2004) is used as the soundtrack music.
Works from the Goetz Collection, Haus der Kuntz, Munich, Germany, April – July 8 2012
Solo show: The House of Books has no Windows, The Modern Art Oxford Gallery, Oxford, England, 2008
Solo show, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain, February 2007
Solo show, Miami Art Museum (MAM), Miami, FL, USA, 2007

Fracas - Eduardo Menz (5 :00 – 2006, Experimental Short)
Creeping Ivy – 1 :33 (2002) is used as the soundtrack music.
AsoloArtFilmFestival, Milan, Italy, 2009
Athens Video Art Festival, Athens, Greece. 2008
Ybor Festival of the Moving Image,Tampa, Floridaa, USA, 2008
Double Negative Film Collective Group Screening, Ex-Centris, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2008
Dawson City International Short Film Festival, Dawson City, YT, Canada, 2008
Big Muddy Film Festival, Carbondale, Illinois, USA, 2008
Vidéoformes,Vidéothèque éphémère, Clermont-Ferrand, France, 2008
Victoria Film Festival - Victoria, BC, Canada, 2008
Drop the Camera: Appropriated Footage, Cultural Anxieties, Power Plant Gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2008
Winnipeg Avant-Garde Film Festival, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, 2007
Sydney Underground Film Festival, Sydney, Australia, 2007
Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2007
Montreal Underground Film Festival, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2007
Les Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québécois, Montréal, QC, Canada, 2007

Immaterial - Stephanie Loveless (5 :00 – 2003, Experimental Short)
Original soundtrack created : Immaterial – 5 :00 (2003), February-March 2003
International Festival of Cinema and Technology, Orlando / Los Angeles / New York USA, London UK, 2006
La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain. June 2005
Antimatter Festival , Victoria, Canada.  September 2004
Festival de l’Image Nouvelle, Sherbrooke, Canada. September 2004
L’Evenement Interuniversitaire de Creation Video, Montreal, Canada. February 2004
Liquid Bodies, Toronto, Canada. October 2003
MicroCineFest, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A. October 2003




Abtan, Freida. 2012. Fear of Flight.

Abtan, Freida and Turner, Shane. 2010. F.A.S.T.: Dreams of Waking.


Abtan, Freida. 2020. My Heart is a River. OCTAVE 9 Concert Hall, United States February 9th, 2020.

Alessandrini, Patricia and Abtan, Freida. 2014. Mondgewächse. In: "World Premiere: Mondgewächse", Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden, May - October 2014.


Alessandrini, Patricia and Abtan, Freida. May 2013 - March 2015 Mondgewächse.

Perry, Phoenix and Abtan, Freida. Bot Party.

Abtan, Freida. 12 November 2016 Flight of Birds (Remix).


Abtan, Freida. 2016. Where is She: Find the Women in Electronic Music Culture. Contemporary Music Review, 35(1), pp. 53-60. ISSN 0749-4467

Abtan, Freida. 2010. The Illusion of Pure Music. Intransitive Web Magazine,

Abtan, Freida and Turner, Shane. 2010. Steam and Fiction – artist statement. Collaborative Spaces, Vague Terrain Online Journal of Digital Culture(17),

Abtan, Freida. 2007. Heartstrings: A String Quartet. Sample Culture, Vague Terrain Online Journal of Digital Culture(7),

Abtan, Freida. 2003. An Evening with Sound and Radio Artist Christian Calon. Electroacoustic Activities in Quebec, CEC – eContact!,

Art Object

Perry, Phoenix and Abtan, Freida. 2017. Bot Party.

Abtan, Freida. 2014. s_platters: spinning platters for audio control.

Conference or Workshop Item

Abtan, Freida. 2009. 'A Phenomenological Time-Based Approach to Videomusic Composition'. In: Proceedings of the Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium. Toronto, Canada.

Birnbaum, David; Xin Wei, Sha; Abtan, Freida and Wanderley, Marcelo M.. 2007. 'Mapping and Dimensionality of a Cloth-based Sound Instrument.'. In: Proceedings of the 4th Sound and Music Computing Conference. Lefkada, Greece.


Abtan, Freida and JUCE, ROLI Inc.. 2018. Freida Abtan - Examining the relationship between art practice and technology design.

Abtan, Freida and B.A. Sound Arts and Design, London College of Communication. 2018. London College of Communication Visiting Practitioners Series: Freida Abtan.

Abtan, Freida. 2008. The hands of the dancer.


Perry, Phoenix and Abtan, Freida. 2017. Bot Party. In: "Indiecade", Los Angeles, United States, 6-8 Oct 2017.

Perry, Phoenix and Abtan, Freida. 2017. Bot Party. In: "Now Play This", Somerset House, United Kingdom, 7-9 April 2017.