Dr Moss Freed

Staff details

Dr Moss Freed


Lecturer in Composition and Performance




M.Freed (@gold.ac.uk)

Moss is a composer, performer and bandleader with interests in improvisation and social aspects of ensemble performance

Moss studied music at the University of Edinburgh, receiving the Bucher/Fraser award and supported by the Countess of Munster Trust and Berklee World Scholarship Fund to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston before completing a Masters at Goldsmiths College and a PhD as a NECAH scholar at the Universities of Hull and Huddersfield. Alongside his ensembles Union Division, Let Spin and Moss Project, Moss has composed for Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Via Nova, DriftEnsemble, Aisha Orazbayeva, Alexander Hawkins and Joshua Hyde with works broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM, BBC 6Music and BBC 1. As a guitarist, he plays with the Spike Orchestra, Charlotte Keeffe and Counter's Creek and has appeared on many recordings, including four releases on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. He has performed at Ronnie Scotts, the Barbican, the Southbank Centre, Kings Place, HCMF, LSO St Luke’s and Union Chapel. Moss also teaches improvisation at the Royal Academy of Music.

Academic qualifications

  • BMus (Hons) Music: The University of Edinburgh 2004
  • Diploma (partial): Berklee College of Music 2006
  • MMus Composition: Goldsmiths 2015
  • PhD Music Composition: The University of Hull 2020
  • PGCert Arts & Humanities Research: The University of Hull 2018

Teaching and supervision

Moss supervises a range of Masters and PhD projects across the following areas:

Experimental music
Ensemble performance/leadership
Interdisciplinary/collaborative practice

He teaches on the following undergraduate modules: Foundation for Performance; Composition; Materials, Signs & Symbols; Critical Approaches to Contemporary Music; Performance: Styles & Contexts; Techniques of Contemporary Composition (convenor); Composition: Creative Strategies (convenor); Improvisation; Performance: Creative Practice; Composition Portfolio. And on the following postgraduate modules: Contemporary Music: Practice and Discourse; Creative Project.

Research interests

My research is often practice-led and focusses on composing for improvisers, improvisation, performance and ensemble interaction and leadership.

Grants and awards

2016: North of England Consortium for the Arts & Humanities (NECAH)
Funding for PhD project from 2016-2019 amounting to £43k

2008: Arts Council England Lottery Fund
Development grant for my quartet Let Spin (£7k)

Publications and research outputs


Freed, Moss. 2024. Sonic Socialities: compositional voice in/as ensemble microtradition. Contemporary Music Review, ISSN 0749-4467


Keeffe, Charlotte. 2023. Charlotte Keeffe Right Here, Right Now Quartet: ALIVE! in the studio.

Zorn, John and Eastmond, Sam. 2023. John Zorn's Bagatelles - Sam Eastmond, Vol. 16.

Freed, Moss. 2023. Union Division: 'Micromotives'.


Freed, Moss. 2023. Union of Egoists (for Anthony Braxton).

Freed, Moss. 2023. Hidden Hand (for Terry Riley).

Freed, Moss. 2023. Unprecedented Times (for Pauline Oliveros).


Freed, Moss. 2022. Theremin Gong Bath.

Conference or Workshop Item

Freed, Moss. 2023. 'Compositional Voice in/as Ensemble Microtradition: Collective Self-Organisation as Compositional Approach'. In: International Conference IMPACT: IMProvisation and Creativity In and Through Performing Arts. Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Lithuania 22 -25 November 2023.


Freed, Moss. 2023. Union Division: 'Micromotives' Performance. In: "'Micromotives' album launch", The Vortex Jazz Club, London, United Kingdom, 25 January 2023.

Freed, Moss. 2022. Let Spin performances. In: "Let Spin Tour/Gigs", The Flute & Tankard, Cardiff, United Kingdom, November 2022 - Ongoing.

Keeffe, Charlotte; Eastmond, Sam and Ghosh, Arun. Performances with other ensembles. In: "Charlotte Keeffe Quartet; Sam Eastmond; Union Division; Arun Ghosh", Arun Ghosh, The Seagull, Lowestoft, United Kingdom, September 2022 - ongoing.

Professional projects

I co-lead the Royal Academy of Music Improvisers' Ensemble and perform regularly with a number of jazz/improv/folk ensembles including frequent radio broadcasts. I periodically run workshops for other institutions (Leeds Conservatoire; More Music etc.). Upcoming gigs are listed on my website.

Conferences and talks

2023: Compositional Voice in/as Ensemble Microtradition: Collective Self-Organisation as Compositional Approach.
'International Conference IMPACT: IMProvisation and Creativity In and Through Performing Arts'. Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius

2022: Composing for Improvisers: Union Division & Micromotives
Keynote lecture-recital for 'Performance Studies Network Conference', University of Surrey.

2022: Re-evaluating Micromotives: Changing a Performance Practice through Non-verbal ‘Consensus’ in Union Division.
'Rethinking Participatory Processes in Music' Conference, University of Huddersfield

2020: Who exactly is in charge here?: Composing for large groups of improvisers
Music Department Research Series, City, University of London

2019: Improvised Anarchy
'Music & Democracy: beyond metaphors and idealisation', University of Huddersfield

2019: Between Practice and Piece
'Notation for Improvisers' Conference, University of London

2018: Balancing Control: Composing for improvisers
'CeNMaS Composers’ Conference', University of Sheffield

2018: Who exactly is in charge here?
'BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference', University of Huddersfield