Dr Jenn Kirby

Staff details

Position Lecturer in Electronic Music and Technology
Department Music
Email j.kirby (@gold.ac.uk)
Dr Jenn Kirby

Jenn Kirby is a composer, performer and music technologist. Her outputs include experimental electronic music, contemporary instrumental composition, electroacoustic music and avant-pop.

Her performance work is centred around hybrid instrument design, building software, re-purposing hardware, and processing improvised vocalisations. Her compositional work is often collaborative, working with dancers, visual artists and instrumentalists to design performance systems.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Music Composition
  • MSc in Music Technology
  • BSc in Software Development
  • Certificate in Teaching and Learning Support

Research interests

Jenn's primary research interests are in the application of technology to music performance and composition. This includes hacking old technology and using contemporary technologies to find new means of expression in electronic music performance, to develop methodologies for achieving performer agency in live electronic music and utilising audio-visual symbiosis to enhance audience engagement.

Publications and research outputs


Kirby, Jenn. 2023. Approaches for Working with the Body in the Design of Electronic Music Performance Systems. Contemporary Music Review, ISSN 0749-4467

Kirby, Jenn. 2022. Five Sonic Artists Practices and Experiences in Lock-down. Interference Journal(8), ISSN 2009-3578

Kirby, Jenn. 2015. Composing Perceivable Time. Leonardo, 48(1), pp. 6-12. ISSN 0024-094X


Kirby, Jenn. 2022. Ravel.

Kirby, Jenn. 2020. Being Time.

Book Section

Kirby, Jenn. 2019. Defining and Evaluating the Performance of Electronic Music. In: Russ Hepworth-Sawyer; Jay Hodgson; Justin Paterson and Rob Toulson, eds. Innovation in Music: Performance, Production, Technology and Business. New York: Routledge, pp. 77-86. ISBN 9781138498211


Kirby, Jenn. 2022. music: a movement.

Kirby, Jenn. 2020. Dichotomies of Lockdown.

Kirby, Jenn. 2020. Hear to Listen.

Kirby, Jenn. 2019. The Phonetics Project.

Kirby, Jenn. 2019. Listening to Stories.

Kirby, Jenn. 2018. Stepping into Stillness.

Conference or Workshop Item

Okumura, Hiromi; Williams, Valerie; Kirby, Jenn; Jobson, Thomas B and Vaughan, Joseph. 2022. 'AtmosActions: An Interactive Audiovisual Installation for a Human/Weather Interface'. In: Data Art for Climate Action. Hong Kong 21-26 February 2022.

Kirby, Jenn. 2021. 'Performer Agency in Live Electronic Music'. In: Musicians Playing With Computers, Musicians Interacting With The World. Online.

Kirby, Jenn. 2020. 'Live Electronics: Performer Agency and Audience Reception'. In: IRCAM Forum. Paris, France.

Kirby, Jenn. 2019. 'Design Considerations for Digital Instruments'. In: Invited speaker, BBC Salford. Manchester, United Kingdom.

Kirby, Jenn. 2019. 'Digital Instrument Design'. In: BBC:Develop at BBC Radio Theatre. London, United Kingdom.

Kirby, Jenn and Kilshaw, Simon. 2016. 'Swansea Laptop Orchestra: Composing for Laptops'. In: BEAST FEaST 2017. Birmingham, United Kingdom 28 - 29 April 2017.


Kirby, Jenn. 2022. Joy: a handheld controller.


Kirby, Jenn. 2021. Legacy is. In: "Woman in the Machine, Carlow Arts Festival", Carlow, Ireland.


Kirby, Jenn. 2020. Hear to Listen: Performance System.

Kirby, Jenn. 2017. Phonetics: Performance System.

Kirby, Jenn. 2016. Transition: Performance System.

Kirby, Jenn. 2014. Space: Performance System.

Further profile content

Professional projects

Jenn is the president of the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association.

Conferences and talks

2021: Live Electronics Presentation at ARC
Leiden University Academy and the University of the Arts The Hague. Online.

2020: Live Electronics: Performer Agency and Audience Reception
Presentation at IRCAM Forum 2020

2019: Keynote presentation at {BBC: develop}
BBC Radio Theatre, London

2019: Improvising with technology at HKB Jazz and Contemporary Music Dept.
2-day workshop for postgraduate students

2017: Composing for Laptops
Paper presentation at BEAST FEaST

Grants and awards

2019: The Phonetics Project
Funded by PRS Foundation's Women Make Music

2018: NAWR ANOIS - Culture Ireland
Culture Ireland GB18 Funding for NAWR ANOIS Concert Series. A concert series of experimental music from Ireland, Wales and around the world.