Denis Smalley (image by Garas Kálmán, with permission)
Date: 27th of October 2009
Place: Room G16, Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama
University of Manchester, UK
Professor Denis Smalley
Denis Smalley is a composer specialising in electroacoustic music. He was born in New Zealand, and completed music degrees at the University of Canterbury and the Victoria University of Wellington (MusB, and BMus honours). In 1971-2 he studied with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire, and took the course in electroacoustic composition with the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, completing the Diplôme de Musique Electroacoustique et de Recherche Musicale (Paris Conservatoire).
He then moved to England, living initially in York where he completed a doctorate in composition at the University of York. In 1976 he was appointed Lecturer in Music at the University University of East Anglia, and as Senior Lecturer became Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studio. He has been Professor of Music at City University, London, since 1994.
Denis Smalley’s works have been widely acclaimed, winning a number of international awards including the Prix Ars Electronica in 1988. He has made original contributions to thinking about electroacoustic music, in particular his investigations into the listener's perception of electroacoustic music, and his development of the notion of spectromorphology (the shaping of sound spectra through time). His most recent major writing has been concerned with the spatial image.
Three solo CDs of his music are available: Valley Flow, Piano Nets, Clarinet Threads, Wind Chimes, and Darkness After Time's Colours on the Empreintes Digitales label (Canada); Névé on Effects Input (Groupe de Musique Expérimentale de Marseille); and Base Metals, Empty Vessels, Tides and Pentes on Empreintes Digitales.