Emma Margetson is an award-winning acousmatic composer and sound artist based in the Midlands, UK. Her works have been performed nationally and internationally, and was recently awarded first prize in the prestigious L’espace du son international spatialisation competition by Influx (Musiques & Recherches).
Emma’s compositional work is focused on developing novel compositional approaches that are actively geared towards increasing engagement with electroacoustic composition in order to reach wider audiences, in particular disadvantaged segments of the community, and younger people. Furthermore, Emma has collaborated with a variety of organisations across the West Midlands including the IKON, Research & Cultural Collections at the University of Birmingham, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and Sampad.
Emma is currently in the final phase of studies for a PhD in Musical Composition from the University of Birmingham funded by the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. Her PhD research, titled, ‘Sonic Immersion: Reaching new audiences through sound’ is a portfolio of compositions that have all been created with the aim of reaching new audiences with acousmatic composition (stereo and multichannel formats) through performance, installations and workshops.
She has extensive experience in multichannel composition, sound diffusion and interpretation to create highly immersive 2D & 3D sound worlds.
Emma was featured in 2019 in The British Music Collection’s #AComposeraDay series, which showcased the profiles of 31 composers and their unique contributions to composition in the UK.
She has received the following awards and mentions:
2020: Abstracted Objects received a special mention in the Concours biennal de composition acousmatique Métamorphoses 2020
2019: Awarded first prize in the L’espace du son 2019 international spatialisation competition by Influx (Musiques & Recherches)
2019: Distorted Illusions selected for Ars Electronica Forum Wallis 2019
2018: Cultural Engagement Award 2019 by Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership
2018: Water Waves awarded the Young Artist Award 2018 (First Prize) by klingt gut!
2014: Presence-Absence awarded the COMPASS Prize by the Department of Music, University of Birmingham
Her works have been performed and exhibited internationally, including at Ars Electronica Forum Wallis (CH), University of Birmingham (UK), The Barber Institute of Fine Arts (UK), 5to Festival de Música Electroacústica (CL), BEAST FEaST (UK), SEAMUS (USA), CEMI circles (USA), EMAS (UK), Festival Ecos Urbanos (MEX), BULO (UK), RMA (UK), SPECTRA (CO), NYCEMF (USA), Birmingham Hippodrome (UK), Audior Acusmonium (ITL), Sound-Image Colloquium (UK), Delian Academy of New Music (GD), Noisefloor Festival (UK), [ ex_nihilo ] (MEX), MAtera INtermedia (ITL), Sound Junction (UK), Musica Electronic Nova (PL) and Electric Spring (UK).
She has been commissioned for a variety of sound installations such as for the Barber Lates series at The Barber Institute of Fine Art, The Research and Cultural Collections, University of Birmingham (in collaboration with Nikki Sheth), CrossCurrents Festival 2018 and the Dancing with Bubbles exhibition at the Birmingham Dental Hospital.
Emma is currently a member of BEER (Birmingham Electroacoustic Ensemble for Research) and has developed skills in live-coding and laptop ensemble performance. She has compositions released with labels Urban Arts Belin, Sonos Localia and Obs.
Emma has taught Studio Composition at the University of Birmingham since 2016 and is also a visiting tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She has attained a HEFI Horizon Award for her teaching in 2019 and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Beyond composition, Emma has considerable experience in the administration and coordination of music events. She is currently working as a Concerts and Marketing Administrator (part time) at the University of Birmingham and has worked for many years as an administrator for BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre). Previous roles include the delivery of festivals and concert series in the West Midlands such as the Birmingham International Piano Festival and CrossCurrents Festival. Emma also freelances as a Stage Manager and technician.
In 2017-2018 Emma worked as a Research Assistant for the Arts Council England project, The Bigger Picture, a collaborative project investigating the impact of inter-generational arts programming on the experiences of exclusion and isolation within minority communities in Nottingham.
Emma is also a board member and chair of the Arts and Education sub-committee for Sampad.