Tony Myatt

Tony Myatt

Head of Department of Music & Media



Prof. Tony Myatt is the Subject Leader in Sound Recording and Deputy Head of the School of Arts. His research and teaching focus on contemporary aesthetics in electronic and computer music; spatial sound reproduction and recording; the composition and performance of computer music and contemporary audio art.

In addition to reesearch and teaching activities, Tony also works closely with a number of independent electronic music artists to realise audio, installation and art works. He was the principle investigator of the Art and Humanities Research Council's (UK) New Aesthetics in Computer Music Project, which documented and investigated changing practices, philosophies and aesthetics in independent electronic music since 1995.

Myatt's 1995 Computer Music Journal article Three dimensional sound spatialisation using ambisonic techniques (with Dave Malham) has been cited as a significant factor in the resurgence of interest in Ambisonics for computer music. He has a long standing research interest in spatial sound which has continued to embrace both technologies, composition and production methods which appeal to human spatial perception, derived from perceptual and neuroscience research.

Recent implementations of this research ahve included a series of live spatial sound performances and installations with Chris Watson. These works use wildlife sound materials and a combination of sound reproduction techniques to create believable sound environments, presented over large, multi-channel, high-quality audio systems.

In his four-star review, Guardian reviewer Guy Dammann said of Tony's 2013 Aldeburgh performance with Chris Watson: “[audio] material was projected in 3D sound with a presence and definition I have never before experienced. To close your eyes was to lose yourself in a virtual environment of birds, church bells, foxes, distant road traffic and the ever present aural horizon of the sea”. The Liminal's Rich Hughes commented "Tony Myatt was responsible for the technological wonder of the performance...What was truly amazing was how this technological development enabled you to completely immerse yourself in the habitats and environments that were being represented."

This was the was the first of a series of 2013 installations and performances of this type, including a 3 month installation at the Sheffield Milleniuum Galleries and spatial sound performance in Lincoln Cathedral as part of the Frequencies Festival of Digital Arts, with Chris Watson and Hildur Gudnadotir.

In 2014, Watson/Myatt installations and performances will take place at the Jerwood Space, London, Opera North in Leeds, and the Sage in Gatehead.

Tony also collaborates with sound artist Jana Winderen from Norway with whom he created the Ultrafield installation exhibited as part of the Museum of Modern Art's Soundings sound art exhibition in New York from August to November 2013.

Tony's collaborations also extends to audio production and sound engineering. These have recently included 'Leyfdu Ljosinu' by Hildur Gudnadotir (Touch, UK), released on CD and multiple, multi-channel digital audio formats in full surround sound.

During 2012/13 Tony was appointed as Research Director of the T-B A 21 Academy project. The Academy project explores the production and realisation of art works and scientific data based around the oceans. The project has a conservation focus but operates in both the artistic and scientific domains. Expeditions have been mounted to Iceland, the coast of North America, Belize, the Dominican Republic, the Galapagos Islands, Swan Islands and Panama gathering sound materials and undersea recordings, developing spatial sound works and supporting local conservation projects and scientists to monitor and document coral reefs, over-fishing, environmental and social changes, development impacts on the environment and many of the sonic complexities of ocean life.

In 2008 Tony's spatial sound methods were employed for T-B A21's The Morning Line project, and the T-B A21 SoundSpace installations. Tony has worked closely with 30 composers to realise new works that conform to his multi-spatial sound method of 3D spatial sound reproduction. Many of these works were developed for the Morning Line sound system exhibited at the Seville Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2008, the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville 2009, the Istanbul European City of Culture 2010, and in Schwarzenbergplatz, Vienna, Austria 2011. Artists commissioned to create works for The Morning Line have included Florian Hecker (De), Chris Watson(UK), Bruce Gilbert (UK), Lee Ranaldo(US), Bryce Dessner(US), Evan Ziporyn(US), Roc Jimenez de Cisneros (Es), Mark Fell (UK), Jana Winderen (NO), Peter Zinovieff (UK), Carl Michael von Hausswolff (SE), Yasunao Tone(JP/US), Erdem Helvacıoğlu(TR), Cevdet Erek(TR), Batuhan Bozkurt(TR), and Mehmet Can Özer(TR), Alexej Borisov (Russia), Franz Pomassl (AT), Tommi Grönlund & Petteri Nisunen (Finland), Christian Fennesz (AT), Carsten Nicolai (De), Zsolt Olejnik (Hu), Finnbogi Petursson (Iceland), Terre Thaemlitz (USA), Zavoloka (Ukraine).

The Morning Line is now exhibited as part of the permanent collection of ZKM in Karlesruhe, Germany.

Tony was a co-founder of Cambridge University Press' academic journal Organised Sound; an international journal of music and technology in 1995 and an editor of the journal until 2004. He is now a member of the journal's editorial board. He also coordinated and led a team from the EPSRC's Digital Music Research Network who formulated the UK Roadmap for Digital Music Research in 2005.

Tony has delivered invited lectures, talks, symposia, performances and installations throughout the world. Research funders have included the European Commission, AHRC (UK), EPSRC (UK) research councils, Silicon Graphics Inc., BT, Arts and Business Yorkshire, the Arts Council (UK) and Thyssen-Bornemizsa Art Contemporary (AT).

Tony led the project to finance, design and construct the £2.5M Music Research Centre at the University of York which opened in 2004.

He was awarded a Herald Angel Award by the Glasgow Herald at the 1997 Edinburgh Festival and the International Critics Award, with kinetic sculptor Peter Fluck, for Chaotic Constructions an interactive kinetic sculpture/audio installation. This piece was originally created for the Tate Gallery, St Ives UK where it was installed in 1997. His computer work 'after via gleam' was a finalist in the 2007 WPA/Cocoran Gallery's colorfield.remix experimental media competition. In June 2007 Tony was resident composer at Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, Germany, where he developed a live performance work for a forty-three channel, multi layer sound system. This piece also used surround sound techniques informed by research in spatial audio perception.

In 2009 he designed and developed software to control a large-scale Ambisonic with-height surround sound system as part of the LISTEN artist residency and performances at the Britten Studios, Aldeburgh, UK, curated by Russell Haswell. Tony was a resident artists at Aldeburgh along with Russell Haswell, Chris Watson and Bernie Krause.

Tony also acts as a consultant to a number of international contemporary art organisations, and is a reviewer for research funding organisations and international conferences.

Research interests

Contemporary electronic and computer music

Perceptually-informed spatial audio reproduction and production techniques


Audio Art

New Aesthetics in Computer Music

The Morning Line, T-B A21

The Dardanella Project: A living archive

Research Grants

AHRC Contemporary practice in digital, post-digital and electronica(New Aesthetics in Computer Music), 2007.

Heslington Foundation for Music and Associated Artsawards and benefactions towards the Music Research Centre building, 2004.

BT - Music On-line projectfunded by BT, Arts and Business, Science City York, 2003.

European Commission IST project under the 5th FrameworkIST-1999-21022 RIMM. Real-time Interactive Multiple Media performance, 1999-2000.

HEFCE/EPSRC Joint Research Equipment Initiativein collaboration with Silicon Graphics Ltd. 1998.


Harmony and Score StudiesPh.D. supervisor, in:

  • electronic music composition
  • spatial sound
  • sound art
  • independent practices in contemporary electronic and computer music

Departmental duties

Subject Leader in Sound Recording

Deputy Head, School of Arts


Editorial Board, Organised Sound: an International Journal of Music Technology, CUP, UK.

1995 - 2004 Founding Co-Editor of Organised Sound: An International Journal of Music Technology Cambridge University Press, The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge, CB2 2RU.

Selected events, lectures and symposia

The Living Archive: Dardanella project, given to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dardanella, Boston, USA, 23rd Oct. 2011.

Neuroscience, ecology and other music production techniques, given to Arts, Culture and Technology faculty, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dardanella, Boston, USA. 2011 23rd Oct.

A laboratory for new ideas: The project space seminar, Lopud Seminar 2011, Black Swans: Producing the improbable, Croatia. 8 October 2011, with Skylar Tibbits (MIT), Alisa Andrasek (Columbia University, US), Bruce Ferguson (University of Cairo), 2011.

Chair, Mediatic production and dissemination of A Living Archive symposia, Lopud Seminar 2011, Black Swans: Producing the improbable , Croatia. 8 October 2011. With Adrian Lahoud (University of Syndey), Markus Reymann (Vienna), Petteri Nisunen (FI) and Marko Peljhan (UCSB, US), Adam Bly (Seed Inc., US), 2011.

In conversation with with Yasunao Tone , public interview/discussion, Stadtkino Vienna, Schwarzenbergplatz, 8 June 2011.

Chair, Space Calculated in Seconds - Sound Architectures symposia, Between Architecture, science and sound symposium, Vienna, with Daniela Zyman (AT), Russell Haswell (UK), Florian Hecker (De), Zsolt Olejnik (HU), 2011.

Chair, New creative processes in technology-enabled environments symposia, The promiscuity of Collaboration. Istanbul, with Matthew Ritchie (US), Francesca von Habsburg (CH), Russell Haswell (UK), Lee Ranaldo (US), Peter Zinovieff (UK), Mehmet Can Özer (TR), 2010.

UK Roadmap for Digital Music, presentation, Queen Mary's College, University of London, EPSRC Digital Music Network. 21/12/2005

Music in a digital age, S2S^2 Summer School Keynote lecture, Genoa, Italy, 6th Framework Programme IST Open Coordination Action Project, European Commission. 25 July 2005.

Chair, Digital Space, public interviews with Kim Cascone and Terre Thaemlitz, Lovebytes 2000, Showroom Cinema, Sheffield, 2000.

Radio interview with Susanna Niedermayr, Zeit-Ton, OE1, ORF, Austria, broadcast 8 June 2011.

Programming Max/MSP for the Morning Line, Cycling 74 feature interview, published online, 2011. (in two parts)

Radio 3 The Greening Of The Machine, broadcast Jan 1991.

Chaotic Constructions, broadcasts:

BBC Radio 4 Big Bang programme, Jan.1997;Radio Scotland The Usual Suspects, July 1997;Radio Inter (France), October 1997;France 3 TV, October 1997;Monte Carlo TV, France, October 1997.

Selected performances and installations

LISTEN composer residency, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, with Chris Watson, Bernie Krauser and Russell Haswell, curated by Russell Haswell, commissioned by the Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh supported by the Paul Hamlin Trust and Loudwater Investment Partner Ltd. November 2009.

untitled 3, live performance for nested sound systems (41 channels) (30 mins), premiere HFG, Karlsruhe, June 2007.

Chaotic Constructions , for computer and kinetic sculpture, (installation) (1997), exhibited:

The Tate Gallery (25 Jan. - 25 April 1997), St. Ives;Dean Clough Galleries (5 July - 9 August 1997), Halifax;The Demarco European Art Foundation, The Edinburgh Festival (10 August - 30 August 1997);The Hot Bath Gallery (2 Sept. - 30 Sept. 1997), Bath;Le Festival du Vent (9 Sept. - 19 Sept. 1997), Calvi, Corsica;Shock Waves Festival (20 March 1998-28 March 1998), Portsmouth.

My publications


Myatt, A. and Lennox, P. 2011. Perceptual cartoonification in multi-spatial sound systems, Proc. 17th International Conference on Auditory Display, Budapest, Hungary.

Myatt, A. and Malham, D.G. 2010. Audio Spatialization for The Morning Line, Proc of the 128th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, London, UK. (Also be featured as an AES Tutorial Paper on the Audio Engineering Society web site.)

Myatt, A. et al 2010. Yasunao Tone and MP3 Disruption, Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Music, ICMA, New York, US.

Lennox, P., Myatt, T. & Scavone, G. (ed.) 2007 Concepts of perceptual significance for composition and reproduction of explorable surround sound fields, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Auditory Display. p. 208-212.

Myatt, A. and Malham DG. 1995, Three Dimensional Sound Spatialisation Using Ambisonic Techniques, Computer Music Journal, Vol.19 No.4, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, USA, pp58-70.

Myatt, A. 2002. Strategies for interaction in Construction 3, Organised Sound: Vol. 7, no. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 157-169.

Myatt, A. Lennox, P. and Vaughan, J. 1999. From Surround Sound to True 3D, Proceedings of Audio Engineering Society 16th International Conference, AES, Rovanearme, Finland.

Myatt, A., Lennox, P., Vaughan, J. 2001. 3-D Audio as an Information- Environment, AES 19th International Conference on Surround Sound, Schloss Elmau, Germany.

Selected audio works

Placentia Bay, 2013, Touch Music, London, UK.

after via gleam, 2007 WPA/Cocoran Gallery, colorfield.remix

Roundabout, 2009. Co-created with Russell Haswell. Ambisonic, with-height audio artwork.

Aldeburgh Beach Sequence, 2009 and Slide 2009, Aldeburgh LISTEN event, curated by Russell Haswell, commissioned by the Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh supported by the Paul Hamlin Trust and Loudwater Investment Partner Ltd.

untitled 3, live performance for nested sound systems (41 channels) (30 mins), premiere HFG, Karlsruhe, June 2007.

After via gleam, (7 mins) 2007, electronic composition, finalist colorfield-remix Washington US, first performed June 2007, Cocoran Gallery Washington DC. USA.

G, no B, (15 mins) 2006, electronic composition for live interactive algorithm and FM synthesis, premiere Rymer Auditorium, York 2006.

Lizard Solitude, (30 mins) 2005, sound installation to accompany the paintings of Barrie Cook, Royal Truro Galleries. Truro, Cornwall, April 2005. Also Worcester City Art Gallery 3/9/5.

L'infinitá, for computer generated electronic tape (15mins) (1999).

Chaotic Constructions (1997), installation for kinetic sculpture and computer generated soundtracks (with Peter Fluck), Tate St Ives.

Chaotic Constructions 2 (1999), for computer and kinetic sculpture (with Peter Fluck), exhibited at mobiles@RIBA exhibition, Royal Institute of British Architects, London, 16th Feb - 16th April 1999, and Kube Gallery Poole, UK.

Construction 3 (2001), for saxophone, computer and sculptural forms (with Peter Fluck), commissioned by the European Commission, IST programme under Framework 5, premiered Curt Sachs Saal, Berlin on the 9th December 2001.

The Morning Line, exhibition 2 October 2008 - 24 January 2010, Seville Biennial of Contemporary Art 2008, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain. With Florian Hecker (De), Chris Watson(UK), Bruce Gilbert (UK), Lee Ranaldo(US), Bryce Dessner(US), Evan Ziporyn(US), Roc Jimenez de Cisneros (Es) and Mark Fell (UK), Matthew Ritchie(US).

The Morning Line, exhibition 22 May - 22 November 2010, Eminönü Square, as part of the European Capital of Culture 2010 Istanbul. Turkey. With artists Jana Winderen (NO), Peter Zinovieff (UK), Carl Michael von Hausswolff (SE), Yasunao Tone(JP/US), Erdem Helvacıoğlu(TR), Cevdet Erek(TR), Batuhan Bozkurt(TR), and Mehmet Can Özer(TR).

The Morning Line, exhibition 7 June - 20 November 2011 Schwarzenbergplatz, Vienna, Austria.With artists Frantz Pomassl (AT), Alexej Borisov (Russia), Tommi Grönlund & Petteri Nisunen (Finland), Christian Fennesz (Austria), Carsten Nicolai (Germany), Zsolt Olejnik (Hungary), Finnbogi Petursson (Iceland), Terre Thaemlitz (USA), Zavoloka (Ukraine).