Apr 132011


Iris Garrelfs uses her voice as well as field recordings as raw material, which she transmutes into machine noises, choral works or pulverised “into granules of electroacoustic babble and glitch, generating animated dialogues between innate human expressiveness and the overt artifice of digital processing” as the Wire Magazine put it.

Moulding complex sonic or multi-sensorial collages, her work has been compared to artists such as Yoko Ono, Henri Chopin, Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk and Arvo Part and has featured in exhibitions, festivals and as part of residencies internationally, including Tate Britain, Barbican (2013), Liverpool Biennial (2012), International Computer Music Conference (NY 2010), GSK Contemporary at the Royal Academy Of Arts (2008/09), Gaudeamus Live Electronics Festival, (Amsterdam 2007), and Visiones Sonoras (Mexico 2006). Collaboration have included Adam Bohman, Thomas Koner (Futurist Manifest), Scanner and more.

Now in its 16th year, Iris is one of the founding directors/curators of Sprawl, advocating experimental sound through live events and recordings, which has seen collaborations including the Tate Modern and the Goethe Institute, featuring internationally renowned artists such David Toop, Vladislav Delay, Pole and many more. She is currently an AHRC PhD research fellow at LCC in London where she also teaches on the BA Sonic Art. In a previous incarnation as photographer, Iris has been published by magazines such as The Wire, Mary Claire and others.

Upcoming releases are an album entitled Bedroom Symphonies on the Linear Obsessional label and an album entitled Disembodied on Stasisfield. For information on upcoming residencies and performances please consult the diary

Selected Projects, Residencies and Performances

Club Integral, performance with JIG (Jude Cowan Montague, Iris Garrelfs, Georgina Brett), London

National Gallery, Room 6, performance talk for Soundscapes Late
Winter Garden New York City,  composition 60×60 edit features at two dance performances at the VoxNovus XV Festival,
Tate Britain,  residency and installation Listening Room for radio City
Morse Code Choir, Radio Arts commission

Horse Hospital, performance of Traces in/of/with Sound
Laboratory of Sonic Possibility, with Tansy Spinks. Residency and event at Wimbledon Space, as part of ACTS RE-ACTS Festival
Sonic Cueb Festival, collaborative site-specific performance
Twine, screening at Troyganic at a Sprawl/Music Hackspace event
Wimbledon Space, residency with Tansy Spinks as part of ActReact F
Sound.Art Event, presentation of In A Day’s Work, Tin Tabernacle, London

GV Art, installation version of Traces in/of/with Sound as part of Noise and Whispers
Barbican Centre,
live improvised voice performance as part of their Hack the barbican Season, London.
Be Open Sound Portal
, 9 channel piece for Sounding Space Symposium, with Charlotte Desborough, Robbie Judkins, Peter McKerrow, UAL. London.
Museruole, presentation of collaboration with Viv Corringham, Italy.
Aural Detritus Festival, performance of Traces in/of/with sound. Phoenix, Brighton
Camberwell Arts Festival, presentation of override.
Open Provocation Festival, live improvised performance, Polruan, Cornwall.

November Song, diffusion as part of 60×60, PianoForte Foundation, Chicago, USA
Utrophia Project Space, live improvised collaboration with David Aylward, Tom Scott, Adam Bohman and more. London
SoundFjord residency, as part of the research projects series “Sequence Series: Turn, Move, Change. London
Liverpool Biennial, live performance as part of Electronic Voice Phenomena curated by Mercy. Liverpool
Aural Detritus Festival, live improvised voice. Phoenix, Brighton
City University, 8-channel live version of Traces in/of/with Sound at City Lights: Transonic Transformations, London
Dismantled Cabaret, performance of Traces in/of/with Sound part at Performance Space, London

Café Oto, performance as part of Simon Whetham’s Active Crossover, London
Text Festival, live solo performance at this international festival investigating contemporary language art, Bury

International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), presentation of a new piece as part of the 60×60 project, New York
Futurist Manifest, performing as part of Thomas Koner’s opera digitale at Rencontres Internationales, Madrid
Ecoteca at Plinius
, live performance, Pescara, Italy
Sounds at the Muse, audio-visual performance, London

Futurist Manifest, performing as part of Thomas Koner’s opera digitale at Impakt Festival, Utrecht, and Festival Rencontres Internationales, Paris
Arnolfini, performance with Douglas Benford as part of Simon Whetham’s Active Crossover closing event, Bristol
Longplayer, performing as part of Jem Finer’s Longplayer project, Roundhouse and Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
Science Museum, 40th Moon landing anniversary in conjunction with Sound and Music, performing Star Maker, a mini space opera, supporting Brian Enos’ Apollo
60×60 edit, with a choreography and dance performance by Victoria Brown, as part of 60×60. Galapagos, New York
Royal Academy Of Arts, live 4-channel performance with the Urbania Orchestra, GSK Contemporary Season

Royal Academy Of Arts, “Red Storage Room” installation with Urbania Collective, GSK Contemporary Season
[60] Project, contributor Mathew Adkins’ project for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Somerset House, live intervention with the with Urbania Collective, London
Parkamoor, Grizedale Arts, Lake District, residency with Urbania Collective
Expo, solo performance, Sonic Arts Network, Brighton
MCC, live premiere of audio-visual pieceTwine. Celje, Slovenia
Institute for Contemporary Arts, artist in residence. Celje, Slovenia
Swannsong, installation at Leeds Town Hall, commissioned by Lumen for Evolution Festival

Sonic Circuits, solo performance at this Festival organised by the American Composers Forum. Washington
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, audio-visual performance with the Symbiosis Orchestra, Rome Italy
Museum for Contemporary Arts, solo installation of audio-visual project Dumplinks, Celje, Slovenia
Interplay Tour, live collaboration with Si-cut.db as part of Goethe Institute EU tour “Interplay”

Gaudeamus Live Electronics Festival, live performance at the Muziekgebouw aan’t Ij Amsterdam
Visiones Sonoras Concert at National University of Mexico and the Mexican Center for Music and Sonic Arts Recipient of Clinker bursary. Mexico City and Morelia
South London Gallery, London, live performance with a video work by Alexaxnder Selski
Whitechapel Gallery, London, performance as part of Wormhole Saloon
Sound and Anthropology conference, St Andrews, Scotland: Sound Arts and Design department, LCC London
Lovebytes Festival, live performance with film by Alexander Selski, Liverpool
Threshold 06, performance at BENDING TECHNOLOGY, London

Civica Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan, Italy, audio-visual media art performance with Symbiosis Orchestra.
Radiator Festival, performance and workshop at this leading biennial Festival for New Technology Art, Nottingham
PEAM, Media Art Festival PEAM, Pescara, Italy
Incantation: audiovisual, Soundworks Festival: durational Live Art event, commissioned by Art Trail, Cork
Circle Of Sound, group exhibition at London’s Foundry showing a stereo film version of Dumplinks
Interplay Festival, London, performance collaboration with Scanner at this festival of international collaborations

(Talking) Space to Space, a radio art project capturing emissions from the stars. Frieze Art Fair
Arborescence Festival, live media arts festival, Marseille, France. With David Toop and more
Of Dual Nature, premiere at Sound Circus conference De Montfort University, Leicester
Spoor, at Grafisch Atelier, ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Holland). Artist in residence. Commissioned by EARATIONAL
Traces, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (Slovenia): audio visual performance project in collaboration
Capital Sonores, live performance collaboration with Si-cut.db at this IRCAM co-produced festival in Paris
Dumplinks, Commissioned by Watermans Artcentre, Brentford. (Also presented as part of Arborescence Festival, Marseille, September 04 and Circle Of Sound, London May 05

2003 and earlier:
Cut and Splice Festival, performance at ICA London; broadcast on BBC Mixing It. April 03
Parallel Textures, installation for the Berkshire Record Office, commissioned by Art at the Centre, Reading. Sept 02
Shiftage, 4×4 commission, Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow. Installation with Si-cut.db Oct 01
Chain Gang, Tonic, New York, group performance with Zeena Parkins, Ikue Mori, Lee Renaldo, Kaffe Matthews. April 01
Avantpop Festival, Podewill, Berlin. Live performance with Matmos, Mu-ziq, kid 606, Safety Scissors and others. Jan 01

Selected Recordings

Breathing Through Wires, solo album on Pan Y Rosas Discos. Album of the year 2015 Jan 15
Bedroom Symphonies, solo album on Linear Obsessional, June 14
Simon Whetham And Friends, “Meditations on Light”, contributing a a reworked version of Simon Whetham’s‎”Lightyears” project, Monochrome Vision, Sept 11
Playing with Words, contribution of track “K” to compilation accompanying the book of the same name, Dec 10
Symbiosis Orchestra, “Live Journeys”, album on Baskaru Records. Feb 2009
Live at Interplay 2007, live extract from Interplay tour in 2007 with Douglas Benford, on Explorations in Sound, Vol 3: Music of Sound, Furthernoise. June 2008
Vox Novus, 60×60 project (2006-2007), released in New York May 2008
Spingtide, 5.1 piece for Semiconductor’s award winning Brilliant Noise. Released on DVD by Fatcat in Feb 07
(Talking) Space to Space, a radio art project capturing radio emissions from the stars, reshaping it into an audio composition. An extract is released on 10″ vinyl by the German art label lich-tung
Specified Encounters, an album featuring voice manipulations, Bip-Hop, France. Released May 05
Photon Trouble, compilation track for “Acoustic.Space.Lab : Radio Astronomy”, a collaborative release of radioqualia, RIXC, and the VIRAC radio telescope. Autumn 04
Donna, an Art of Noise remix for “The Abduction of the Art Of Noise”, Iris Light. Collaboration with Si-cut.db. April 04
Monza Lecta, re-release of collaboration with Freeform as part of the Burnt Friedman compiled and remixed compilation “Condensed” on Nonplace. March 03
Civic Halo, a Tennis remix for the Furlines album on Bip-Hop. Jan 03
Helix and A Theory of Disorderly Behaviour, release of tracks for Bip-Hop Generation vs 6. Jan 02
Recycled 200, a collaboration with Si-cut.db for The Wire Magazine’s Wiretapper 6
Shiftage, a stereo rendition of the 4×4 installation commission, published by Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow. Nov 01
It’s Enough, Female of the Species, Law and Auder. 2001
Ave Maria, a piece for abstracted machine sound and voice, Hmm, Sprawl. 2001
Little Red Riding Hood, Counterintelligence Subproject, ECR, Germany. 2000
Assimulation, Broken Voice, Sprawl. 1997

Selected Teaching / Education Projects/ workshops

current: London College of Communication, lecturer BA and MA Sound Arts & Design. Since Feb 09

Central School of Speech and Drama, Visting lecturer MA Sound Art Aurality Unit. Since May 12
Material Studies, improvising with wood, with Matthias Kispert, Blanca Regina, Andrew Riley, V22, London, Jul 12
Sonic Art Research Unit, Brookes University, Oxford, guest lecture, Feb 12
Artangel, sound recording workshop, London, March 11
Royal Opera House Creative Partnerships, Creative Agent, curating and brokering educational research projects. May 09 – Aug 10
A Greener Tomorrow conference, workshop for educators introducing the idea of recycled sound and sound toys. Creative Partnership’s. July 08
Creative Partnerships London North, Thomas Gamuel school, Creative Week. Devising and delivering intensive workshops ranging from creating sound effects and building instruments to creating a toy orchestra. Jan 08
Creative Partnerships Thames Gateway, Janet Duke Junior school, Teacher’s CPD sessions mentoring their lead on creative sound project. Basildon Nov  07 – Jan 08
Post Post Studio, field recording and editing workshop for artists in conjunction with PEAM Festival. Pescara, Italy. Nov 07
Refugee Council, recording workshops with young refugee women exploring the sound of the local area. Brixton, London. Aug 07
Lewisham Summer University, sound recording and editing workshops in collaboration with artist Anita McKeown. July 07
Deptford 45s Soundwalks, exploring Deptford through recording, composition and editing workshops in collaboration with artist Anita McKeown. Commissioned by Art Services Un-incorporated. Deptford, London May – July 07
Glebe project, devising and leading audio-visual workshops with young people (aged 11-16) from the Glebe Estate,Camberwell, London. With Harold Offeh. Commissioned by Camberwell Arts : workshops. Jan – May 07
Stafford University, guest lecturer, BA Creative Technology, looking at creative applications of Max/MSP. Since Jan 07
Sonic Postcards, devising and leading sound recording /editing workshops with schools in Welling, London as part of this Sonic Arts Network project. The programme was winner of the 2006 New Statesman New Media Award for Education. March-June 06
Sri Lanka Sound Stories, residency commissioned by Creative Partnerships Thames Gateway at Janet Duke Junior school, Basildon and its partner school in Sri Lanka. Sounds recorded by children in both locations were edited and made into a multi-site installation. Jan-July 06
Middlesex University, guest lecturer, BA Sonic Arts. Since 05
Creative Partnerships London North, Creative Catalyst, creative research project into creative learning. June – Aug 05
Just Desserts, at Entry, workshops and installation West Bromwich, UK, commissioned by The Public. Summer 03

Selected papers/talks/panels/TV

The Bodleian Library’s Centre for Digital Scholarship, Oxford,  seminar Procedural Blending: a model of process in sound art practice, March 2016
International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) Amsterdam, joint CREAM paper Using metadata actively and workshop Metadata in action, February 2016
Sound Passages: Passage di Suono symposium, IUAV University of Venice, School of Architecture, Venice, Italy: talk Sound and the Imagination in Urban Spaces
OFF THE LIP: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Cognitive Innovation: paper From conceptual blending to procedural blending: applying a model of cognition to process in sound art practice, Cognition Institute, University of Plymouth, September 2015
Cycling74’s Max Connect series: performance/lecture Max in performance. Music Hackspace, London June 2015
Field Studies, keynote at The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University, April 2015
Seeing Sound, Bath University, Paper: Traces in/of/with sound: an experience of audio-visual space, Nov 2013
Sound, Sight, Sound and Play, De Montfort University, Leicester UK. Paper Reflections on Traces in/of/with Sound: the Experience of sonic space in audio-visual performance, June 2013
Sounding Space, UAL London, paper about Remembering Worlds, with Charlotte Desborough, Robbie Judkins, Peter McKerrow, June 2013
Sound, Sight, Sound and Play, De Montfort University, Leicester UK. Paper Reflections on override: an experiment to interrupt sensorial interaction in audio-visual relationships, June 2012
Sound:Gender:Feminism:Activism, London College to Communication. Paper: Escaping gender through technology: Sonic freedom and the machine, May 2012
Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC): JTTP Competition Jury member. 2007, 08, 10, 11
Mexican Center for Music and Sonic Arts, Morelia, Mexico: paper on composition and live performance. Sept 06
Cybersonica, International Festival of Music, Sound, Art & Technology, London: Presentation of past work. May 06
Threshold 06, E:vent, London: member of sound residency jury panel. Feb 06
Concrete Hum, Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow: panel member for talk exploring the relationship between architecture & sound. With Adam Chodzco, Anthony Dunne and Gerrie van Noord, chaired by Scanner. Dec 01
Shiftage, Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow: 4×4 Open Commissions assessment panel. Oct 01
In the City, Manchester: panel member to discuss the impact of the digital distribution on the music industry. Oct 01
Mixmaster TV, appearance on this ITV programme. The project was subsequently released by Moonshine in the US has been nominated for Best Music DVD at the Dancestar Awards. Oct 01
The Well Tempered Computer – Are Computers able to compose, appearing in this ARTE TV (Germany) documentary exploring electronic music. With Karl-Heinz Stockhausen. June 01
Cybersalon, ICA, London: panel member discussing digital music. April 01
DDMI Global, Los Angeles: Panel member to discuss the music industry and digital distribution. Sept 00

Posts Held

April 05 – 09: Sonic Arts Network: member of the board of trustees, since May 06 as board secretary
Sept 04 – 08: Small Pieces: Radio broadcast on Resonance FM with Douglas Benford
2002 to 2005: Field 61: Director and cofounder promoting live digital music. Curated & produced events with Jem Finer, Matt Rogalsky and others. Monthly broadcast on Resonance FM 104.4. With Kaffe Matthews
1996 to date: Sprawl: Director and cofounder. Events have become a benchmark of experimental, electronic music. Artists featured have included Kim Cascone, Scanner, Talvin Singh, Kaffe Matthews, Christian Fennesz, Hayley Newman and more. Other events include Groundswell Festival at ICA, Presenting Vladislav Delay, co-curated concert organised in conjunction with the Tate Modern and the Finnish Institute. The label has instigated projects such as The Broken Voice (an exploration of the human voice integrated into electronic music, with Scanner, Paul Thomas and more), Chinese Whispers (an album exploring the further edges of the remix idea, featuring Stereolab, Si Begg and others), and Hmm (versions of traditional hymns and anthems reworked by global artists such as Carl Stone, David Toop and more).
1997- 98 London Arts Board: advising on funding of sound events and other policies
1996- 01 London Arts Board: assessing the quality of funded events
1995- 01 Freelance photographer: publications include THE WIRE, GQ and FACE, album covers plus press shots for record companies and publicists

Awards / Bursaries

Since 2010: Recipient of an AHRC PhD studentship
Autumn 08: nominated British Composer of The Year (Sonic Art), British Academy of Composers and Songwriters
Autumn 06:  shortlisted for Artsfoundation Fellowship 2007 for electro-acoustic composition
Sept 06: Recipient of the Clinker bursary for artistic excellence at Visiones Sonoras 2006. Composers Meeting, convened by National University of Mexico and the Mexican Center for Music and Sonic Arts. Mexico City / Morelia, Mexico
Nov 2001: shortlisted for the New Technology Arts Fellowship, Crucible, Kettle’s Yard and the Junction in partnership with Cambridge University. supported by the Arts Council England
Sept 03: Middlesex University, recipient of the University Scholarship for Cultural Excellence

Selected Publications

November 2012: Room With A View (abridged version) [online]. In: Ex-trauma, Experiments and Intensities, curated by Annette Arlander, Yvon Bonenfant and Mary Agnes Covey-Krell. Winchester University Press
Oct 2008: A composer’s Idiosyncratic Method For Bringing About Structural Associations And Developing Contextual Collages. In Playing With Words – The Spoken Word In Artistic Practice, edited by Cathy Lane, CRiSAP / RGAP
Jan 2006: Wire Magazine: Epiphany, with Douglas Benford
Oct 2005: Creative Partnerships London North, Ideas Newsletter, with Lynne Bracknell
2004 – 2009: SonicArtsNetwork Diffusion magazine: audio reviews
Jul 1998: Fourth Door Review

Book citations

September 2009: “Glitch: Designing Imperfections by Iman Moradi and Ant Scott, published in New York by Mark Batty, discussing my piece Dumplinks, a rubbish film for duck and other water based artifacts
June 2007:The Fundamentals of Sonic Art & Sound Design” by Tony Gibbs, published by Thames & Hudson


Oct 10 to date: London College of Communication, AHRC funded PhD researcher
Sept 03 – June 04: Middlesex University, London: BA Sonic Art (1 Class Honours). Recipient of University Scholarship for Cultural Excellence
1995 – 99: City of Westminster College, London: BTECH Design/Photography, HNC
1995 – 98: City of Westminster College, London: City and Guilds Sound Engineering, Part 2

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