Keynote Speakers

photo of Nina Sun Eidsheim
Nina Sun Eidsheim, UCLA
photo of Makis Solomos
Makis Solomos, Paris 8
photo of Charles Spence
Charles Spence, Oxford
photo of Jesse Engel
Jesse Engel, Google

Nina Sun Eidsheim: on timbre and vibration (Title TBC)

Nina Sun Eidsheim writes about voice, timbre, race, and materiality. She is the author of Sensing Sound: Singing and Listening as Vibrational Practice (Duke University Press, 2015) and The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music (Duke University Press, 2019); co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Voice Studies (Oxford University Press, 2019); co-editor of the Refiguring American Music book series for Duke University Press; recipient of the Mellon Foundation Fellowship, Cornell University Society of the Humanities Fellowship, the UC President’s Faculty Research Fellowship, and the ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship. She received her bachelor of music from the voice program at the Agder Conservatory (Norway); MFA in vocal performance from the California Institute of the Arts; and Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of California, San Diego. Eidsheim is Professor of Musicology, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and founder and director of the UCLA Practice-based Experimental Epistemology Research (PEER) Lab, an experimental research Lab dedicated to decolonializing data, methodology, and analysis, in and through multisensory creative practices.

Makis Solomos: on timbre and listening (Title TBC)

Makis Solomos was born in Greece and now lives in France, working as Professor of Musicology at the Université Paris 8 and as director of the research team MUSIDANSE. He has published many books and articles about new music, and he is one of the main international specialists of Xenakis’ music. His book From Music to Sound. The Emergence of Sound in 20th- and 21st-Century Music (Routledge, 2019) examines how new music brought about a change of paradigm—a mutation—on listening, moving from a culture centred on the note to a culture of sound. His new book Towards an Ecology of Sound. The Living World, the Mental and the Social in Today’s Music, Sound Art and Artivisms (Routledge, 2023) deals with an enlarged notion of ecology for music and sound, mixing environmental issues and socio-political questions. He co-organized, the Xenakis22: Centenary International Symposium and he is the editor of Révolutions Xenakis (Éditions de l’Œil – Philharmonie de Paris, 2022).

Charles Spence: on timbre and crossmodality (Title TBC)

Charles Spence is a world-famous experimental psychologist with a specialisation in neuroscience-inspired multisensory design. He has worked with many of the world’s largest companies across the globe since establishing the Crossmodal Research Laboratory (CRL) at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University in 1997. Prof. Spence has published over 1,100 academic articles and edited or authored 16 books including the Prose prize-winning The perfect meal (2014; Willey Blackwell), and the international bestseller Gastrophysics: The new science of eating (2017; Penguin Viking) – winner of the 2019 Le Grand Prix de la Culture Gastronomique from Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie. His latest book Sensehacking was published in 2021 (Penguin). Much of Prof. Spence’s work focuses on the design of enhanced multisensory food and drink experiences, through collaborations with chefs, baristas, mixologists, chocolatiers, perfumiers, and the food and beverage, and flavour and fragrance industries. Prof. Spence has worked extensively in the world of multisensory experiential wine and coffee and has also worked extensively on the question of how technology will transform our dining/drinking experiences in the future.

Jesse Engel: on timbre and artificial intelligence (Title TBC)

(likely remote, TBC)
Jesse Engel is lead research scientist on Magenta, a research team within Google Brain exploring the role of machine learning in creative applications. He has a UC Berkeley ‘cubed’ degree (BA, PhD, Postdoc) and his research background is diverse, including work in Astrophysics, Materials Science, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Computational Neuroscience, and now Machine Learning. His research on Magenta includes creating new generative models for audio (DDSP, NSynth), symbolic music (MusicVAE, GrooVAE), adapting to user preferences (Latent Constraints, MIDI-Me), and work to close the gap between research and musical applications (NSynth Super, Magenta Studio). Previously he worked with Andrew Ng to help found the Baidu Silicon Valley AI Lab and was a key contributor to DeepSpeech2, a speech recognition system named one of the ‘Top 10 Breakthroughs of 2016’ by MIT Technology Review. Outside of work, he is also a professional-level jazz guitarist, and likes to include in his bio that he once played an opening set for the Dalai Lama at the Greek Theatre.