Sarah discusses her career since completing her MusM in Composition

by | Sep 13, 2021 | Alumni/careers, Arts, Postgraduate | 0 comments

Sarah now works as a PhD Researcher/Freelance Composer/ECHOES Project Assistant. As a Freelance Composer, she has been commissioned by arts charities and exhibitions to create electroacoustic works and sound installations. As a Project Assistant at ECHOES, she facilitates the creation of geolocative audio apps and experiences.

Why did you choose to study your course at Manchester?

“The University of Manchester is one of the best places to study electroacoustic composition, not only due to the fantastic resources within NOVARS studios but because of the high-quality teaching and varied courses available. The MANTIS festival was also a huge draw for me – the opportunity to learn how to set-up a large scale performance system and diffuse your own music over 56 speakers.”

Did you always know that you wanted to do the career you’re in? Did your course or time at Manchester help influence this?

“I also did my undergraduate degree at the University of Manchester, and originally I wanted to become a classical singer. I became interested in electroacoustic composition in first-year due to my fascination with video game audio, which developed into a passion for the subject that totally changed my career path.”

How did your course set you up for your career path?

“I knew that I wanted to work with audio in some capacity. The Master’s degree set me up not only to continue my studies as a PhD researcher, but also to write music to a brief (which is invaluable as a freelance composer) and to experiment with new technologies.”

What was the most surprising takeaway from your course that’s helped you in later life?

“This seems obvious, but the most surprising skill I learnt over the course was how to listen properly. As a performing musician, I knew how to listen already, but there’s something about growing one’s familiarity with electroacoustic music that makes your ear pick out the most tiny and interesting sounds in day-to-day life. This has helped me not only professionally but from a wellbeing standpoint as well.”

What advice would you give to a student looking to start your course and/or join the University?

“Don’t be afraid to learn new technology from scratch!”