research publications

music + interaction



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Summary Biography

Kirsty BeilharzDr. Kirsty Beilharz is Director of Music Engagement at HammondCare and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh U.K., applying music research in the context of aged, restorative and palliative care, with a focus on music in dementia research. She is former Professor of Music, Sound and Interaction Design in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building (DAB), at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Australia. Previously, she was Digital Media program director at the University of Sydney Design Lab from 2001-2008. Her research integrates music and generative [algorithmic and biologically inspired Artificial Life] processes applied to sound, real time audio-visual interaction and information sonification. Her interaction design research focuses on gesture and motion tracking to produce musical hyper-instruments that augment conventional acoustic capabilities and audio-visual installations. Beilharz's research funded by Australian Research Council, UTS & University of Sydney R&D Scheme, works with sensors, gesture-controllers, video-tracking & data to develop interactive and responsive sonification (auditory display) & multimedia environments. This research is applied in time-based and interactive electronic media installations that have been exhibited at the Media Architecture Biennale in Vienna, Bondi Sculpture by the Sea, Paris Cité International des Arts, Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney Powerhouse Museum, in the U.K., Taiwan and at Sydney Esquisse Art Festival.

Dr. Kirsty Beilharz is an Internationally recognized composer and time-based and interactive media artist. Her ensemble, orchestral and electronic compositions have been performed by the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Montreal, Canada), Ensemble Recherche (Freiburg, Germany) and by the Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmanian and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras. She has won International prizes and commissions including recognition at Gaudeamus World Music Days Amsterdam, Paris Rostrum, Hannover Biennale, by Nouvel Ensemble Moderne Forum Montreal, Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Seymour Group and AustraLYSIS. Beilharz was selected for IRCAM Electronic Music Course, Matsumae International Science Research Fellowship (AI Lab Tokyo), an Asialink Arts Residency, Young Australian of the Year Finalist, Churchill Fellowship, Sir Charles Mackerras Prize of the British Council, and in the Bogan Piano composition & World Bass Clarinet composition & Angoulême Colloque International du Basson composition prizes.




Awards, prizes, Fellowships, Residencies, Commissions


2008: Burning in the Heart of the Void (excerpt) selected for inclusion on Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Quebec Canada's 20th Anniversary CD
2005: Best Paper Award in World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, Orlando, USA, in session: Image, Acoustic, Speech and Signal Processing.
2004: The 10th International Multimedia Modeling Conference '04 Award for Best Presentation.
2003: University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture - Special Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.
2005: Selected by IRCAM (Paris) Pedagogy Committee for sound and music computing course, 10 people selected world-wide.
2003: Symphony Australia won the Award for Best Performance of Australian Contemporary Music in APRA / AMC Australian Classical Music Awards for performance of Vortex by Kirsty Beilharz (and Brophy & Stanhope) in the ABC Adult Themes Series.
1996: Sydney Moss Scholarship (University of Sydney grant-in-aid for continental music study).
1996: Albert Traveling Scholarship in Music (University of Sydney grant-in-aid for academic study outside Australia).
1996: Alfred S. White Bequest for attendance at the International Gaudeamus Week in Amsterdam.
1995: Youth Music Australia Opportunity Grant, to attend International Gaudeamus Week.
1992-1995: Australian Postgraduate Research Award ($17,000 p.a. for 3 years).
1993: Australia Council Individual Development Grant, to attend the 1993 Asian Contemporary Music Festival in Seoul, Korea as the Australian Young Composer, for performance of Kunmunya String Quartet.
1991: Donald Peart Prize for Scholarly Excellence in Two Disciplines - Performance and Composition.
1991: Ignaz Friedman Memorial Prize for Machu Picchu.
1990: Sarah Teresa Makinson Prize for Composition, for Transient Rays.
1988: Frank Hutchinson Memorial Prize for Senior School Composition.


Competition Prizes

2005: Fluid Sinews in the World Bass Clarinet Convention in Rotterdam, top 4 selected world-wide, Honorable Mention.
2005: Angoulême Colloque International du Basson (France) for Tide-etched Sand Spirals, top 6 selected world-wide.
2000: Jean Bogan Prize for Piano Composition for Floriferous Rage 1st place ($5,000) National competition, Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, Australia.
1999: International Composition Competition 2nd prize (DM 8,000) & The White Face of the Geisha (Das weiße Gesicht der Geisha) Music Theatre Chamber Concerto for shakuhachi and ensemble selected for performance in the Biennale Neue Musik Hannover 1999 by Ensemble Recherche Freiburg.
1999: ABC Australian under-30 National representative for 1999 Paris Rostrum
1998: Lauréate of the Jury and Prix du Public (public vote and jury 1st prize, International Composition Competition) - Nouvel Ensemble Moderne Forum '98, Montréal for Burning in the Heart of the Void.
1998: Finalist in Western Australian Symphony Orchestra Twentieth Century Ensemble ABC Young Composers' Competition.
1997: Selected for the (AMC) Australian Composers' Orchestral Forum with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Porcelijn.
1996: Winner of the Australian Young Composers' Competition, Fellowship of Australian Composers & Between Five Bells performed representing Australia at the 1997 Asian Contemporary Music Festival in Manila, The Philippines.
1996: Australian winner of the International Gaudeamus Competition for Young Composers under 35, represented at the International Gaudeamus Week Amsterdam, recorded by the Dutch National Radio, Ensemble of the Sweelinck Conservatory, conducted by Harry Sparnaay.
1996: Medibank Private NSW Arts Award Category of the Young Australian of the Year Award.
1989: First Prize in the 2MBSFM Young Composers' Competition for Blueshift for String Orchestra.



2007: AsiaLink (Melbourne University) Artist Residency funded by the Australia Council for the Arts and NSW Ministry of the Arts for 3-4 months in Japan (music composition and interactive media).
2007: Matsumae International Foundation Research Fellowship for 3 months at Tokyo University Artificial Intelligence Lab with Professor Hori (creative and design applications of Artificial Intelligence and A-Life models & interactive sonification).
1998: Sir Charles Mackerras / Australia-Britain Society Music Scholarship for 8 months study in the U.K. and Europe.
1996/7: Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship for 3 months study of contemporary composition in The Netherlands, Germany, Austria & U.K.



2007: Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan, Chichibu Japan.
2007: Selection for Residency at Youkobo Tokyo Art Space, Japan (competitive selection based on artistic portfolio).
2005: Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris.



2004-5: Sydney Symphony Orchestra - Symphony Australia commission, conductor Richard Gill.
2002: Commissioned by Symphony Australia to write orchestral work, Vortex for the Sydney Symphony Sinfonia, conducted by Richard Gill.
1992: Commissioned by Roger Dean of AustraLYSIS to write Earth Essence.
1991: Commissioned by the ABC to write orchestral fanfare, Plutonium, performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Western Australian Symphony Orchestra & Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.


Research & Teaching Grants

UTS FASS Reserach Development Grant with Anne Cranny-Francis, Devleena Ghosh, Meredith Jones in Culture & Technology, especially movement and gesture, and democrastisation of knowledges 2013.

UTS DAB CapEx Reserach and Teaching Infrastructure Grant 'Polymedia Pixel' - mutlimodal visualization and sonification autonomous structural, sensing and displayunits - Prof. Kirsty Beilharz, Dr. Hank Haeusler, Prof. Tom Barker 2010 $125,000.

UTS RIBG Research Grant for Sense-aware: Situated Eco-aware and Wearable Health-Info Display DAB 2009 $90,294.

UTS Learning and Teaching Performance Fund Grant 2009. Smart Mobile Innovation Community of Practice and Learning collaboration with Professor Mary-Anne Williams (Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory) University of Technology, Sydney; Faculty of I.T., Faculty of Business, Apple and IBM $10,000.

UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Development Grant 2009 Mechanisms to Enable Musical Uses of Complex Sound Sources - Professor Kirsty Beilharz (mentor) with Dr Samuel Ferguson (mentoree Early Career Researcher).

ARC (Australian Research Council) Discovery Project (Chief Investigator: Kirsty Beilharz) 'Gestural Interaction with Aesthetic Sonification' 2007-2010 $255,000.

TIF (Teaching Infrastructure Grant) 2007 (with Densil Cabrera and Simon Hayman) for Sonification of Sound teaching integration, web-based learning and research exploration resources $5,000.

University of Sydney Bridging Grant 2006 - A Model of Gestural Interaction for Sonification $36,400.

University of Sydney Sesqui New Staff Support Scheme 2004 - Sound Design for Way-Finding and Spatial Orientation in 3-Dimensional Digital Environments $13,000.

Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Construction Innovation - Team Collaboration in High Bandwidth Virtual Environments [2002-024-B] (2003-05) $800,000; Participants: University of Sydney, Woods Bagot, CSIRO, Arup Australasia, University of Western Sydney (University of Sydney researchers: Professor Mary Lou Maher, Professor John Gero, Dr Mike Rosenman, Dr Kirsty Beilharz); Research: Application of recent developments in networked 3D virtual worlds and high bandwidth communications technology to dramatically improve collaboration in the construction industry.

Teaching and Learning Grant for Development of Innovative Online Learning (2003) $15,000.

Teaching Infrastructure Fund Grant for development of the Student Intranet (with Prof. Peter Phibbs) (2003-4) $10,000.



2008 (Nov)- Professor - Sound, Music and Interaction Design (Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
and Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building) University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
2004-2008 Senior Lecturer (tenured, continuing); Program Director - Graduate Digital Media (Design Lab, a.k.a. Key Centre of Design Computing & Cognition: Faculty of Architecture, Design Science and Planning) University of Sydney
2001-2004 Lecturer (tenured) (Assistant Professor); Program Coordinator Graduate Digital Media (Key Centre of Design Computing & Cognition: School of Architecture, Design Science and Planning) University of Sydney
1998-2000 Lecturer (Faculty of Arts, Music Department) University of Sydney
1999-2000 Lecturer, (I.T. Multimedia & Web Design, Crows Nest TAFE )
2000 Lecturer (Sydney Conservatorium of Music)



1997-8: Post-Doctoral Research, University of York, U.K. (British Council Award)
1996-7: Post-Doctoral Research, University of York, U.K. (Churchill Fellowship)
1996: Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sydney
1993: Bachelor of Music (Honours 1st Class), University of Sydney
1997: Certificate IV - I.T. (Multimedia)
1989: Licentiate Diploma, Trinity College London (Performance)
1988: Associate Diploma, Trinity College London (Performance)
1987: A.Mus.A (AMEB) (Performance)


Community Engagement


2008-...: Dean’s Advisory Committee (DAC) in DAB UTS
2008: Adjudicator, Research Expo in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney
2008: Acting Associate Dean Research (Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning)
2008: Acting Head of Design Computing Discipline (Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning)
2008: Successfully proposed new Graduate Master’s Degree Program - Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts (M.IDEA), embodying a new degree and 12 new Units of Study to supersede former Digital Media and Design Computing streams (with Andrew Vande Moere).
2001-2008: Director of Graduate Digital Media Program (large coursework program with Graduate Certificate, Diploma and Master's Degree awards, approximately 120 students)
2001-2008: Sony Foundation Scholarship adjudication committee
2001-2008: Faculty Board of Graduate Studies
2008: Adjudicator Faculty Noel Chettle Art Prize
2007-8: Dean Selection Committee
2007: Design Computing Discipline member of Research & Research Training Committee
2005-8: Mentor to academic and teaching staff
2006: Organized Velocity Graduate Public Exhibition (curation, catalogue design and preparation) of Faculty Staff and Student work across 12 Graduate streams (Digital Media, Architecture, Urban Design, Art Workshops, Sustainability, Design Computing, etc.)
2006: Vice-Chancellor's Senior Management Forum
2006: ICT Committee, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning
2004-5: Associate Director (Academic) ICT in Teaching & Learning (College of Science & Technology)


Discipline and Community

2011: 'diffuse' season of concerts, experimentla performance and installation, Bon Marche Studio, UTS, Sydney
2010: Co-Chair New Interfaces for Musical Expression international conference, UTS, Sydney
2008: Chair and organizing committee 'Pervasive Expression' workshop at the Sixth International Conference on Pervasive Computing, May 19-22, 2008 in Sydney, Australia
2005-6: Adjudicator of admission to membership of the Australian Music Centre (the Australian National music representation, publication and distribution organization)
Ph.D thesis examiner (Monash, RMIT, UTS, Sydney)



2011 UTS Vice-Chancellor's Research Awards Panel
2010 UTS Research and innovation Office Partnership Grant Panel
2010 Australian research Council Future Fellowship Humanities Advisory Panel
2006 & 2007 Australian Research Council Discovery Projects
IEEE (Multimedia) Journal
Australasian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA)
New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME)
International Community of Auditory Display (ICAD)
Design Computing and Cognition Conference(s) (DCC)
Engage (UTS)
Interactive Entertainment (IE)
Generative Arts Practices Symposium (GAP)
Computer Aided Architectural Design Research In Asia (CAADRIA)
World Multi-conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI) 2006
Technical Program Committee: CyberGames 2006: International Conference on Games Research and Development


Invited Lectures

Master of Architecture UTS - Sonification and Interactive Installation
Centre for Creative Practices and Cultural Economy - The Role fo the Exegesis in Doctoral creative Practice Degrees, What Examiners Want
Creative and Cognition Studios - Sense-Aware Lab Research
Graphite - the Sydney Chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH
Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA)
Tokyo University, Artificial Intelligence Lab research seminar series (2005 & 2007).
Nigel Helyer's Quint de Loup exhibition (2007) one-day public forum on sound design and sonic architectures at the Tin Sheds Gallery
Thursday Night Lecture series, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning



International Society of Art, Science and Technology (ISAST, MIT)
IRCAM - Institute of Computer and Acoustic Music Research, Paris
International Community of Auditory Display (ICAD).
Australian Music Centre (National representative organization for composers, publication and distribution)
Creativity and Cognition Studio at UTS, a liaison opportunity with a closely related cluster of academics and research students (Associate Member)
Japan Foundation (Australia)



"Discover the colour and sounds of aura" - Jeremy Stevens Daily Telegraph, p. 17 (16 Nov 2005); "Pixel packing for art's sake" - Vincent Blake The Australian, Biz Tech, p. 10 (22 Nov 2005)
"Digital new world" - Jeannette Francis Inner Western Suburbs Courier, p. 41 (29 Nov 2005).
Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) public lecture podcast



Australian Shakuhachi Festival
Rockies Shakuhachi Festival, Colorado
Hawaii Shakuhachi Festival, USA
Bisei Shakuhachi Festival, Japan
World Shakuhachi Festival, Sydney Australia