Paul Dibley was born in Wales in 1973. He is a composer and sonic artist, and is a Principal Lecturer in Music at Oxford Brookes University, UK. He studied with Jonty Harrison at the University of Birmingham and recieved his PhD in 2003. His compositions have been described in The Guardian as having "flights of ingenuity" and in a SPNM review as standing "out as an effective integration of the two forces [instrument and live-electronics] with both flowering in symbiotic empathy".  His work has been performed in Europe, the Far East, Australia and America and received a mention at the International Electroacoustic Music Competition, Bourges, France.

Paul.Dibley [at]

1. Benedictus - Summer 2011

Every single sound heard is taken from recordings of human voices.  The sacred text is spoken and sung in Latin and other languages.

Great power and strong emotions are suggested by the Latin text and lend themselves readily to sonic art incorporating human utterance.  Whether the composition is heard as a sacred work or not depends very much on the ear of the listener. I chose to follow the thought process of Chion where the ‘intention was not to deliver a message or a manifesto whether pro- or anti-religious. Rather, the piece is a personal testimony, in which I invite the listener to project himself, if he should like to dwell in this music of his experience and sensibility.’ [Chion, Michel: Requiem (CD) p 15]

Voices fascinate me. The human utterance can present an enigma in sonic art. The boundary between the recognizable utterance and the sounds created from a vocal source but transformed into a sonic landscape (wholly removed from the original utterance) is an intriguing and volatile continuum.  The understanding of the human utterance can be further subdivided - whether the language is fully understood by the listener (where the words and context will be fully comprehended), partially understood by the listener (in which case the listener will hear some utterances as sonic events and some as comprehensible words and meanings), or an utterance that is completely incomprehensible to the listener (where the voice is mainly understood as a sonic event).


2. Subversion (edu) -Summer 2011


Carved into these sounds are images, a sonic snapshot of education in Britain using spectral carving:
PM David Cameron and Deputy PM Nick Clegg; student graffiti: 'Revolution'; Michael Gove with Pob; students rioting; police in riot gear; the UK coalition government's logos  (Conservative and Liberal parties); students attacking Charles and Camilla's car.
This is the first in a series of ‘subversive’ soundscapes.

Click here for an image from Subversion

3. Organ Grinder (extended version) - 2010 (this version 2011)
Performed by Jos Zwaanenburg

Samples taken from fairground organs and barrel organs amongst other things. The above video shows Jos playing Organ Grinder at Steim in 2010.

4. Pure Data improvisation- 2011

pdFLEX is a Pure Data patch developed from INV III (written for Jane Chapman) and used here with an mbira, Baoding balls and some nuts... Performed at Oxford Brookes University.

5. INV II - 2006 (updated and extended 2011)

This work is the second invention in a series written for harpsichordist Jane Chapman. The challenge from the Society for the Promotion of New Music was to write a work for Harpsichord and Electronics to be played in a club, with the audience standing on concrete rather than sitting on hard-backed chairs. First performed on 28th March 2006 at an SPNM event held at cargo-london.  INV II was described in The Guardian, as ‘pulsing’ and having ‘flights of ingenuity’. This is a new expanded version.


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