THE DIARY: Together in electric dreams...

Dr Adrian Moor
Dr Adrian Moor
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DOCTOR Adrian Moore, senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield, says he has done the easy part by organising the city’s first ever festival of electronic music.

It will feature some 60 composers from across the world performing here over four days.

Now the hard bit, he reckons, might just be getting people to go along.

“I keep being told to big it up,” he says. “But that isn’t so simple because this isn’t easy music. It’s not The X Factor or Kylie Minogue. It’s not steak-and-chips music.

“But, for anyone willing to go to give it a go, I think they could discover something truly exciting. That’s the idea. We just want people to come along and see. Or, rather, come along and hear.”

So, let’s see if we can big it up a little for him...

The Tape to Typedef fest will see a series of concerts, lunchtime recitals, workshops and academic talks held at three city venues.

Those global composers will come from such exotic places as Canada, the US and Aberdeen to perform with such unusual instruments as laptops, theremins and oscillators.

Headliners will include Jonty Harrison, John Young and Pete Stollery – who may not mean much to your average Rylan Clark fan but who are among the best in the world at what they do.

The 28 talks and workshops, meanwhile, will include hands-on demonstrations with sound studio tools and discussions about the history of this niche culture.

Oh, and – perhaps the best bit – it’s all absolutely free.

The university’s Arts Enterprise fund has footed the £3,000 bill, meaning if you want to go to an event, all you need to do is turn up and be prepared to listen.

“It sounds obvious but listening is so important,” says Adrian, who lectures in music and will be performing his own 20 minute laptop composition during the festival. “This is cinema for the ears.”

That means, bizarrely perhaps, performers will often sit with their backs to the audience.

“That’s my better side anyway,” notes Adrian of Halfway.

“The idea is the music is everything. There will be 24 state-of-the-art speakers positioned around the room so it will sound magnificent.

“There will be a lot of sound academics there but it’s important to me that we also get new people along who can be inspired to go away and maybe experiment themselves. We want to excite the imagination of Sheffield.”

And the festival’s rather unusual name? Typedef is a keyword in programming languages.

“We thought it rather neat,” says Adrian. “Now we just hope the hard work pays off. If so, you never know, it could be the first of an annual event.”

Tape to Typedef runs January 30 – February 2 at the Drama Studio in Glossop Road, the Jessop Building in Leavygreave Road, and the Humanities Research Institute in Gell Street. Details and timetable at University of Sheffield Sound Studios