The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Christopher Tonkin

Asst/Prof Christopher Tonkin

Assistant Professor
Academic Staff (Music)

Contact details
Academic Staff (Music)
The University of Western Australia (M413)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 1546
BMus W.Aust., MusA Hous., PhD UCSD
Chris Tonkin was born in Perth, Western Australia. He holds degrees in composition from the University of Western Australia, Rice University (Houston, Texas) and a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

Since January 2008, Chris has taught at the School of Music at UWA as lecturer and Head of Composition Studies for undergraduate and postgraduate students. In 2016/2017 Chris will launch two new units in electronic music at the undergraduate level within the Fine Arts major.

Chris’s compositional output has a focus on works for live performer with real-time computer sound processing. Commissions and performances have come from the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, IRCAM, Ensemble Offspring, the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, the Australasian Computer Music Association, the Percussive Arts Festival, Decibel Ensemble, TURA, and the International Computer Music Conference. His scores and recordings are held at the Australian Music Centre.

Key research
music composition; electronic music; interactive computer music; live computer sound processing; live computer video processing
Selected scores and performances since 2005:
(2005) 'IN'; bass drum and live electronics, Australian Music Centre (AMC)
(2005) Performance of ‘IN’ at IRCAM, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (Abel Billiard)
(2008) 'Vocalise'; djembé and live electronics, AMC
(2009) Performance of ‘Vocalise’ at PASIC, Austin, USA (Morris Palter)
(2009) ‘Widdop, Phaetons, Relic’; violin, percussion and piano, AMC
(2010) Performance of ‘Widdop, Phaetons, Relic’ at Melbourne Recital Centre (Ensemble Offspring)
(2011) ‘Headspaces’; cello and live electronics, AMC
(2013) Performance of ‘Headspaces’ at International Computer Music Conference, Perth
(2013) ‘Rapid Same Question’; bass flute, bass clarinet, cello, bass drum, live electronics, Australian Music Centre
(2013) Performance of ‘Rapid Same Question’ at PICA, Perth (Decibel)
(2014) ‘Love, Madness and Death’; soprano and ensemble, AMC
(2014) Performance of ‘Love, Madness and Death’ at Fremantle Arts Centre (Etica Ensemble)
(2015) ‘Entracte I/II’ and ‘Entracte III/IV’; bass clarinet, live computer sound processing and video
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Head of Composition Studies, Music; Graduate Research Coordinator, Music; UWA Academic Board Member (2016)
Future research
New work for Decibel Ensemble; Large scale (concert length) work for ensemble, live electronics and video; Electronic score for silent film with percussionist Claire Edwardes
Honours and awards
• 2000 ICMC International Composition Competition - first prize for piano pieces "Canopy, Stasis, Ethereal".
• 2002 Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Forum 2002 - Jury Prize for "Point-Counterpoint"
• 2004 APRA Professional Development Award - Classical Music Category
• 2004 Australian Council for the Arts - Skills and Arts Development Grant
• 2004 Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant

units in undergraduate composition (acoustic and computer/electronic); twentieth century western art music history; undergraduate units in electronic music; honours and postgraduate composition and thesis supervision;
New and noteworthy
In 2016/2017 Chris launches two new undergraduate units, a level one unit 'Electronic Music: Methods and Means' (semester 2, 2016), and a level two unit 'Electronic Music: Experimental Investigations' (semester 1, 2017). These units are option units within the Fine Arts major in the Bachelor of Design. They are also available as broadening units for students in the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Commerce and the Bachelor of Arts.
Current projects
Two works for bass clarinet, live computer sound processing and video for Ashley Smith (performances in 2016)
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM