Manuella Blackburn
About me

"I love the way anything around you can be turned into music."

Dr Manuella Blackburn completed her PhD in electroacoustic music composition in 2010 with the supervision of Professor Ricardo Climent at the University of Manchester.

Manuella began lecturing at Liverpool Hope University in 2010 before taking up a post at Keele University in 2019. She has been composing for over 15 years and has created a wide range of electroacoustic music works for instruments and electronics, fixed media, sound installation work, music for dance and for film. Her music is published on the Montreal-based label, Empreintes DIGITALes.

Her specialism within the field of electroacoustic music is fixed media – acousmatic music for loudspeakers. Her work has extended to the realm of visual impetus for creativity, developing composition methods based on images. Her work has been performed in over 250 performances globally. Notable performances include Alfortville, Athens, Bangor, Birmingham, Brussels, Calgary, Glasgow, Helsinki, Huddersfield, Leicester, Linz, Lisbon, Liverpool, Ljubljana, London, Lyon, Macclesfield, Madrid, Manchester, Melinka, Montréal, New York City, Orford, Oslo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Seoul, Sheffield, Sofia, Trebel, Troy, Udine, Utrecht, Valdivia, Vienna, Villeneuve d’Ascq, Visby and Vitória.

"pay attention to every dot and detail of the sound"
"Every sound should have a function. If it doesn’t have one, bin it."

Her music has been awarded prizes in a number of competitions and festivals including: Computer Space Award (1st Prize, Bulgaria, 2017), Musica Nova, (1st Prize, Czech Republic, 2016), International Computer Music Association European Regional Award (Australia, 2013), Gaudeamus Music Prize (Finalist, Utrecht, Netherlands 2012), METAMORPHOSIS competition (1st Prize, Brussels, 2012), Musica Viva, (1st Prize, Portugal, 2010) and Digital Arts Awards (Grand Prize, Tokyo, Japan, 2007).

Manuella’s academic writings focus on three primary research areas: soundfile brevity, intercultural creativity and sound/music borrowing within electroacoustic music. She has published numerous journal articles, conference papers and book chapters on these topics and has given keynote addresses at the NAMHE Music – Learning – Technologies conference, (Glasgow, 2013) and the Women Since 1900 Conference (Liverpool, 2013) and the Musicological Society of Australia (Perth, 2018). Her guest editor work for Organised Sound journal in 2014 encouraged new thinking and literature on the topic of ‘The Sound of Cultures’ and a latest issue on 'Borrowing, quotation, sampling and plundering' published Septmeber 2019 confront the challenges of borrowed audio within the field of electroacoustic music.

"Its about making something magical and precious from everyday sounds"