Brian Bridges


  • Northlands Road, Magee Campus

    BT48 7JL Londonderry

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Brian Bridges is Research Director for Music, Drama, Performing Arts and Film and Screen Studies (with the addition of Heritage/Museum Studies) and Senior Lecturer in Music and Creative Audio. 

He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (MPhil in Music and Media Technologies) and National University of Ireland, Maynooth (BA in English and Music; PhD in Music) and is a composer/sonic artist, electronic musician and arts-technology researcher. Related to the above degrees, he studied in Ireland with composers Donnacha Dennehy, Roger Doyle and Jürgen Simpson (TCD) and Victor Lazzarini (Maynooth), in addition to private studies in the US with Glenn Branca (2005) and Tony Conrad (2006) supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

(In an early, but coincidental, link with Derry, his PhD studies were supported by Maynooth's John and Pat Hume Scholarship.)

Research Interests

Much of Brian's work is inspired by connections between perceptual processes, creative practices and technologies.

Research interests include the application of embodied models to musical practices, sound design, and the design of performance systems and interfaces, including in immersive contexts, with publications in fora including the proceedings of New Interfaces for Musical Expression, International Conference on Auditory Display, International Computer Music Conference, journals including Journal of Sonic Studies and the Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces and volumes on sound design, sound spatialisation, and sound in interaction published by Routledge (including Focal Press) and Springer.

Creative outputs include sound–based spatial/immersive installations, audiovisual pieces and electroacoustic and acoustic composition, with particular interests in microtonal music. He is a founder–member of the Dublin–based Spatial Music Collective and his compositions have been programmed at festivals in Europe, the Americas and China. He has received support and commissions from arts organisations including the Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland, the Contemporary Music Centre and Resonance FM.

Other interests include connections between arts and humanities and STEM, and he has served as Vice-President and President of the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association, as well as co-founding the Hearts of STEM (2016-18) and Oscillations and Modulations conference-festivals (2018-present). 

PhD supervision

(all FT PhDs DEL/DfE or VCRS Scholarship)

Supervised with Prof. F. Lyons unless otherwise indicated


co-supervised with Prof. B. Irvine and Dr R. Casey

Patrick Moore - Integration of technology expanding the audience experience in contemporary composition through interactive systems

Co-supervised with Dr A. Melvin and Dr R. Casey

Aaron McGlinchey - The Sound of Pre-Christian Ireland: An Environmental Sound Art Portfolio of Ireland’s Unique Acoustical Spaces

Colin Woods - Erosion of the creator-performer-observer paradigm in improvised open works


co-supervised with Prof. F. Lyons and Prof. B. Irvine:

Darragh Morgan (completed, 2023): PhD by Published Work: 

Unlocking the unconventional: investigating the multifaceted role of the contemporary violinist with new perspectives on style, collaboration and innovation. 

co-supervised with Prof. F. Lyons and Dr R. Casey: 

Lewis Smith (completed, 2023): Inclusive software design enabling disabled and non-disabled musicians to compose and perform music in an immersive virtual environment

co-supervised with Dr Liz Doherty: 

Aidan O'Donnel (completed 2020): Tuning In: Practices in tuning and pitch related inflections in the Donegal fiddle sound community.

Matthew Jacobson (completed 2021): The Space Between: exploring spontaneity, group interaction and social context in improvised performances of motivic compositions

Mike Nielsen (completed 2017): Improvising a System: Microtonal Practices on a Self-Designed Customised Guitar; Lecturer in Jazz, Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music

John King (completed 2015), Topic: Rhythmic Interaction Design for Electronic Music: multitouch technologies, affordances, embodied image schemas and performance practice; Lecturer in Music Technology and Production at Dundalk Institute of Technology (2015–16);  Developer and R&D at Sensum Ltd, Belfast (2016–17); Qualcommm (2018–present)

Brendan McCloskey (completed 2014), Topic: Accessible, Inclusive Design of Digital Musical Instrument (DMI)/Performance Systems for Musicians with Cerebral Palsy. Awards:shortlisted for the OHMI/Ars Electronica Prize 2013 and semi–finalist in Georgia Tech 2014 Margaret Guthman Prize.

Ricky Graham (completed 2012), Topic: The Expansion of Electronic Guitar Performance through the Development of Interactive Digital Music Systems; Assistant Professor of Music and Technology, Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ, USA (2012–2017); currently founder and CEO at Delta Sound Labs, USA

Teaching Interests and Experience

Brian currently teaches on the BSc Creative Audio and BMus.

He was awarded the SFHEA (Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy) in 2022, with case studies around arts-technology pedagogies and creating a supportive research culture for PhD students in Music, Drama, Film/Screen and Heritage. 

He was awarded the FHEA (Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy) in 2016 for work on arts-technology pedagogy and supporting students from different disciplinary backgrounds and perspectives as part of his role in establishing the BSc Creative Technologies at Ulster in 2008.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Towards a Perceptually-grounded Theory of Microtonality: issues in scale construction, sonority and auditory perception and cognition , Maynooth University

Award Date: 31 Oct 2013

Master, MPhil in Music and Media Technologies, Trinity College Dublin

Award Date: 30 Oct 2003

Bachelor, BA in Music and English, Maynooth University

Award Date: 11 Sept 2001

External positions

Editorial board, Organised Sound (Cambridge UP), Organised Sound: An International Journal of Music and Technology (Cambridge UP)

2 May 202431 Dec 2027

External Examiner (Music Production and Sound Design), Keele University

14 Feb 20241 Sept 2027

Board Member, Void Gallery

17 Jan 2024 → …

Ulster University representative (Music, Drama, Film/Screen and Heritage), Irish Humanities Alliance

1 Oct 2019 → …

Editorial board, Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland

28 Jun 201930 Jan 2023

External Examiner: BA in Creative Music Technology, Sound Training Centre, Dublin and Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire, Sound Training Centre

31 Oct 201831 Oct 2022

External Examiner, MPhil in Music and Media Technologies, Trinity College Dublin

30 Nov 201731 Oct 2020

President, Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association, Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association

8 Sept 20171 Nov 2019

External Examiner, BA (Hons) Applied Music, Dundalk Institute of Technology

5 Jun 20175 Jun 2020

Editorial board member, Interference: A Journal of Audio Culture, Interference: A Journal of Audio Culture

20 Jun 201430 Jan 2023

Member: Spatial Music Collective, Spatial Music Collective

Feb 2006 → …


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