Profile of Andrew Lewis

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Andrew Lewis
01248 382188
Main Arts Building


Andrew Lewis was born in Nottinghamshire in 1963 and studied music at Birmingham University, and later studied composition there with Jonty Harrison. He was one of the original members of BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre) which Harrison founded with his students in 1982, and throughout the 1980s and early 1990s he composed and performed with BEAST across the UK and internationally.

His early work focused on acousmatic music (fixed-medium sonic art diffused over multiple loudspeakers), and his later music retains a strong interest in the phenomenon of sound as raw material, and in the use of technology to realise new kinds of musical ideas.

His music first came to prominence through the award of several composition prizes, including the EMAS/PRS Prize for Storm-Song (piano and tape) in 1986, which was also featured at the Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam). Subsequent awards include First Prizes at Concours de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, 1997 (Ascent); Concurso internacional de música eletroacústica, São Paulo, 2003 (Penmon Point); and Concurso Internacional ART’S XXI, Valencia, 2001 (Cable Bay), KLANG, Montpellier, 2016 (Fern Hill) and Destellos, Argentina, 2017 (Skyline). In 2004 he was awarded a Euphonie d’Or at Bourges for one of the ten most significant works from the previous decade of the competition (Ascent).

His instrumental music has been commissioned and performed by numerous prominent artists, including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Kreutzer Quartet, Psappha, Ensemble Mise-En, Ensemble Cymru, Duo Contour, Elinor Bennet, Jane Chapman, Wendy Holdaway, Yoshikazu Iwamoto, Gerald Garcia, Phillip Mead, Xenia Pestova, Carla Rees, Heather Roche and Vivienne Spiteri. His string quartet Tempo Reale was chosen by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for a Wigmore Hall concert celebrating the 60th anniversary of SPNM.

Recent projects include the audiovisial work LEXICON (funded by the Wellcome Trust) which was seen live by more than 1000 people during its UK tour in 2012 and 2013; and Fern Hill for orchestra and electronics, which was commissioned for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for the centenary celebrations of Dylan Thomas. The premiere was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. In 2017 he was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to compose a large scale work for orchestra and electronics featuring the voices of people with dementia and their partners who care for them.

Numerous recordings are available, including two collections of his works Miroirs obscurs and Au-dèla (empreintes DIGITALes) and Schattenklavier on Shadow Piano (Innova).

He is married with four grown-up daughters, and lives in Bangor.

Andrew Lewis' Website


Composition and Electroacoustic Composition, European post-war avant-garde


  • Deputy Head of School (Research)
  • Director of Research
  • Studio director
  • Head of Composition

Research Interests      


  • Composition (especially electroacoustic and acousmatic music)
  • Analysis of electroacoustic music
  • Technical aspects of electroacoustic music creation and performance

Main publications

Musical Compositions

Song from Afar, 2017, orchestra (30 min.)
Commission: Leverhulme Trust

Skyline, 2016, acousmatic fixed medium (8-ch)

Straatmuziek, 2016, fl (alto fl), cl (bass cl), pno, electronics (8 min.)

Fern Hill, 2014, orchestra and electronics (15 min.)
Commission: Dylan Thomas 100

Il re lunaire, 2013, fl, cl, vn, vc, perc, pno (8 min.)
Commission: BNMF

LEXICON, 2012, acousmatic fixed medium (8-ch) with video (16 min.)
Commission: Wellcome Trust

Air, 2012, bassoon and computer (8 min.)
Commission: CMMAS

Dark Glass, 2011,acousmatic fixed medium (8-ch) (14 min.)

Vox Dei, 2011, 8 amplified voices and computer (9 min.)

Vox Populi, 2011, interactive installation (continuous)

Number Nine Dream , 2010, orchestra (15 min.)
Commission: BNMF/BBC NOW

X-over, 2009, piano or toy piano (30 sec.)
: Xenia Pestova

Schattenklavier, 2009, piano and computer (15 min.)
Commission: BNMF

[60] Project (contributions to), 2008, electroacoustic music in fixed medium

Danses acousmatiques, 2007, acousmatic music (36 min.)

Budo Variations, 2006, for trumpet, percussion and live computer processing (c. 9 min.)
Commission: duoContour

Benllech Shells, 2003, acousmatic music (8 min.)

Llanddwyn Skies, 2003, acousmatic music (15 min.)

Penmon Point, 2003, acousmatic music (16 min.)
double (serenâd), 2002, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 basset hn, 2 bsn, 4 hn, cb (8 min.)
Commission: Ensemble Cymru

double (fragment), 2001, 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 clt (2 bcl), hn, 2 pno, 2 vln, vla, vlc, bass guit (5 min.)

Jeux d’ombres, 2000, fl, ob, cl, bsn, pno (14 min.)
Commission: Ensemble Cymru

Dawns, 2000, harp and electroacoustic sounds (8 min.)
Commission: Elinor Bennett, funds from Arts Council of Wales             

Tempo Reale, 1999 (revised 2003), string quartet (12 min.)

Cable Bay, 1999 (revised 1999), acousmatic music (10 min.)
Commission: Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique, Bourges

Nunc Dimittis, 1998, boys’ choir and organ (4 min.)

Cân, 1997, acousmatic music (12 min.)
Commission: Sonic Arts Network, funds from the Arts Council of England

Eclipse, 1996 (revised 1998), large orchestra (14 min.)

môr(G)wyn, 1996, acousmatic music (11 min.)

Ascent, 1994 (revised 1997), acousmatic music (12 min.)
Commission: BEAST, funds from West Midlands Arts

Scherzo, 1992 (revised 1993), acousmatic music (8 min.)

PulseRates, 1992, acousmatic music, composed with Jonty Harrison and Dan Roger, with
additional material by Robert Dow and Alistair MacDonald (BEAST Collective) (12 min.)
Commission: Birmingham City Council / Arts 2000

INT/ext, 1991, harpsichord and electroacoustic sounds (14 min.)
Commission: Vivienne Spiteri, funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain

Tracking, 1990, piano trio (8 min.)
Commission:  Mead Piano Trio

Changes, 1990, flute, viola and harp (11 min.)

Time and Fire, 1990, acousmatic music (14 min.)

A Cord of Three Strands... 1989, fl, cl (bass cl), vlc, pno, synth, computer and live electronics (6 min.)

Arrivals, 1987 (rev 1989), acousmatic music (13 min.)

MARanaTHA, 1987 (rev 1989 and 1991), four amplified voices and live electronics (8 min.)

Storm-song, 1987, piano and electroacoustic sounds (14 min.)
Commission: Philip Mead, funds from Northern Arts

Principles of Flight, 1986, shakuhachi and electroacoustic sounds (10 min.)
Commission: Sonic Arts Network/Yoshikazu Iwamoto, funds from Greater London Arts

Adagio, 1985, acousmatic music (15 min.)

FM, 1985, music theatre for solo guitarist (8 min.)

Performances and broadcasts

More than 200 performances have taken place to date, in 21 countries (in Europe, North and South America, Australasia and South East Asia). There have also been numerous broadcasts in the UK and internationally.

International prizes and awards

My work has received the following international prizes, awards and distinctions, in reverse date order.

2013       Finalist, Musica Nova, Prague (Dark Glass)

2004       Awarded a ‘Euphonie d’Or’ for one of the 10 most significant works in the last 10 years of the Bourges competition, France (Ascent)

2003       Tempo Reale (for string quartet) selected by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for performance in SPNM’s 60th year

2003       First Prize, Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo, (Penmon Point)

2002       SPNM Shortlisted Composer (Tempo Reale for string quartet)

2001       First Prize, Concurso Internacional ART’S XXI, Valencia, Spain (Cable Bay)

1999       Nominated for the British Music Information Centre’s New Voices project

1999       SPNM Shortlisted Composer (Eclipse for orchestra)

1999       Cân selected for the International Computer Music Conference, Beijing, China

1998       Finalist in Noroit/Leonce Petitot Acousmatic Music Competition, Arras, France (Cân)

1997       Second Prize, EAR 97 (Hungarian National Radio Competition) (môr(G)wyn)

1997       First Prize, 24e Concours de Musique Electroacoustique, Bourges, France (Ascent)

1996       First Prize, Competition in Sound, Copenhagen, Denmark (sketch for môr(G)wyn)

1995       Ascent and Scherzo selected for the ICMC, Banff, Canada, and Ascent for the conference CD

1994       First Mention (Runner Up), Stockholm Electronic Arts Award, Sweden (Scherzo)

1993       Honourable Mention, Prix Ars Electronica, Austria (Scherzo)

1990       Time and Fire selected for the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Glasgow

1990       Awarded British Arts Council Electroacoustic Music Bursary to work on Time and Fire

1989       Second prize, 16e Concours de Musique Electroacoustique, Bourges (Arrivals)

1988       Honourable Mention, 15e Concours de Musique Electroacoustique, Bourges (Storm-song)

1986       EMAS/PRS Prize (Adagio)

1985       Finalist, Huddersfield festival Young Composers’ Competition (FM)          

Published articles, conference papers and seminars

2014 ”LEXICON” – Behind the Curtain’, eContact! 15.4 — Videomusic: Overview of an Emerging Art Form (April 2014) (Montréal, Communauté électroacoustique canadienne / Canadian Electroacoustic Community)

2011       Spectromorphologie, mouvement et meta-mouvement dans Vortex de Denis Smalley,' Portrait polychrome No 16 : Denis Smalley (INA, Paris, 2011)

2011       Editorial, Organised Sound, Volume 16 Number 1, 2011 (CUP)

2010       ‘Spectromorphology, motion and meta-motion in Denis Smalley’s Vortex’, Portraits polychromes No 15 : Denis Smalley (INA, Paris, 2010)

2006       ‘Sound Types and Sound Behaviours in Francis Dhomont’s Novars’, Portraits polychromes No. 10: Francis Dhomont (INA, Paris, 2006)

2004       ‘Francis Dhomont’s Novars’ reproduced in part in Stéphane Roy, L’analyse des musiques electroacoustiques: modeles et propositions (L’Harmattan, Paris, January 2004). ISBN 2747556093

2003       ‘The Three Musics of Penmon Point’, pre-concert talk, Electric Spring, University of Huddersfield

1999       ‘Wales in the Cân’, paper given at CAWMS Conference, Bangor University

1999       ‘Cân: Ancestors and Descendants’, paper given at research seminar, Queen’s University Belfast

1998       ‘Francis Dhomont’s Novars’, Journal of New Music Research, eds. Denis Smalley & Lelio Camilleri (Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse, The Netherlands, June 1998), vol. xxvii, no. 1/2. ISSN 0929–8215

1998       Leader, New Notes (SPNM, London, 1998). ISSN 1350-8989

1997       ‘Analysing Francis Dhomont’s Novars’, Research Seminar, University of Huddersfield

1997       CD Reviews: ‘Presque rien’ (Luc Ferrari), ‘Kaleidos’ (Stéphane Roy), Contact!, the journal of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community, 11.1 (Montréal, Autumn 1997)

1996       CD Review: ‘L’ivresse de la vitesse’ (Paul Dolden), Contact!, the journal of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community, 10.1 (Montréal, Autumn 1996)

1993       ‘Music as Timbre’, Third Science and Music Conference, City University

1992       ‘The Undiscovery of Electroacoustic Music’, Sonic Arts Journal, ed. Pete Stollery, (Sonic Arts Network, London, 1992). ISSN 1355-7726

1990       ‘Orpheus: A Graphical Composition Environment’, Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Glasgow (San Fransisco, 1990)                  

1989       ‘Amplitude and Frequency Slope Profiles in Denis Smalley’s Pentes’, Electroacoustic Music, the Journal of the Electroacoustic Music Association of  Great Britain, ed. Douglas Doherty, (EMAS, London, 1989), vol. iv, no 1/2

1988       ‘Motion in Electroacoustic Music: Denis Smalley’s Vortex’, Electroacoustic Music, the Journal of the Electroacoustic Music Association of  Great Britain, ed. Douglas Doherty, (EMAS, London, 1989), vol. iii, nos. 3 and 4


2017 First Prize, Foundation Destellos Competition, Mar del Plata, Argentina (Skyline)

2016 First Prize, KLANG! Competition, Montpellier, France (Fern Hill)

Andrew Lewis, ‘Au-delà’. 2013. CD. empreintes DIGITALes, Montréal. IMED 13125.

Schattenklavier on Xenia Pestova, ‘Shadow Piano’. 2013. CD. innova Recordings, USA. innova 874.

Andrew Lewis, ‘Miroirs obscures’. 2013. Audio-DVD.empreintes DIGITALes, Montréal. IMED 0789.

Penmon Point on ‘V CIMESP’. 2004. CD. Studio PANaroma, São Paulo, Brazil.

Scherzo on ‘Legacies: Works from BEAST – Vol. 2’. 2003. CD. Sargasso, UK. SCD 28046

Ascent (revised version 1997) on ‘Cultures Electroniques 10’. 1998. CD. Le chant du monde, Bourges, France. LDC 278063/64

Cân on ‘Prix International Noroit-Léonce Petitot’. 1998. CD. INA-GRM, Paris. Musidisk 247 982

Ascent (original version 1994) on ‘Digital Playgrounds: ICMC 1995’. 1995. CD. ICMA, California. PRCD 1600

Sonnerie Aux Morts on ‘Project One’. 1987. Phonodisc. The Produkt Korps, UK. PKLP 010 and ‘Project 91’. 1991. CD. Concrete, UK. CPROD

Arrivals on ‘Cultures Electroniques 4’. 1989. CD. Le chant du monde, Bourges, France. LDC 278049/50

Time and Fire on ‘Cultures Electroniques 6’. 1991. CD. Le chant du monde, Bourges, France. LDC 278053/54