Speculations in Sound is an international research network dedicated to cutting-edge developments in new music. Created and hosted by the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM) at the University of Huddersfield, the network brings together practitioners and scholars from some of the world’s leading institutions for new music and related disciplines to probe, question, and experiment in and around the most challenging and uncertain elements of our field.
The network comprises bilateral staff exchanges between partner institutions as well as central gatherings that bring together individual researchers working on specific, interrelated issues and challenges. These latter events—which thus far have been held in Huddersfield and Belfast, with future events planned in Huddersfield and Stockholm for 2019–20—are designed to be intentionally open-ended, exploratory, and collaborative. These symposia aim to nurture new questions around conceptual disturbances and to facilitate a practice of speculative thought in new music:
‘What are the urgent questions for your practice?’ ‘What don’t you know but want to find out?’ ‘What might your work become?’
We offer a nurturing, shared space—a salon philosophique—for our network partners to engage in playful conversation to explore conditions of possibility for their speculations. The network is designed not as a place to present what we have already learned but rather as a place to explore what we don’t yet know or don’t yet understand, and to do so in a way that is collaborative, interactive, curious, and risky.
In addition to exchange events, collaborative partnerships, network symposia, and guest lectures, the Speculations in Sound network facilitates collaborative projects between network partners that lead to dissemination through CeReNeM’s publication platforms—including the HCR CD label and Divergence Press peer-reviewed journal—and CeReNeM’s Creative Industry Partners network, which includes some of the leading ensembles, festivals, record labels, software companies, and publishers in new music.
The network’s activities have included bilateral exchange partnerships and reciprocal funding agreements with music and music technology schools/departments from the following institutions: