Biography

(Current CV as PDF here)

Alistair Riddell (b. Melbourne, Australia)


Studied Music and Computer Science at La Trobe University in Australia and holdsa PhD in composition from Princeton University in the USA where he studied with Paul Lansky, Jim Randall and Scott Burnham. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at La Trobe University (1995-96) and President of the Australasia Computer Music Association (1994-96). Riddell lectured at the ANU from 2002 teaching Sound Art and Physical Computing in the ANU School of Art until 2013.

Riddell has a history in Computer Music which expanded to interests in the wider application of digital technology to creative practice.
During the 1980s he developed a variety of composition and performance systems for acoustic pianos under computer control.
For this he was documented in the 1986 publication, 22 Contemporary Australian Composers (www.rainerlinz.net/NMA/22CAC/TOC.html).
Music from these systems has appeared on various cassettes released in Australia and the Anthology of Australian Music on CD collection.
A work, Fantasie, from 1983 was released on the Astral Voices CD, an Anthology of Australian music from the New Albion label in San Francisco.
Early in 1998, he released a CD, Sturm und Drang, which contains definitive material from all periods of development with the computer controlled instruments from 1982 to 1987.

After the piano project had run its course, Riddell turned to algorithmic control of signal processing techniques as applied to real-world sounds. This work has been performed in New York, Brazil, London, Delphi, Berlin and Hong Kong where a 1996, Legend, based on vocalist, Caroline Connors' voice, was included on the International Computer Music Conference CD. In 1997, he released the CD 42, which is a collection of works composed between 1990 and 1997.
Another work, Steam Land was performed at the ICMC in Beijing in October 1999.

In December 1999, he gave a keynote address at First Iteration: A Conference on Generative Systems in the Electronic Arts at Monash University. The paper was published in Leonardo in 2001.

From early 2003, he co-founded and developed software and hardware for the HyperSense Complex ensemble with Somaya Langley and Simon Burton. HyperSense is a trio of sensor based sound performers who control sound with their hands. In 2003/2004 HyperSense performed many times around Canberra, NSW and Victoria. Information on HyperSense can be found at arrowtheory.com/hypersense.

In July 2005, he was artistic liaison for and a performer in Liquid Architecture 6 Sound Art Festival at the National Gallery of Australia. This project was titled, The Consumers and the performance was called Edible Audience. www.nga.gov.au/LiquidArchitecture/bios.cfm

Later in November, he collaborated with Belinda Jessup and Lucie Verhelst in a Textile/Kinetic art project, FyberMotion, inspired by sound. The work was exhibited at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space in Manuka, Canberra. The FyberMotion project continues into 2007 with funding for a new interactive/kinetic installation.

In April 2007, Ross Bencina and Riddell received funding from the Music Board of the Australia Council for a New Media project, Past Lovers: Sonic Landscapes from Liminal Data Exchange to be realized as facilitation of public data access to a sonic performance system.

In late May in Taipei, during the s Media Infinity—Taiwan Australia New Media Arts Forum, Riddell gave a presentation at the symposium and a workshop on micro-controller technology in creative practice.

Riddell was also conference coordinator for the Australasian Computer Music Conference 2007 (ACMC'07) June 19th-21st at the ANU.

In mid November, Riddell was part of an academic review committee for the Republic Polytechnic in Singapore.

On November 28th, the Past Lovers performance took place at Horse Bazaar in Melbourne.

In December 2007, CNMA was disestablished and Riddell moved to the ANU School of Art at the ANU to teach Sound Art and Physical Computing until 2013.

During April/May 2008, Riddell visited Taiwan, Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai. The research subject concerned the evolution of digital sound and experimental art in Asia. Riddell met a range of academics and artists working with technology and sound. In December 2008, Riddell’s chapter, “Resonances in the Machine of Thought: Computational Processes in Experimental Music” was published in Experimental Music: Audio explorations in Australia. UNSW Press, edited by Gail Priest.

2009 saw the publication of Sounds in Translation, in which Riddell’s essay on the Liquid Architecture 6, Edible Audience performance titled, “Edible Audience: what about this gastronomic performance translated as sound art?” was included.

The second FyberMotion Project was exhibited at ANCA galler and then the ANU School of Art Gallery. (www.fybermotion.com.au)

In 2010, Riddell organized the concerts for the Australasian Computer Music Conference at ANU in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science. Scheduled for June 24th, 25th and 26th.

In 2011, collaboration with Tim Brook and Ruth Hingston resulted in a first exhibition at Craft ACT from March to May. It was later exhibited in 2012 exhibition at PhotoAccess in Manuka, Australian Capital Territory.

In late 2010, Riddell was approached by artsACT to discuss a revitalization of the Illumicube which is now located outside the Canberra Centre at the intersection of Cooyong and Ainslie Ave. After consideration of a number of options, a simple upgrade to the control system was undertaken in late 2011. The commecial and limited control system was replaced by a Linux based system with potential for more complex interactivity and environmental monitoring.

The Illumicube was reactivate on the 13th March 2012. It runs from 5pm to 5am nightly.

On returning to Melbourne, he has take a Studio space in Fitzroy and been working on a couple of light based projects. One for the Abbotsford Convent in May 2015 with Anja Freya and the other for E.S.S in Gertrude St, Fitzroy in early July 2015.The light control system for the Illumicube was also rebuilt in early August and is now back up and running.