Tom Barnes chosen for Embedded_Innovate with ROLI

Tom Barnes
12th May 2016
ROLI offices
Produced by: 
Sound and Music

Tom Barnes has been selected to take part in our pilot version of Embedded_Innovate with London-based technology company, ROLI.

Tom will work with ROLI over the next twelve months, immersing himself in all things Seaboard -  a radically new musical instrument that reimagines the piano keyboard as a soft, continuous, highly expressive surface. 

This project is a pilot version of a new strand of Sound and Music’s well established creative development programme, Embedded. In this trial of Embedded­_Innovate, the new partnership will test what it is like having a composer in residence within a commercial organisation and will explore the benefits and new opportunities that could arise from such a partnership.

Meet Tom!

What drew you to apply for this Embedded_Innovate project?

The support that this residency offered struck me as unique opportunity for an aspiring composer such as myself to develop their own practice in the most supportive environment imaginable. The Embedded scheme is the perfect platform to showcase your work and gives composers the best chance to succeed in what is an incredibly competitive and challenging industry. 

What is it about the Seaboard that excites you?

Having used the Seaboard on a number of projects to date, I never fail to be inspired by how intuitive and expressive it is. The Seaboard is keyboard for the 21st century, challenging many of the limitations of the standard electric piano. Through being able to transmit large amounts information via a single touch it is possible to instantly create effects that would normally take a long time through conventional programming techniques. The Seaboard asks creators to reimagine and re-contextualise our current understanding of what the keyboard is and I look forward to exploring its potential as an instrument. 

How do you see working with ROLI developing your practice in theatre?

The Seaboard has allowed me to realise musical ideas and sounds that I was previously unable to and offers an exciting opportunity to develop my own sound within the theatre, and beyond. The versatility of the instrument could potentially revolutionise the way we use keyboards in the orchestra pit, opening up exciting opportunities for composers and orchestrators working in theatre. 

I am extremely grateful to be part of the Sound and Music Embedded scheme with ROLI. I’ve found the ROLI Seaboard an immensely inspiring instrument to work with, so being given the opportunity to work closely with ROLI is a dream come true. The residency offers the perfect environment to realise my musical ambitions. I am extremely excited about the next twelve months and I intend to take full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Follow Tom on his website or Twitter.

In brief...

Tom Barnes is a London-based musical director and composer, working in theatre and film. He is studying Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music, generously supported by the Clifton Parker Award. Tom is also the recipient of a UK BAFTA Scholarship, and is currently mentored by musical supervisor Maggie Rodford of Air Edel Studios.

Tom has collaborated with a number of online filmmakers and has enjoys working across a broad range of genres and styles. Most recently Tom scored short films HACKS (2016) and FRIEND LIKE ME (2016) as part of New Form Digital’s Incubator Series, an online pilot program funded and mentored by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Tom scored RECURRENCE (2014) by Matthew Amys, which won Best Short Film at 2014 Buffer Festival in Toronto. 

Tom is resident composer with Grassroots Theatre Shakespeare, composing for TWELFTH NIGHT (2016) and OTHELLO (2013) at the Leicester Square Theatre. Tom is also resident composer and musical director of Changeling Theatre, most recently for their upcoming 2016 Summer Tour of ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL and SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER. Tom assisted Academy-nominated composer Gary Yershon for THE BROKEN HEART at RADA.   

Tom is incredibly honoured to be an Embedded Composer in Residence and looks forward to collaborating with ROLI over the coming twelve months. 

About ROLI 

ROLI is a London-based technology company that is creating a more connected music ecosystem. The award-winning Seaboard RISE and Seaboard GRAND are redefining how expressive a musical instrument can be. NOISE, the free music-making app, turns the iPhone into a powerful handheld instrument. New dimensions of musical expression are opening through Equator, ROLI’s groundbreaking sound engine. As the leading C++ framework for audio, JUCE is making music applications run faster in real time. And is building a new community for music collaboration by letting artists share their projects on an open social platform. Through hardware, software, and social products, ROLI is making a new chain of tools for contemporary music creation. 

About Embedded 

Embedded is a Sound and Music composer and creative-artist development programme. Funded by The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the PRS for Music FoundationEmbedded places a selection of composers from a range of disciplines into extended relationships with leading national arts organisations.

Embedded_Innovate is a pilot off-shoot of this programme, testing what it is like having a composer in residence for a commercial organisation and will explore the benefits and new opportunities that could arise from such a partnership.

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