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Phil Durrant

Associate Lecturer

Faculty of Creative Industries, Architecture and Engineering


Phil Durrant is an experimental music composer/sound designer and a performer on laptop and violin. He studied violin and piano at the London College of Music and ‘Sonic Arts’ at postgraduate level at the University of East London.

As a performer on laptop and violin, Durrant has worked with a number of leading ‘free improvising musicians’ all over Europe as well as USA and Canada, on music festivals and concert tours. His work with John Russell and Butcher is widely regarded as a pivotal in the creation of the ‘group voice approach’ style of collective group improvisation. He currently performs with the international electronic chamber orchestra, MIMIEO and his own group, Trio Sowari. Durrant has had over 60 albums released featuring group and solo improvisations.

As a digital music composer, Durrant was part of the UK ‘House Music’ and ‘Breakbeat’ scene in the 1990s and worked with innovators, Fabio and Grooverider and Shut Up And Dance. Since then, Durrant has explored a more experimental style of composition and has worked with a number of leading Contemporary Dance choreographers including Gill Clarke and Susanne Thomas. This work is often ‘site specific’ and venues have included Tate St. Ives, The Royal Opera House, and the South Bank Centre, amongst others.

Much of Durrant’s sound design is created with his own virtual instruments and effects built with Reaktor software. In addition, he is recognized as an expert on Maschine and Komplete 10 and often works as a freelancer for Native Instruments.

Current research is centered on the creation of hardware/software ‘assemblages’, where the performer has immediate, second by second control over software synths/samplers and effects and is able react to the twists and turns of a live improvised performance. Durrant is building patches on Lemur and MIDI Designer Pro on an iPad and combining these with hardware controllers to manipulate parameters on Reaktor and also Ableton Live.

Taught courses

Further information

Recent publications

2015 - 'Conceits,' John Russell/Phil Durrant/John Butcher, Emanem 5036.


2013 - 'Variable,' Formations John Tilbury/Radu Malfaltti/Phil Durrant/ and others, Another Timbre at67.