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Nela Brown

Nela Brown is an award-winning Croatian musician, composer, sound designer, researcher and educator based in London, UK. She started playing piano at age of 7 and over the years enjoyed spending time being immersed in classical music, jazz and sonic arts studies alongside engineering and computer science. Besides writing music and playing in rock bands, in the past 10 years she also used coding, software, hardware and electronics to hack into toys, compose electroacoustic music and design sound for numerous award-winning national and international projects, from theatre productions and dance to mobile apps, interactive installations, films and documentaries.

Amongst other things, she composed music and designed sound for: ‘Synaesthesia’, a mobile app for collaborative music making, which won the Art Meets Science award at NEM 2012 Summit, Istanbul, Turkey; ‘Black Hole’, a Sci-fi art video which won the Best Sci-Fi Award at the Indie Short Film Festival at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA and ‘Hotel Medea’, a theatre performance trilogy, which won Prix Ars Electronica Award, Herald Angel Award and Edinburgh Festival Fringe Award 2011.

In 2011, Nela started G.Hack, an arts & technology lab for female researchers at the Queen Mary University of London. From 2011-2016, G.Hack exhibited interactive installations, participated in technology panels and organised technology workshops at conferences, symposiums and events nationally and internationally. For her work with G.Hack, she received a prestigious Highly Commended WISE Leader Award from HRH The Princess Royal in 2013. In 2014, she started Female Laptop Orchestra (FLO), with the aim of bringing together an eclectic group of female musicians, composers and sound artists who use technology as part of their artistic practice and want to explore co- located and distributed collaborative music making within different contexts and across different geographical locations.

FLO’s recent projects include: ’Sutra’, a multicultural multimedia collaboration with Zagreb Flute Ensemble, composer David Mastikosa and film director Anja Kavić, conceived as part of the Zagreb Flute Ensemble 2016 concert season, ‘Musical Time Machine’, fusing classical interpretation of the score with live electronics, improvisation, sound design and video; ’In Transglasphōnē’, a telematic multichannel performance presented as part of CMMR2016 conference (between London and São Paulo) and ALL2016 festival (between London and Cambridge), which involved 8 distinct audio streams of voices, melodies and sounds being sent in real time over a network, and diffused across 8 speakers at different geographical location for the audience to perceive a deterritorialized sense of place and respond to it creatively using Twitter; ‘FLO @ Klang 2015’, a telematic multichannel collaboration with six remotely located musicians and sound artists sending audio streams to a concert venue in Durham, UK, where the Artificial Intelligence agent (tracking sonic characteristics of the audio streams) mediated and diffused the performance across 8 speakers so members of FLO could respond to it using improvisation, live electronics and live coding.

Whilst at QMUL, Nela was teaching on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses from Graphical User Interfaces, Interaction Design and Sound Design to Sound Recording & Production Techniques. At the moment, she is teaching Creative Coding and Transmedia Storytelling at the University of Greenwich in London, organising FLO projects, working with a French movement director (Tonny A) on a telematic dance performance for the World Stage Design 2017 taking place in Taipei, Taiwan and preparing a collaboration with a colleague from the University of Melbourne (Roger Alsop) who's artistic practice and research include performing arts, interactive art, sound art, composition and video art.

She is a member of Association of Sound Designers (UK) and OISTAT Sound Design Group (worldwide) and often gets invited to speak at music technology events (Music Tech Fest, Sonar, Digital Shoreditch, WSD, Campus Party, Maker Faire etc.) on topics related to sound design for different media, collaborative music making and hack culture.

Nela Brown: http://nelabrown.blogspot.co.uk/
G.Hack: http://ghack.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/
Female Laptop Orchestra: https://femalelaptoporchestra.wordpress.com/