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Adam Melvin

Adam Melvin

Lecturer in Popular and Contemporary Music

Admissions Co-ordinator (Music)

School of Creative Arts
University of Ulster
Northland Road

Londonderry BT48 7JL
Work: (028) 716-75566


  1. PhD, Royal Academy of Music, London (Composing an Installation: Visual Processes in Musical Composition) 2010
  2. MMus in Composition, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, 2000
  3. BMus, Queens University, Belfast, 1999


Lecturer in Popular and Contemporary Music


BMus Hons Music (Music)
Module Co-ordinator - Composition and Orchestration 1 Module Co-ordinator - Musicology 1 Module Co-ordinator - Composition and Orchestration 2 Module Co-ordinator - Musicology 4 Module Co-ordinator - African-American Popular Music
MMus Master of Music (Music)
Lecturer/Supervisor - Specialism 1 Supervisor - Minor Project 2: Music Supervisor - Minor Project 1: Music Supervisor - Specialism 2
BSc Hons Creative Technologies (CT)
Module Co-ordinator - Music and Moving Image


Adam Melvin is a composer and saxophonist. Born in Bury, Greater Manchester, he studied music at Queens University, Belfast where he specialised in composition under Piers Hellawell and performance. He went on to study composition with Malcolm Singer at the Guildhall School and later with Simon Bainbridge at the Royal Academy of Music where he was appointed Manson Fellow in composition (2005/6).


He received his first commission in 2001 to co-compose a movement for the late Luciano Berio’s Art of Fugue project. Since then, his work has received numerous performances throughout the UK and Ireland, mainland Europe, the USA and Japan and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Recent commissions include pieces for the London City Showcase, Cheltenham Festival, London Jazz Festival and the Verbal Arts Centre, Derry. A great deal of his practice has involved collaborative work with the visual arts, including projects for Glasgow’s Mackintosh Gallery, SPNM’s Sound Source series and CESTA in the Czech Republic.


Adam has worked extensively as a workshop leader and animateur most notably as resident musician at the Yehudi Menuhin School 2006/7. As a performer he has appeared at the South American Computer Music Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Sonorities Festival, Belfast and more recently at Imagine Create, Derry and MANTIS, Manchester.


Creative Output (highlights):

By-Product (saxophone, bass clarinet, electronics and multiscreen video installation) Performed by Duo X  at UC Berkley, California and Mondavi Center, UC Davis, California (April 2009) and as part of Urban Doldrums at Badkuyp Karnatic Lab, Amsterdam, Theater Kikker, Utrecht, Tokyo Wonder Site, Hongo, Japan (Jan/Feb 2010)

Speak (voice, saxophone, electronics and video installation) – Performed by Sarah Dacey and Adam Melvin at Imagine Create, Derry April 2009 and Sassoon Gallery, Peckham Feb 2009.

Ripples and Bright Sparks (Northumbrian pipes, melodeon, fiddle, sitar & tablas/percussion) commissioned for SPNM Folk From Here project. Performed by Kuljit Bhamra/Kathryn Tickell band, York University, RNCM, Manchester – May 8th 2008 Spitalfields Festival, Wilton’s Music Hall, Cheltenham Festival, May – July 2008

Composer’s Talks:

University of Manchester, Feb 2009

Conference Papers:

‘Sonic Motifs, Structure and Identity in Steve McQueen’s Hunger, Cinesonika, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, November 2010.

‘Inhabiting the Musical Work: Reading Bainbridge’s Music Space Reflection’. Society for Musicology in Ireland annual conference, University of Ulster, May 2010. International Symposium on Experimental Music, Coventry University September 2010

‘Revealing the Virtual Band: Gorillaz and the Animation/Reanimation of the Rock Concert’. Music and Moving Image Conference, NYU Steinhardt, New York, May 2009

‘The Screen as Performer: Perspectives on Composing with Moving Image for the Concert Environment’. Music and Moving Image Conference, NYU Steinhardt, New York, May 2008. Institute of Musical Research, Sound, Music and the Moving Image Conference, London, September 2007.

Research Interests:

Collaborative and Crossdisciplinary practice - Site-specific Composition - Music and Moving Image/Film Music - Contemporary Music – Popular Music - Musical Aesthetics

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