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Sound Design

Frances Allen

Frances Allen is a musician and composer whose work links data and visual stimuli. Her works are aimed at enabling the learning of audio-visual concepts, including musical ones, without prior knowledge or formal training.

Since earning her Bachelor's degree in Music Performance and Composition at the University of Edinburgh, Frances has taught students and organised music workshops with young people living in the Scottish Central Belt. This influences her pedagogical approach and informs a desire to create works that aid in communicating musical ideas through visual and interactive means.

Frances' work has been presented and performed at the IRCAM Forum, Paris, 2021 and at IKLECTIC, London, in 2020. She shall be premiering her piece 'Musical Underground' at IKLECTIC on the 30th of June 2021.

Since beginning postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art, Frances has sought to develop a compositional style using data and visual stimuli in conjunction to communicate complex audio-visual ideas. She prioritises the use of animation and coding as a means of enhancing works and has focused on connecting kinaesthetic interaction with sound. Experimenting with physical computing has led to an interrogation of how, through play, we can begin to interact with music and sound more instinctively, with a focus on designing multi-sensory systems for children to interact with.

Musical Underground Mp4.

Musical Underground was created by compiling data sourced from TFL's Underground maps. Sea level, travel zones, station and platform depth, as well as interchanges and walking distances between individual stations, were all used to assign pitches and note lengths. The result is a musical interpretation of London’s intricate Underground system.

(For the full album please see my website or Soundcloud as linked in bio)




Rubik's Cube Mp4.

This sound art piece reimagines the configurations of a Rubik’s Cube through an audio-visual treatment of its mechanism. By distorting and resolving itself through the movements of its faces, the reimagined puzzle provides harmonic discord and resolution in turn. To create the work, each colour of the cube are assigned a pitch and each face an octave range. The frequencies of colours on a face through each sequence are then charted to create a rotating soundscape.




Pitch Blox Logo

Throughout her final year, Frances has been developing a system that enables musical learning through physically interacting with sound and colour. Taking inspiration from methods involving aural pedagogy, this project promotes the instilling of musical knowledge through exploration, experimentation and play.  

(This project is currently undergoing a patent application process so cannot be fully displayed)

Dewar Arts Award

The Cross Trust

Bucher-Fraser Scholarship, University of Edinburgh (ECA)