Dr Rob Mackay

Senior Lecturer in Music


Rob Mackay is an award-winning composer, sound artist and performer. Recent projects have moved towards a cross-disciplinary approach, including geology, soundscape ecology, theatre, audiovisual installation work and human-computer interaction. Rob's work has been performed in 18 countries, on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 1 and Radio France, and a number of his pieces have received international awards. He is director of HEARO (Hull Electroacoustic Resonance Orchestra), editor for Interference, a journal of audio cultures, and has released several CDs and vinyl records. More information is available at his website. Collaborated with a number of poets, including Martin Daws (Young People's Poet Laureate for Wales, 2013-2015) and John Wedgwood Clarke (for the Arts Council-funded Dictionary of Stone and Sea Swim with Lara Goodband, and Off Shore at Hull's Maritime Museum and Ferens Gallery with Invisible Dust). Collaborated with percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie on the Natural England-funded Ruskin Rocks project, led by a team of scientists and musicians at the University of Leeds who created two stone instruments (lithophones). Also created a Jurassic soundscape for Scarborough's Rotunda museum. Reviewer for numerous international conferences, including ICMC (International Computer Music Conference), NIME (New Instruments for Musical Expression), DHRN (Digital Humanities Research Network), and journals (Organised Sound, Cambridge University Press) and is editor for Interference, a Journal of Audio Cultures. Played, written and produced in a number of bands including the Welsh hip-hop collective Tystion with whom he collaborated alongside John Cale on the film A Beautiful Mistake (Film 4), as well as recording three John Peel sessions on BBC Radio 1 and supporting PJ Harvey. The band have a chapter devoted to them in Sarah Hill's book 'Blerwytirhwng?' The Place of Welsh Pop Music (Ashgate 2007). Session work for Super Furry Animals producer Gorwel Owen, songwriter Euros Childs, and hip-hop producer Kista. Currently enjoying playing in the Welsh Afro-tropical collective Drymbago, having supported Quantic and Tony Allen.


Undergraduate: - Electronic Composition - Composing for Spaces and Places - Studio Production 2 - Special Study (supervision) - Individual Project (supervision) Postgraduate: - Technical Skills 1 (supervision) - Technical Skills 2 (supervision) - Music Studies 1 (supervision) - Music Studies 2 (supervision) - Special Study (supervision)

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Digital Artefact


Mackay, R. Equanimity

Strata Sequence

Mackay, R. Strata Sequence


Mackay, R. Flow

Sounds of Sea Swim

Mackay, R. Sounds of Sea Swim

Postgraduate supervision

- Sonic art - Sound art - Electroacoustic composition - Sound and place - Acoustic ecology - Ecoacoustics - Interactive technology - Audiovisual interaction Completed PhDs - Alo Allik, PhD by Composition, Developing a multimodal autonomous improvisation system (supported by a University of Hull 80th Anniversary Scholarship) - Nick Del Nero, PhD by Composition, The relationship between technology and society (supported by an AHRC scholarship) Current PhD supervisions - Moss Freed, PhD by Composition, Structured improvisation and graphic scores (supported by a NECAH scholarship in partnership with the University of Huddersfield). Co-supervisor: Prof Pierre Alexandre Tremblay. - Anthony Boorer, PhD by Composition, The Electroacoustic Trombone: An examination of trombone technique through augmented electroacoustic sound design in an original composition portfolio (supported by a NECAH scholarship in partnership with the University of Huddersfield). Co-supervisor: Dr Mark Bokowiec. - Tariq Emam, PhD by Composition, The Yorkshire Soundscape Project (supported by a University of Hull Interdisciplinary Scholarship). Co-supervisor: Dr Matt Barnard - Brett Gordon, PhD by Composition, Human and Computer Interactions in Electroacoustic Music (supported by a University of Hull scholarship). Co-supervisor: Dr Mark Slater. - Sam Eaton, PhD by Composition, Non-linear musical form explored through site-specific audiovisual installations. Co-supervisor: Dr Matt Barnard.