Ian Stevenson is a specialist in the field of audible design with over twenty years of experience as an audio engineer, producer, artist and educator. He is currently senior lecturer in music and sound design at the University of Technology Sydney. Ian has worked in the theatre on West-end and touring productions in Europe and Australia, in broadcast on commercial and public radio and television, live sound and record production for contemporary classical and popular concert music, post-production, and in high-tech audio product management. His current research is in the areas of sound design, sound studies, soundscape analysis, and music and sound pedagogy.
- Australasian Computer Music Association
- Electroacoustic Music Studies Network
- Digital Humanities Research Group, Western Sydney University
- Audio Engineering Society (full member from 1987-2006)
- Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
- British Society of Aesthetics
- International Computer Music Association
- International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology
Can supervise: YES
- Sound design
- Sound studies
- Digital music systems and instrument design
- Soundscape analysis
- Sound recording
- Music and sound pedagogy
Current Higher Degree Supervision
- Stephane Elmosnino PhD candidate "Mental representation in critical listening training" (principal supervisor)
- Alex White PhD candidate "Generative composition with modular syhthesisers"
- Rowan Holmes DCA candidate "melodiÆ incognita: exploring the Bohlen-Pierce Scale" (principal supervisor)
Higher Degree Graduates
- Sharon Williams PhD "Public Drum Project" 2018 (principal supervisor)
- Michelle Stead PhD "Learning To Listen The Construction of Listening in Electroacoustic Music Discourse" 2017 (co-supervision)
- Petar Jovanov DCA "A Cross-Cultural and Multimedia Fractured Macedonian-Australian Compositional Voice" 2014 (co-supervision)
- Adrian Barr PhD "The Transcendent Experience in Experimental Popular Music Performance" 2013 (co-supervision)
- Daniel Portelli MA "Breath through Water: Personal Cross-Cultural and Multimedia Processes Flowing Towards Dao in Composition" 2013 (co-supervision)
- Wade Marynowski DCA "An Exploration of the Uncanny in Autonomous Artworks" 2010 (co-supervision)
- Jon Drummond PhD "Interactive Electroacoustics" 2008 (co-supervision)
- 2019 PhD MARCS Institute WSU
- 2019 PhD Edith Cowan University
- 2017 DCA University of Technology Sydney
Blom, D, Bennett, D & Stevenson, I 2020, 'Developing a Framework for the Analysis of Program Notes Written for Contemporary Classical Music Concerts', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 11, pp. 1-13.View/Download from: Publisher's site
At classical music concerts, a program note is the usual medium for communicating information about the music to be heard and performed. Although there may be crossover of information, the program note is distinct from the CD cover note, from notes contained within a musical score note, and from a composer's directions for performers. With a focus on contemporary classical works in the Australian context, the researchers' aim in this study was to develop and test an analytical frame of informational categories with which to examine program note content. Three extant studies – one scientific, one phenomenological and one semiotic – informed the development of an initial theoretical framework for program note analysis. This was tested through the analysis of program notes (n = 30) from each of three writer cohorts: composers, professional writers, and higher education students. The analytical frame revealed different emphases of information categories among the three program note writer groups, with a more sophisticated combination of categories used by the professional writers and composers. This has implications for the teaching of program note writing in tertiary performance institutions, encouraging diversity of student content without extinguishing personal insights.
Goodall, J & Stevenson, I 2017, 'Staging De Quincey: Soundscape and Literary Language in Tess De Quincey's Ghost Quarters', About Performance, vol. 14/15, pp. 139-153.
A door opens partially, and a hand appears, then a face, blurred in the half-light. The advancing figure makes its entrance with a slow fluidity that suggests ectoplasm, and in fact this is not a physical entity. It hovers in space for a few seconds, semitransparent, before dematerialising, along with the traces of the portal through which it just passed. Then, as the light grows and the eye discovers more of the surrounding space, another figure is revealed, with the same aura of pale hair surrounding the upturned face-but this is a gravity-bound presence, and as it rises from the floor, its movements are a confusion of impulses. It is quite literally finding its feet
Blom, D, Bennett, D & Stevenson, I 2016, 'The Composer's Program Note for Newly Written Classical Music: Content and Intentions', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 17.
Stevenson, I 2014, 'De Quincey's Acoustemology', SoundEffects: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Sound and Sound Experience, vol. 4, pp. 131-143.
Stevenson, I 2020, 'Disciplinary perspectives on music performance through the lens of assessment criteria' in Encarnacao, J & Blom, D (eds), Teaching and Evaluating Music Performance at University Beyond the Conservatory Model, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 199-210.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In previous work (Blom, Stevenson and Encarnacao 2015), the author and colleagues reviewed literature relevant to assessing music performance processes using criteria and standards-based rubrics. In that work they considered their own application of selected rubrics in a number of undergraduate music performance subjects. They also compared their experience of the use of assessment rubrics to other assessment methods discussed in the literature. In this brief chapter the specific criteria used to assess a diverse range of learning outcomes across an undergraduate music program are considered. This collection
of criteria provides a unique overview of the characteristic values associated with the conception of music within a music training institution. Standards descriptors, when analysed using content analysis methods, also provide a perspective on concepts associated with themes such as academic literacy and musicianship. The discourse embedded in these rubrics can provide insight into the musical conceptions of both their authors and of their sub-disciplinary areas of performance, composition, music technology and musicology. This chapter takes the evaluation of the assessment rubric in music performance beyond its
effectiveness as a tool for learning and teaching and considers it as a reflection of the unique matrix that defines "the musical" within a specific institutional context.
Stevenson, I 2020, 'Performativity and interactivity Pre-paradigmatic performance' in Encarnacao, J & Blom, D (eds), Teaching and Evaluating Music Performance at University Beyond the Conservatory Model, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 154-166.
This chapter outlines attempts to develop an integrated conceptual and pedagogical framework for learning and making electronic music in an undergraduate music program. It maps practical responses to the problems that have arisen during the development and delivery of a second-year undergraduate subject in music technology entitled Machine Musicianship. It also addresses the notion of digital literacy as relevant to electronic music performance. The problems that define such an undertaking include but are not limited to the following: how to select appropriate pedagogical methods relevant to engaging "digital native" learners; how to orient students towards an experimental approach to music making where the lines between performer, composer and instrument builder are blurred; how to assess diverse musical outcomes and approaches where the results may not conform to conventional musical paradigms; how to encourage risk taking but value skills exploited in presenting work of quality; how to encourage concept-driven work that develops the artist's independent voice; how to express a set of explicit and inclusive musical values that avoids invoking the musical prejudices of assessors and that are not opaque to students.
A response, in part, to these questions in the context of the Machine Musicianship subject is encapsulated in the problematic of performativity and interactivity, a pair or series of pre-paradigmatic concepts that are explored, developed and evaluated in the design of the subject's content, delivery and assessment. The notion of the series as a concept or signifier in a chain of reference or sense is developed by Gilles Deleuze in the book Logic of Sense (2004, 36–41). This tool of thought, linked to the idea of the problematic, is used to encourage students to explore the concepts of performativity and interactivity in the understanding that the terms lack fixed definitions and require them to introduce and extend their own knowledge, within the lear...
Stevenson, I & Blom, D 2020, 'The iPad Orkestra ensemble Creative and collaborative learning' in Encarnacao, J & Blom, D (eds), Teaching and Evaluating Music Performance at University Beyond the Conservatory Model, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 65-80.
This chapter explores self-directed creative and collaborative discovery as a mode of engaging the digital native (Prensky 2001) in new and effective learning experiences. This approach arises in response to the emerging landscape of electronic music practices surrounding wireless tablet devices and their associated software "ecosystems" (Messerschmitt and Szyperski 2003). Some technologists teaching today immigrated early to the digital world and as a result face challenges in assimilating their learning experiences with those of their students. Embracing the less structured and rapidly evolving world of low-cost computing devices and even lower-cost software instruments requires rethinking the essential skills needed by the contemporary musician to support their ongoing evaluation and creative use of such resources. This chapter considers student feedback from an initial experiment in self-directed creative and collaborative discovery using iPads as a mode of engaging music students in group electronic music-making practices. It examines the metalearning (Biggs 1985) strategies adopted by the digital native and in doing so assesses the necessary re-adjustment of pedagogical assumptions required, and resources available, for successful results in this new and evolving context.
Stevenson, I, Encarnacao, J & McPhee, E 2020, 'Expanded practice Facilitating the integration of visual media, theatricality and sound technology into music performance' in Encarnacao, J & Blom, D (eds), Teaching and Evaluating Music Performance at University Beyond the Conservatory Model, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 167-179.
The turn away from, or expansion of the traditional conservatory model of university music performance education (Don, Garvey, and Sadeghpour 2009: 81) necessitates the broadest possible musical frame of reference.
One approach is to build upon traditional notions of musicality by embracing sound technologies and other extra-musical elements such as video and theatricality. These approaches are particularly relevant to a 21st century world where a holistic artistic vision and flexibility in the delivery of musical ideas can be key to the pitching, delivery and reception of creative projects. They also invite the student to imagine, beyond their individual instrumental abilities, work that engages an audience in three-dimensional, embodied and immersive spaces. This chapter suggests teaching strategies that enhance the facilitation of such approaches to performance as well as thinking through the distinct pedagogical needs of students presenting this kind of work for feedback and examination. The notion of expanded practice also dovetails into the contemporary reality of portfolio careers, where collaboration across disciplines can be crucial (Gaunt and Westerlund 2013: 2). These skills also translate to teaching music at all levels, from the school musical to 21st century conceptions of the networked classroom (Savage 2005)
Stevenson, I 2016, 'Schaeffer's Sound Effects' in Macarthur, S, Lochhead, J & Shaw, J (eds), Music's Immanent Future: The Deleuzian Turn in Music Studies, Routledge, pp. 102-117.
Blom, D, Stevenson, I & Encarnacao, J 2015, 'Assessing Music Performance Process and Outcome Through a Rubric: Ways and Means' in Lebler, D, Carey, G & Harrison, SD (eds), Assessment in Music Education: from Policy to Practice, Springer International Publishing, pp. 125-139.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Blom, D & Stevenson, I 2019, 'Inside the semi-autonomous iPad (tablet) ensemble', Program of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2019, International Symposium on Performance Science, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, pp. 16-16.
This empirical paper aims to examine self-directed creative and collaborative discovery in semi-autonomous electronic musical ensembles in the context of tertiary-level music performance training from a student's perspective. It also examines the particularity of iPad or tablet technology and their associated software ecosystems in the context of electronic music-making in its impact on creativity, collaboration, motivation, identity, musical outcomes and the processes of learning.
Stevenson, I 2016, 'Soundscape analysis for effective sound design in commercial environments', Sonic Environments Australasian Computer Music Conference, Sonic Environments Australasian Computer Music Conference, Australasian Computer Music Association, Brisbane, pp. 69-74.
Stevenson, I 1970, 'Performativity and Interactivity: Concepts for Framing the Pedagogy of Making', Make - Australasian Computer Music Conference, Australasian Computer Music Conference, Australasian Computer Music Association, Sydney, pp. 108-111.
Stevenson, I, Blom, D & Encarnacao, J 2012, 'The assessment rubric as institutional culture: Evaluating creative music processes and outcomes at undergraduate level', Educating Professional Musicians in a Global Context, 19th International Seminar of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician (CEPROM) International Society for Music Education, 19th International Seminar of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician International Society for Music Education, Athens, pp. 15-20.
Paine, G, Stevenson, I & Pearce, A 1970, 'The Thummer Mapping Project (ThuMP)', New Interfaces for Musical Expression, New Interfaces for Musical Expression, New York City, pp. 70-77.
Paine, G & Stevenson, I 2005, 'The Thummer Mapping Project – ThuMP', 2005 Australasian Computer Music Conference, Australasian Computer Music Association.
Hewitt, D & Stevenson, I 2003, 'Emic-Extended Mic-stand Interface Controller', New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, NIME, Montreal.
Stevenson, I 2002, 'Spatialisation, Method and Madness Learning from Commercial Systems', Australasian Computer Music Conference 2002, Australasian Computer Music Association.
Stevenson, I 2000, 'Diffusion - Realisation, Evaluation and Analysis', Australasian Computer Music Conference, Australasian Computer Music Association.
Stevenson, I, 'Design Issues for New Performance Systems', 2005 Australasian Computer Music Conference, Australasian Computer Music Association.
Stevenson, I & Blom, D 2020, 'Playing with Fire: New Australian music for electroacoustics and acoustic piano', Playing with Fire: New Australian music for electroacoustic and acoustic piano, Wirripang Media Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Playing with Fire is a commercially released CD of new Australian music for piano and electroacoustics co-produced and recorded by Stevenson and distributed by Wirripang Media.