The decibel new music ensemble: artistic research in experimental music at the academy

Document Type

Book Chapter


Lexington Books


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)




Hope, C. (2017). The decibel new music ensemble: artistic research in experimental music at the academy. In Burke, R., & Onsman, A. (Eds.), Perspectives on artistic research in music. (pp. 143-155). Lanham: Lexington Books. Available here


The Decibel new music ensemble has quickly become a unique and productive model for research in the academic context of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, a school at Edith Cowan University, having created the highest number of research outputs in the Faculty of Arts and Education in 2013. The group has commissioned, workshopped, performed, recorded, and toured over one hundred new Australian works, as well as reworked extant international works for modern performance. As a direct result of the artistic processes involved in these outcomes, members of the six-piece ensemble also publish in journals and conference proceedings about the work. This chapter examines Decibel as an example of how the vital links between practice and writing, curating and programming, technological development and creativity, students and staff, can be engaged with as research outputs. It discusses the rich way non-traditional research methods can feed and interact with more traditional written research, and provides an example of an approach for negotiating research measurement systems in the academy for practicing musicians.

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