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About City

Erik Nyström

PhD student

Centre for Music Studies

E: e.nystrom@btinternet.com

Thesis title: Textural spatiality, structure and process in acousmatic music

Supervisor: Professor Denis Smalley

Overview and research interests

Through composition, analysis, and theory, the project develops an aesthetic approach to acousmatic music, which emphasises transformational processes of spatiality and materiality in texture. Particular attention is devoted to developing principles and terminology pertinent to the meaningful treatment of texture in multichannel composition formats.

The thesis also explores the role of visual imagination in listening, including the introduction of the concept of textons, adopted from neuroscientist Bela Julesz' research on visual texture perception. Further topics include entropy and organisation in texture, motion typology, spectromorphological shaping in texture, and higher-level textural topography.

  • Aesthetics of spatiality and textural processes in electroacoustic music
  • Approaches to multichannel composition formats
  • Musical structures in space and time
  • Visual thinking and listening
  • Embodied meaning and listening
  • Musical theory and terminology
  • Philosophical and scientific perspectives on music

Erik has an MA Electroacoustic Composition from City University London and a BA (Hons.) from Recording Arts, SAE London.


Conference papers

Prizes and mentions

  • Prix du Public (for Elemental Chemistry), Metamorphoses International Competition in Acosumatic Composition, Belgium, 2010
  • Mercer's Music Prize for Outstanding Achievement, City University London, 2010
  • Honourable Mention (for Elemental Chemistry), Musica Viva Electroacoustic Composition Competition, Portugal, 2010


Erik is a part-time lecturer in contemporary music history and aesthetics, and electroacoustic composition, at SAE London.