Timothy Cooper – composer/live electronics

What do you do?

I’m a composer and I lecture at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In my composing practice I have been working on developing my work improvising with live electronics performing live on laptop. I also work as a sound engineer doing live sound and recording ensembles.

What excites you musically?

Working with other musicians and artists. I find that my own work and my practice really benefits from exploring ideas in collaboration with artists and performers. The piece I’ve made for tonight’s concert is a great example. So much of the most exciting material grew out of improvisations that the group performed in recording sessions that I then structures and re-worked into the final form.

What do you have coming up next?

Lucia and I are planning to collaborate on some improvisation work and a new piece that uses interactive electronics that respond directly to her playing.

Laszlo asks Tim – What made you turn to past musical practices, and how do they inspire you in creating something new?

I’ve loved early music much longer than I’ve loved contemporary music. I was a brass player but took up the recorder as a way of playing baroque and renaissance music. I think the approach to sound, gesture and playfulness are really explicit in early music and I love that. In my new piece it was the dark depths of melancholic despair that really caught my imagination.

Lucia asks Tim – What’s your favourite piece of tech and why?

This is really hard; I’m actually not a big tech geek! I would answer equally microphones and loudspeakers. Microphones allow me to ‘zoom in’ on sounds and to reveal the small details within. Loudspeakers allow me to play these back so I can make decisions about how to work with those sounds. Between them these give me access to sound to create the illusory worlds I make in the electroacoustic studio.