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Dr Gascia Ouzounian

Dr. Gascia Ouzounian - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB
Gascia Ouzounian

Dr Gascia Ouzounian

Senior Lecturer

Direct phone: +44 (0)28 9097 5203

For media contact email
or call +44(0)2890 973091.


Address: Music Building, Queen's University Belfast, BT7 1NN

Key Roles 
Bachelor of Music Pathway Convener

Ongoing Research Projects
Recomposing the City: Sonic Art & Urban Architectures. An interdisciplinary research group.
Optophono. An interactive music and sound art label.
Funded research
'Hearing Trouble: Sound Art in Post-Conflict Cities'. Arts & Humanities Research Council. 2015-2018. £246k
'Pet Sounds: Creating Music Using Social Media.' Arts & Humanities Research Council. 2015-2016. £50k
Achievements and Distinctions
Gascia Ouzounian's work is focused upon experimental traditions in music and sound art after 1950. Her writings appear in numerous peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes including Music, Sound & Space (ed. Born, Cambridge University Press). Particular areas of interest include sound installation art, site-specific sound, spatial sound, and the intersection of experimental music, visual art, and sound art. With architect Dr Sarah Lappin, Gascia co-leads the research group Recomposing the City: Sonic Art & Urban Architectures. In 2013 she founded Optophono, a label for interactive music and sound art. 
As a violinist Gascia has performed internationally with ensembles that have included Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Theatre of Eternal Music Strings Ensemble, Hutchins Consort, and Sinfonia Toronto. She is a founding member of Bird On A Wire, Biomuse Trio, Pale Gates of Sunrise and Hard Rain Ensemble. Her recent projects include creating two large-scale compositions that are experienced overnight: EDEN EDEN EDEN with filmmaker Chloé Griffin, and Music for Sleeping & Waking Minds, with the Biomuse Trio and R. Luke DuBois. In the latter, an ensemble generates an audiovisual environment through an EEG interface while sleeping and awakening over the course of one night. This work was featured at World Science Festival/Bio-Rhythm Festival, Green Man Festival, BEAM Festival, and NIME 2012. 
Gascia holds degrees in music technologies and performance from McGill University, where she was a student of violinist Denise Lupien, and a PhD in critical studies/experimental practices in music from the University of California, San Diego, where she was a University Humanities Fellow. She leads the performance studies programme in the School of Creative Arts at Queen's, where she teaches performance, contemporary music, and experimental music and sound art.

Selected Publications  

Ouzounian G. (forthcoming 2015). 'Poème électronique' in Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.

Ouzounian, G (forthcoming 2015). 'Music made of sound set free: Sound and Space in the work of Edwin van der Heide'. Edwin van der Heide (monograph). Rotterdam: V2.

Ouzounian, G and Lappin, S. (2014). 'Soundspace: A Manifesto.' Journal of Architecture & Culture 2(3): 305-316.

Ouzounian, G. 2014. ‘Acoustic Mapping: Notes from the Interface’ in The Acoustic City (eds. Matthew Gandy and Benny Nilsen). Berlin: Jovis.

Lyon, E., Knapp, R. B., and Ouzounian, G. 'Mapping in Computer Chamber Music: A Case Study'. Computer Music Journal

Ouzounian, G. 2014. ‘Sound Art’, Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. Oxford University Press.

Ouzounian G and Papalexandri-Alexandri M. 2014. 'Correspondences'. Current Musicology, special issue on Experimental Writing on Music, ed. D. Gutkin. 

Ouzounian, G (2013). 'Recomposing the City: A Survey of Recent Sound Art in Belfast'. Leonardo Music Journal. LMJ 23: 47-54. Free download available.


Ouzounian G. (2011) 'The Uncertainty of Experience: On George Brecht's Event Scores'. Journal of Visual Culture 10(2): 198-211. 

Ouzounian, G. (2010). 'Interview with Paul DeMarinis'. Computer Music Journal 34(4): 10-21.

Ouzounian, G. (2010). 'The Luminous Ear: An Introduction to the Sounding Visions of Paul DeMarinis' in I. Beirer, S. Himmelsbach, and C. Seiffarth (eds.), Paul DeMarinis: Buried in Noise: 9-21. Heidelberg and Berlin: Kehrer Verlag.

Ouzounian, G. (2009). 'Bay Area Women in Creative Music'. Women & Music: A  Journal of Gender and Culture (13): 106-108. 

Ouzounian, G. (2009). 'Impure Thinking Practices and Clinical Acts: The Sonorous Becomings of Heidi Fast'. Organised Sound14(1): 75-81.

Ouzounian, G. (2008). 'Contemporary Radio Art and Spatial Politics: The Critical Radio Utopias of Anna Friz'. Radio Journal 5(2&3): 129-142.

Ouzounian, G. (2008). 'History, an Exit Strategy: The RetroFuture Fabulations of kara lynch.' Journal of the Society for American Music 2(2): 177-201.

Ouzounian, G (2008). Sound Art and Spatial Practices: Situating Sound Installation Art Since 1958. PhD Dissertation. University of California, San Diego. 

Ouzounian, G. (2007). 'Visualizing Acoustic Space: The Story of Poeme électronique'. Revue Circuit 17(3): 45-56.

Ouozunian, G. (2006). 'Embodied Sound: Aural Architectures and the Body.' Contemporary Music Review 25(1-2): 69-79. 


Selected Compositions and Installations

Ouzounian, G. with R. Benjamin Knapp and Eric Lyon. 'Music for Sleeping & Waking Minds' (2011).

An ensemble of 4 performers who wear custom-designed EEG monitors generate an immersive sound environment through their brainwaves as they rest, sleep, and awaken over the course of one night.

View programme notes and essay 'On Music as a State of Being' (2011) by G. Ouzounian

View Excerpt (Introductory video)   


Ouzounian, G. and Conan McIvor, 'If The Root Be In Confusion Nothing Will Be Well Governed' (2010).

A multi-channel audio and video installation of 'Paragraph 7' from Cornelius Cardew's 'The Great Learning' (1969) featuring Bird On A Wire. In the installation, two different recordings of 'Paragraph 7' from are screened simultaneously on opposing walls in a darkened room. Each screen shows 4 simultaneously recorded videos inter-weaved to appear as a single, continuous shot.

Installed at Ormeau Baths Gallery 'Arrivals' Exhibition curated by Ciara Hickey (29 July - 11 September 2010)

View Excerpt (single wall projection only)


Ouzounian, G. and Chloe Griffin, 'EDEN EDEN EDEN' (2009).

An overnight audiovisual composition for 13 musicians and film projections. The ensemble continuously constructs and deconstructs a 26-part chord, a 13-part natural harmonic series that always beats in near-unison with itself. A projector shows three superimposed films prepared as continuously extending loops. Members of the audience, who are invited to sleep during the performance, shift between waking and dreaming states.

View Excerpt from the premiere at Basso (Berlin, 15-16 April 2009)


Selected Conference Presentations

  • Ouzounian, Gascia. 'I Am Not a DMI... Or Am I?'. Music, Digitisation, and Mediation, University of Oxford, Oxford (July 11-13 2013).
  • Ouzounian, Gascia. 'The Body's Music: Physiological Interfaces in Musical Performance." Performa, University of Aveiro, Portugal (May 19-21, 2011).
  • Ouzounian, Gascia and R. Benjamin Knapp. "Bodies as (Critical) Instruments: BioMusic and its Discontents." Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology, Paris (October 26-29, 2009).
  • Ouzounian, Gascia. "History, an Exit Strategy: Race, Haunting, and Memory in kara lynch's Invisible." American Musicological Society, Nashville (November 6-9, 2008).
  • Ouzounian, Gascia. “Conceptual Sound Forms: The Event, Action Music, and Performance-Sculpture, 1958-1980.” Performance Studies International, New York University (November 8-11, 2007).

Invited Lectures

  • McGill University. Keynote presentation for Cardew Colloquium. June 2014.
  • New York University, Music & Audio Research Lab (MARL). September 2013.
  • Sussex University, Mediamorphosis. May 2013.
  • Oxford University, Music, Sound & Space: Transformations of Public and Private Experience (ed. Georgina Born). Launch event. March 2013.
  • Oxford University, Music & Digitalisation Research Group: 'Retheorising the mutual mediation of technology and aesthetics: The Case of Music'. October 2012. 
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Institute for Creativity, Art and Technology. May 2012.
  • Keynote Lecture. Conference on Temporality: Issues of Change and Stasis in Music. Graduate Musicology Association, California State University at Long Beach, 21 April 2012.
  • Stanford University, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, April 2012.

Grants and Fellowships

  • PRS for Music Foundation (2014)
  • QUB Rising Star Teaching Award (2013)
  • Griffin Foundation (2012)
  • Canada Council for the Arts, Grants to Professional Musicians - Individuals (2012)
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Support for the Individual Artist Programme(2011)
  • Banff Centre, Fellowship for Artist-In-Residence program (2007-08)
  • UC San Diego, Graduate Student Teaching Fellowship (2006)
  • UC San Diego, Center for Humanities, Dissertation Fellowship (2005)
  • Canada Council for the Arts, Grants for Individual Artists (2004)
  • UC Institute for the Arts, Special Projects Grant, co-recipient with Teknika Radica (2003)
  • UC San Diego, University Humanities Fellowship (2001-05)

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Frequent Journals

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Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

ID: 48950