Chen Wang

Chen Wang

PhD Student

2022 - current


Chen is a singer, composer, and producer from China who has been immersed in the popular music culture of actively performing, composing, and producing popular music in the industry. She has received professional training in vocal performance at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music (Guangzhou, China), and earned her Bachelor's degree in popular music vocal performance with the Outstanding Graduate title in 2020. Later on, she completed her Master's in Music Production at the University of York and awarded with Distinction in 2022.

Chen's research is interested in live performance, singing voice, computer music, pop music, and emerging music technologies. Her practice is exploring the musical possibilities of the human voice, developing creative works of novel compositional and performance practice to extend vocal abilities using computer technologies, including Open Sound Control (OSC), live sampling and synthesizing.

Now Chen is based in London and trying to integrate her previous background, experience, and creativity of being a singer, composer, and producer into her Ph.D. research project of exploring the voice into technologies with the aim of making a contribution to the way of composing and performing new music.

Profile image of Chen at a desk with computer, sound kit and microphone

Playing the Voice: sampling and OSC as composition and performance technologies in new music

Chen's practice-based research explores and investigates the practicability of utilizing the human voice as the main source in both compositions and live performance, through the strategic use of new technologies including live sampling and open sound control (OSC) to compose and perform an original suite of musical works. The portfolio of compositions involves the practical exploration of the human voice, with each piece focusing on different vocal parameters, technical and compositional aspects as well as presenting within different forms.

The approaches of utilizing sampling techniques and technologies in actual live performance settings would be explored and investigated. And it also embraces open sound control technology, a relatively new protocol for communication among computers and music equipments, as a novel methodological and technological approach to musical composition and live performance. The works investigate and examine the approaches of employing OSC wireless and touchscreen devices for developing customizable and expandable tools to facilitate creative sound control and media processing in real-time. In addition, the portfolio also explores the compositional and performance practice of the voice interacting with other materials, such as pre-recorded, pre-composed elements and visual materials. Furthermore, the strategies for creating the open works that facilitate both pre-prepared and live musical materials shall be explored. Collectively, the works of the portfolio attempt to offer a range of new perspectives on working with live electronically transformed and extended voices to develop a unique compositional and performance methodology.

This research project attempts to push the boundaries of the human voice, to further expand and broaden its role as a compositional and performance tool, using new and emerging music technologies. Consequently, the central aim of this research is to establish technological methods for the control and presentation of the human voice and to develop an aesthetic stance that combines, explores, and challenges the relationship between live and technologically-mediated vocal materials.