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Caroline Wilkins : Represented Artist

One of my main concerns is with the 'play of time', a dialogue between present and past. It is possible for sound and music to travel through time quite freely, by sliding through different contexts and juxtaposing different influences.

Random Audio Sample: Phonurgia : instrumental sound theatre for solo viola or any stringed bowed instrument by Caroline Wilkins, from the CD Selected works by AMC represented artists

Photo of Caroline Wilkins

Photo: West German Radio


Dr Caroline Wilkins comes from a background of new music performance, composition and theatre, and has worked extensively on collaborative productions involving a combination of these disciplines. After studying piano and composition at the Royal College of Music, she moved to Sydney, Australia, and regularly gave workshops in improvisation and new music theatre at the Conservatorium of Music. As a performer she collaborated in projects and productions of new-form theatre/music theatre whilst pursuing parallel studies in performance/theatre skills at the Drama Action Centre, Sydney.

In 1987 she was awarded an Australia Council grant for further study in new music theatre composition with Mauricio Kagel in Cologne. Since this time Wilkins's music has received performances, prizes and broadcasts worldwide, and has been selected on numerous occasions by the ISCM World Music Days. She was awarded the KarlSczuka prize from South West German Radio in 2000 for her radio composition Mecanica Natura.

She currently lives in Britain, where she completed a practice-based PhD in Sound Theatre at Brunel University, West London in 2012. As a researcher she continues to present at national and international conferences including ARTECH, Guimares, IFTR World Congress (Munich), Sibelius Academy (Helsinki 2010), Caen University (2011), AISB University of Kent and TaPRA (2015). Forthcoming contributions include the Music and Philosophy conference at King's College, London in July 2022.

She has published extensively online, in journals such as Perspectives of New Music (2013), MusikTexte, Contemporary Music Review, Leonardo Music Journal (2003), Studies in Musical Theatre / International Journal of the Performing Arts & Digital Media (2012/13, Intellect Books), and as a contributor to the book Gestures of Music Theater (2013, Oxford University Press). Recent publications include the Journal of Performance Philosophy (2016), Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, Vol.2 (Routledge 2016), Studies in Musical Theatre (Intellect Books 2017), 'From Process to Progress: Completion?' New Music Theatre -Studies in Musical Theatre, (2018), 'A Vocal Journey through the Language of Zaum', Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, Intellect Publications, (2019), 'Music Theatre NOW / Post-Opera: Installing the Voice', Resonate Magazine, AMC (2020) and 'With W/Ringing Ears' (co-authored with Leona Jones), a multi-media presentation, Journal of Performance Philosophy (2022).

As a vocalist/instrumentalist Caroline has performed solo and collaborative work both internationally (Japan, Slovenia, Belgium, Crete) and in the UK at venues such as Sadler's Wells, Riverside Studios (Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival), and Sonorities Festival, Belfast. Venues include Sadlers Wells (April) with the company Dans Sans Joux, and King's Place, London, with Tete-a-Tete: the Opera Festival, King's Cross 2014. Her instrumental music theatre work A Dust of White Sleep was performed at the Colourscape Festival, London, by Jane's Minstrels. She presented her 1-act opera The Dressing Room' with 'rough for opera', Cockpit Theatre, London, in 2014, subsequently performed at Tete-a-Tete's Festival in 2015 (see: photo gallery).

Collaborations include work with Australian audiovisual artist Rees Archibald and electronics composer Oded Ben-Tal on a video entitled Mitslalim (Sonorities of Shadows) https://vimeo.com/90950723, which has been shown at numerous conferences including Stanford and Kingston Universities, and in Crete, Corfu and Spain. She has recently finished a 3-act opera for 1-4 performers entitled Beyonsense based on Russian Futurist poetry, to be performed in 2016/17 (see: images from Act 1 'Victory over the Sun' excerpts performed by the composer at Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival, King's Place, London in 2014).

Her PhD thesis can be viewed online at: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/6438.

Caroline regularly attends / presents at conferences such as the Performance Philosophy Biennale held in Amsterdam (2019), Music Theatre NOW and Post-Opera: Installing the Voice (Rotterdam 2019). 2021 included the 2nd Edition of Nova Contemporary Music Meeting (NCMM), University of Lisbon, 5-7 May, Music and Philosophy - Royal Musical Association, King's College (July), and " Se taire, écouter, (en) parler : voix et silences des récepteurs dans les arts Arts plastiques - Arts vivants - Cinéma - Littérature", Université de Lorraine, Nancy (Nov). In 2022 she attended Music Theatre NOW (Rotterdam. May) and the Performance Philosophy Biennale in Helsinki (June). She is currently co-editing an online joint publication of the journals Performance Philosophy and Echo (Orpheus Instituut, Ghent) on 'Music performance, Technology and Mediation', to appear in 2023.

Works published by G.Ricordi & Co. Munich.

Caroline Wilkins — current to June 2023

Studied with

Mauricio Kagel (1987 - 1988)

Johannes Birringer (2008 - 2011)

Christopher Fox (2008 - 2011)


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Le fisarmoniche : radiophonic work (2002) Commissioned by Studio Akustische Kunst, West German Radio.
Oh what! : song based on a text fragment from the York Mystery Plays (2000) Commissioned by York Early Music Centre 2000
Mecanica natura : radiophonic work (1999) WDR Studio Acoustic Art/ABC Radio Art Sydney
Intersections (trios: bass clarinet, piano, violin) (1998) Commissioned by Gemini Ensemble.
Fusa : Fusa III (1996) Commissioned by the Deutsche Akkordeon Lehrerverband
For these my friends and yours : madrigal for 4 male voices from a text by Sappho (1994) Commissioned by Hilliard Ensemble.

Analysis & Media

- Video: Interweave by Caroline Wilkins

- Video: Pas by Caroline Wilkins

- Video: PPPPP by Caroline Wilkins

- Video: Sprechmaschinen by Caroline Wilkins

- Video: PPPPPP film by Ollala Lemus

- Video: Phonurgia by Caroline Wilkins

- Video: Zaum: Beyond mind

- Video: Phonurgia