Ed Cooper

Ed Cooper


I am a composer, artist, and researcher based in Leeds, UK. Informed by the writings of Jean-Luc Nancy, Gaston Bachelard, Lyn Hejinian, and Pauline Oliveros amongst others, my compositional practice considers the listening body as an intermediary to itself, simultaneously acting as both a reflexive boundary and transmitter. In plain terms, as one listens, one strains towards an understanding of one's body. But this act of listening limits or changes what might be known, such that body itself is a threshold. Resonance forms and fractures bonds between chambers of the literal body, and but also between real and imagined listenings: sounds of the mind disturb physical sensation, such that multiplicious interferences are themselves the listening body (or, for that matter, the body as it listens). Such ideas manifest as compositions in which the aural attention is constantly disrupted, through physically cumbersome performance techniques or hindered ways of listening, such that a suspension of one’s own self is felt.

My music has been performed across North America and Europe and I have worked with international ensembles and artists such as Apartment House, Reanimation Orchestra, Jack Adler-McKean, Ryoko Akama, Heather Roche, and Kate Ledger. In 2019, my piece places/place was featured on BBC Radio 3 and I was awarded the Berkofsky Arts Award for my sound installation Experiencing Time/Timing Experience. In 2016, I attended the Irish Composition Summer School to work with John McLachlan, Gráinne Mulvey and The Robinson Panoramic Quartet. I am currently studying a PhD at the University of Leeds, supervised by Scott McLaughlin and Martin Iddon; this is fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, through the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH).

I have published writings in TEMPO investigating Wandelweiser music and masculinity, and in SoundEffects examining homelessness and sound studies.

I teach on a variety of undergraduate modules at the University of Leeds. I also sing tenor in The Clothworkers Consort of Leeds.

Research interests

  • composition
  • new music
  • experimental music
  • liminality
  • time in music
  • listening
  • (musical) bodies
  • Pauline Oliveros
  • homelessness
  • Wandelweiser
  • masculinity


  • MMus Critical and Experimental Composition
  • BA Music (International)