Programme: Digital Composition and Performance - MSc

Year: 2014

Mikael Lind graduated from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) in 2014 with an MSc in Digital Composition and Performance (DCP). Originally from Sweden, he is now based in Reykjavik, Iceland. In this Graduate Profile, he tells us about his experience of DCP at ECA and how it has informed his work as a composer, performer and teacher of experimental ambient music.

My main interest in life has always been music composition, but since I never studied music at school, I couldn't really envision being able to do it for a living.

The MSc programme in Digital Composition and Performance (DCP) changed the tables completely for me, not least because I could apply by providing a sample of work as proof of my knowledge and skills in digital music making.

I also chose to study at ECA because I had heard good things about the College.

Greater understanding of structure; greater appreciation of sound

The DCP programme was challenging for me: firstly, there was a lot of theory of digital sound that I had never paid much attention to in the past; and secondly, I had to learn new composition software that was pretty alien to me in some respects.

The programme approached the subject of music from many different angles. It gave me a much greater understanding of structures in music, and made me appreciate more aspects of sound than before. My teachers were experienced; they had firm beliefs and pushed us to work hard.

As a student, you were given a lot of opportunity to experiment with sound designs and idiosyncratic composition methods. I met lots of fun, interesting people with similar interests, and I loved so many things about the city… the old buildings, the people, and Arthur’s Seat, obviously.

Digital Composition and Performance made me more focused and provided me with new tools to write music and manipulate sounds to expand my timbral palette. It’s been very important for my career

Mikael Lind, 2014 Digital Composition and Performance - MSc graduate

New tools to write music and manipulate sounds

Before I started, I was a bit uneasy about taking more loans to complete a master's in something that I wasn't sure was going to pay off at all. But I can say with absolute certainty that DCP made me more focused and provided me with new tools to write music and manipulate sounds to expand my timbral palette. It’s been very important for my career.

When I got back to Reykjavik, I immediately exploited the freedom of being able to write whatever I wanted to write again, and I completed ten songs, five of which were released on an EP, Intentions and Variations, in April this year on the established German label Morr Music. The EP has received very positive reviews from many different magazines in different countries - especially Italy and Japan.I also enjoy working with sound design for visual art: I recently completed the score for Rakel Jónsdóttir's upcoming short IIOII, and will collaborate to do sound on a video installation with Sigga Björg for an exhibition that opens in January 2017.

Last year, I got approved to play at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival 2015 at Iðnó, a venue that I've always wanted to perform in. I also found work within the field of electronic music, and am now teaching part-time at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts, mainly sound design, electronic music, and electronic music production. Apart from that, I'm also in the committee for the Icelandic Music Awards for 2016, to be aired on national TV in early 2017.

Are you interested in studying Digital Composition and Performance - MSc at Edinburgh College of Art?