This summer, postgraduate students across the Reid School of Music are working towards submitting their final projects. For some, the project is practical; for others, it’s a dissertation. In this series, we meet a number of the students and hear about their masters-level study at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA). Here, the spotlight is on Digital Composition and Performance - MSc student, John Palma.

John gained his first degrees from the Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, graduating with a BSc in Computer Science in 2008, then with a BA in Music, Audio Production in 2010.

He decided to come to Edinburgh to study Digital Composition and Performance because of “the programme’s unique, multidisciplinary approach, the opportunity to live abroad in such an exciting and diverse city, and the world-class reputation of the university”.


John’s final project is called Superposiciones. It’s a set of pieces for acoustic instrumentation and live multichannel electronics. The set will comprise about half an hour’s music in total, with all pieces based on algorithmic approaches to musical composition.

As well as the techniques he’s learned on the Digital Composition and Performance programme, John has been developing new compositional processes and instruments of his own.

He says of the project “I think it’s a good opportunity to expand on the skillset and aesthetics I’ve been developing during this year, where I can push what I have learned into new directions and explore new techniques I could use in the future. I hope that the end result will be a good piece of music, able to stand on its own beyond the processes I’ve been working on”.

Are you interested in studying Digital Composition and Performance at ECA?

Find out more about our one-year MSc programme.