STEIM Instruments & Interfaces masters program

STEIM, in collaboration with the Institute of Sonology, offers a two-year masters study entitled Instruments & Interfaces. The Instruments & Interfaces track will provide dedicated students with an in-depth exploration of the issues at stake when building new instruments for electronic music. This will be done through a combination of theoretical discussion, practical art-as-research, and formalized coursework between the labs at STEIM and the faculty at Sonology. This collaboration with the Institute of Sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, results in a fully accredited European Masters of Music degree. Students will have access to Sonology courses as well as opportunities at neighboring institutions such as the Royal Academy of Art and Leiden University.

Ideal candidates for the study are performing musicians, sound artists, interaction designers and software/hardware engineers with some musical background.

Over the last forty years STEIM has been an international destination for performing artists to explore new electronic instruments. With this masters program we are looking to share our body of knowledge and continue that tradition with the next generations of adventurous musicians and makers.

We look forward to hearing you.


General info:

Applications should be made via studielink:

Info on tuition and fees:



Current Students


Semay Wu is a Liverpool born musician and composer. Her main instrument is the cello and she graduated with a BA(Hons) degree and a PgDip from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK in 2002. Since 1996 she has been exploring a bag of musical styles through recordings with a diverse set of musicians; gigging and touring in festivals and venues in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US with a big bunch of riffraff (I say that cheekily) musicians in the guises of Homelife, a 13-20 piece band; The Earlies, a 10 piece band; Mayming, a duet with a vocalist both using electronics to improvise freely; and many others. She has also worked with many visual artists and composed and sound designed soundtracks (and also performed live) with choreographed dance pieces (one associated with the Rambert Dance Company) in the UK, Europe and Japan; with theatre companies Forkbeard Fantasy, Punch Drunk and Theatre Alibi; and have had experience working with large group community projects, one that went to HK. Teaching came alongside all of this and she taught at schools through various music services throughout the NorthWest and in workshops organised by Opera North’s Educational projects. She gratefully received funding in 2013 from Katherine McGillivray’s Get a Life fund which enabled her to finance a sabbatical year in Amsterdam where she attended the one year course at the Institute of Sonology. This was to furnace a love for improvisation through electronic and/or acoustic means and to fully explore the possibilities that could direct a (new and) more developed path of thinking and performing.

She is now on the STEIM Sonology Masters and her project will be in the exploration of building a miniature acoustic (or non acoustic) cello/controller that would be built, modified and explored to represent a way of manipulating data by using the familiar performance techniques already coerced and gained from the acoustic full size instrument. I would like to be able to perform with this instrument using as much versatility and vibrancy that comes from my background and to be able to usher in an organic sense of flow in the music created.


Giacomo Lepri is a musician, sound designer and video artist. He studied piano and percussion specializing in the Afro-Cuban and Brazilian tradition as well as in Afro-American jazz practice. Since young age, he is also interested in electronics and informatics technologies applied to music. He was visiting student at the University of Edinburgh and he earned a BA degree in Electronic Music from the Conservatory of Genoa “N. Paganini”. His artistic activities mainly concern the interaction between music other arts and technologies, with particular regards to the sense of performativity, ensemble music practice and improvisation. As musician and performer he joined various projects related to musical theater, folk music, jazz and electroacoustic free improvisation. As composer and sound designer, among other activities, he collaborated with the international centre of research InfoMus in different cultural and scientific EU projects. As video artist, he presented his audiovisual compositions and installations in festivals around Europe. Currently his musical research focus on the development of multimedia systems, multimodal human-computer interfaces and applications for small ensemble performing free improvised music.
InMuSIC – Interactive Multimodal System for Improvised Composition
Giacomo’s research at STEIM focus on the design of a real time interactive multimodal system for free improvisation. The main idea is try to identify and process relevant expressive musical hints of a performer through the observation of both embodied expressive motion cues (motion tracking) and sonic parameters (audio stream analysis).


FLAU ERTZ is a French electronic artist. His master project consist in exploring possibilities of designing a new digital musical instrument (Xa Ya) inspired by a traditional African musical instrument (Kayamba). Using sensors and actuators he explores combinations of both to control sound parameters and stimulate acoustical vibrations feeling on the human skin.

His music is made from polyrhythms and complex textures obtained by manipulating live audio loops originating from different sources: analog electronic, concrête sample, vinyl …
Also to create an immersive sound environment and increase the sonic feedback experience, he experiments in the center of a WFS system ( Waves Field Synthesis) adding the space as an additional controllable parameter. He is interested in linking the instrument to the the human body, new musical gestures and human perception in an electronic music improvisation context.

Flau Ertz has a Sound engineering bachelor and audio mastering background, obtained a D.E.M in acousmatic music composition at CRR Paris, followed a year in Sonology Cursus at the Royal conservatory of the Hague. He released and produces electronic dance music and perform as dj on turntables or live electronic computer music.


Iván Brito is an argentine musician and sound designer. His main instrument is the drums. He studied music and holds a BA degree as sound designer from the Institute for Art Technology in Rosario (Argentina). As musician he played, performed and produced different bands related to shoegaze, dream pop, noise music and experimental electronic. His activities as a sound designer mostly were collaborations in dance troupes, theaters, and installations in art fairs such as: arteBA, C.C. Haroldo Conti (Argentina) and Cidade da Cultura (Spain).

His research at STEIM aims to include in the live electronic music the interaction of the musician with an electro acoustic instrument in order to develop rhythms from flexible sources. The project consists in the creation of a hybrid modular drum kit for live performance, where the user controls the system and the system gives feedback to the user to articulate the control, or feed forward to actively guide the user.

The study involves the use of live sampling and the processing of incoming signals in real time. The objective is to explore new ways to organize or disorganize sounds to build new and different rhythms using the same sources.

Currently rhythms in electronic music tend to follow the tempo/grid that the machines has, but in this case the objective is the opposite. The instrument/DSP follows the tempo determinate by the user. The goal of this study is to understand the way of measuring the time. In this way, the user and the machine could interact between themselves in a fluent and dynamic way.


Recently Graduated


DAN GIBSON is an English musician and sound artist. In 2011 he completed a Ba (Hons) Degree in Creative Music Technology at the University Centre Doncaster.

Dan also creates music using the pseudonym ‘noisesinthenight’ which aims to explore the sonic subtlety, textural nuance and dynamic intensity found in the natural soundscape.

As a member of the band ‘Third Gold Bird’, he has contributed to numerous recordings and performances using a combination of acoustic and digital sound sources. As a result of the improvised and collaborative nature of this music, Dan has developed a long term interest in the creation of interfaces for intuitive musical expression.

Dan’s research at STEIM aims to combine voltage control patching interfaces with DSP software in order to provide an intuitive and tangible interface for the realtime exploration, manipulation and organisation of sound. This research will also aim to provide the spontaneous and expressive control required in improvisational contexts through the use of gestural interfaces and dynamic mapping techniques.


PETER EDWPeter EdwardsARDS is an American artist and musician who has spent the last decade exploring experimental sound and light technologies and producing musical instruments and interactive installations.

After receiving a BFA in sculpture from The Rhode Island School of Design in 2000, he established the business casperelectronics through which he sells custom musical instruments and publishes information on circuit bending and hardware hacking. In 2005 Edwards developed the creative electronics department at Hampshire College where he served as adjunct faculty for two years. Since then he has regularly taught circuit bending workshops and written musical electronics tutorials for American DIY tech magazine Make.

Edwards performs regularly and speaks on topics of art and technology at institutions and arts events worldwide including The Piksel Festival (Bergen, Norway), Pixel (Paris, France), MIT’s Media Lab (Boston), The OFFF Festival (Paris, France), Sequences Festival (Reykjavik, Iceland) and at universities across the US. He has produced commissioned installations for The Tang Museum (Saratoga Springs, NY), The Contemporary Artists Center (Troy, NY), The Clock Tower Gallery (Manhattan NY), Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, GA) and has served as a resident artist at STEIM, EMPAC(Troy, NY), Perte De Signal(Montreal, CA), The Free103point9 Wave Farm(Acra, NY) and The Flux Factory (Long Island City, NY).

Peter’s research period at STEIM will be focused on making and performing with audio-visual devices which service the desire to hack and innovate while possessing the potential to be musically and profoundly expressive. View some of Peter’s early masters work on YouTube.


Jan KlugJAN KLUG is an Aachen-born musician, composer and media designer who focuses on the use of computers and programming as creative tools for the creation of music performances and live video. In 1999 he graduated from studies in jazz saxophone at the Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen, and since then has worked on several projects in dance, theater and film. He has performed extensively, blending acoustic and electronic music, video and programming – solo and in collaborations. Since 1996 he has been a permanent member of the Dutch group “Poets from Epibreren”, where he specialized in the musical accompaniment of poetry and literature, a practice he continues to pursue today through projects with Dutch writer Christine Otten. Since 2008, Jan is a core teacher of the master study ‘Interactive Media and Environments’ (MFA IME) at the Frank Mohr Institute (FMI) of Academy Minerva in Groningen, an interdisciplinary programme of advanced education in computer-related media art and experimental art research.

Jan’s research involves the development of a new DSP software and control system involving gestural hardware controllers which allow for intuitive, spontaneous, and instantaneous action/reaction needed for free improvisation. His research builds upon his pre-existing live performance system with the intent of condensing the complexity of possible parameters by meaningful mapping into an intuitive control system. By adding the possibilities of gestural controls to this system, he hopes to create an expressive and meaningful control-‘vocabulary’, giving the system the properties of a true instrument which will require practicing, experimentation and performance-experience.

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