Dr Donna Hewitt

Lecturer in Music - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Donna Hewitt

Biography

Dr. Donna Hewitt is a performer, vocalist, electronic music composer and instrument designer. Her primary interest in recent years has been exploring gesture in mediatized performance environments and new ways of interfacing the voice with electronic media. She is the inventor of the eMic, a sensor enhanced microphone stand for electronic music performance which she has been developing and performing works with both locally and internationally for the past 11 years. She is the co-founder (with Julian Knowles) of the audio-visual performance group Macrophonics. Her work has attracted frequent funding from the Australia Council for the Arts, most recently with all female collective Lady Electronica. The collective presented a live showcase of their work at the Judith Wright Centre in Nov 2012 following a year of development with input from renowned artists including Scott Horscroft and Gotye. Donna has undertaken a number of residencies including STEIM (Amsterdam) in 2010 – an internationally renowned centre for research and development of instruments & tools for performers in the electronic performance arts, as well as Legs on the Wall In 2012. Performance highlights include TES (Canada), ISEA, Brisbane Festival, SEAM, Understanding Visual Music (Canada), ICMC (USA, Ireland, UK), Liquid Architecture, Great Escape Festival, dis-orientation, sound-no-sound, and 1/4 Inch. Donna holds a PhD in music and has held academic positions at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Queensland University of Technology. She is currently the Bachelor of Music Course Coordinator in the School of Arts at UNE.

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy (Conferred September, 2007), University of Western Sydney, Penrith. Australian Postgraduate Award with Stipend.
1997 B.A (Hons) Music. University of Western Sydney, Penrith. 1st Class Honours.
1993 B.Sc University of Sydney.

Teaching Areas

Performance, Composition, Music Technology, Recording and Production.

Research Interests

Research interests

Donna’s research has been primarily exploring mediatized performance environments and new ways of interfacing the voice with electronic media. She is the inventor of the eMic, a sensor enhanced microphone stand for electronic music performance which she has been developing and performing works with both locally and internationally for the past 11 years. She is the co-founder (with Julian Knowles) of the audio-visual performance group Macrophonics. Macrophonics navigates the interface between humans and machines in performance – from sensor based microphones and wearable performance interfaces, to autonomous robots, live tape manipulation, gesture controlled light environments, dronescapes and experimental electronica. Their recent work 'Ghost Ships' explored the use of wearable technologies to control lighting in response to music and movement.

Grants and Awards

Competitive Arts Grants
  • 2012 Open Source Legs on the Wall Residency. A 4-week competitively selected creative development residency with an internationally significant physical theatre company. With Julian Knowles, Tim Bruniges and Wade Marynowsky.  Residency program funded by the Australia Council ($4,000)
  • 2012 Australia Council for the Arts. Music Board – Presentation and Promotion – Lady Electronica Showcase at Judith Wright Centre. First named researcher/artist (auspiced by QUT) ($7,000)
  • 2011 Successful Arts Queensland Grant Development & Presentation - Lady Electronica – First named researcher/artist (auspiced by QUT) to undertake a Lady Electronica Showcase Performance ($12500)
  • 2011 Successful Application Australia Council for the Arts - Skills and Development Grant - Lady Electronica Artist development program for a collective of female electronic musicians. ($10000)
  • 2010 Awarded a grant from the Australia Council’s Skills and Arts Development to undertake a residency at STEIM to develop the eMic. $9439
  • 2008 Awarded a grant from the Australia Council’s Music New Work category, to develop a prototype wireless musical interface for vocal performance, called the eMic and to develop a new work for this device in collaboration with choreographer/dance artist Avril Huddy. $8147
  • 2002 Awarded a grant from the Australia Council’s Contemporary Instrument Builders Initiative – Sounding Out, for the purpose of developing an innovative alternate interface called the eMic (extended microphone –stand interface controller) for contemporary vocal performance and electronic processing. $9750
  • 2002 Australia Council for the Arts- Buzz Grant for Young and emerging artists Initiative for a collaboration with dancer/choreographer Nell Andrew ($2000)
  • 2003 ANAT Australian Network for Art and Technology Funding for Conference and Workshop Fund for attendance at NIME –03 Montreal Canada. An international conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. ($3000)
Academic Awards
  • 2011 Dean’s Award for Research and Innovation ($2500)
  • 1999 Australian Postgraduate Award and University of Western Sydney, Nepean Stipend (awarded to top three PhD applicants)

Research Supervision Experience

Donna was the Postgraduate Co-ordinator of the Music and Sound area for the Creative industries at QUT in 2012. She is currently the Music Honours Co-ordinator at UNE.

Publications

Hewitt, D. (2013) eMic: Developing Works for Vocal Performance using a Modified Sensor Based Microphone Stand CHI’ 13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems Interactivity: Exploration CHI 2013 Conference: Changing Perspectives, Paris, France pp. 2943-2946.

Knowles, J. & Hewitt, D. (2012) Performance recordivity: studio music in a live context. 7th Art of Record Production Journal Conference Proceedings. Burgess, Richard James & Isakoff, Katia (Eds.), San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.

Hewitt, D. (2011) Choreographic approaches to music composition for a new musical interface: the eMic. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2011 Williamson, Aaron, Edwards, Darryl, & Bartel, Lee (Eds.), European Association of Conservatoires (AEC), University of Toronto, Toronto, pp. 169-174.

Hewitt, D. & Hood, A (2006) Studio Report – Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. Australasian Computer Music Conference Proceedings - ACMC-06 Wilkie, Sonia & Haines, Christian (Eds.), University of Adelaide, South Australia.

Hewitt, D. (2006) The Mill on the Floss: A Case Study in the use of Voice and Electronics in the Theatre. Australasian Computer Music Conference Proceedings - ACMC-06 Wilkie, Sonia & Haines, Christian (Eds.), University of Adelaide, South Australia.

Hewitt, D. (2003) EMIC - Compositional experiments and real-time mapping issues in performance. Australasian Computer Music Association Conference Proceedings 2003 - Converging Technologies  Vickery, Lindsay (Ed.), Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.

Hewitt, D. & Stevenson, I (2003) Emic - Extended Mic-stand Interface Controller. New Interfaces for Musical Expression NIME-03, Thibault, Francois (Ed.), McGill University- Montreal, QC, Canada.

Profiling Women Working in Production Roles – Searching for Female Role Models Submitted to Popular Music Journal waiting acceptance

Studio Report – Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney Anthony Hood and Donna Hewitt Proceedings of the Australasian Computer Music Association Conference 2006 Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide, Australia, 2006, pp 201-203. ISSN 1448-7780

New Interfaces for Musical Expression. Conference and Workshop Report. Australian Network for Art and Technology, Filter Magazine 2003

Memberships

Australasian Computer Music Association
International Computer Music Association
Art of Record Production
QMusic
Australian Network for Art and Technology

Consultancy Interests

Tertiary Music Education
Performance and Performance Technology
Recording and Production
Vocal Performance

External Profiles

Further Information

Performances, Screenings, Compositions, Installations

International Performances

2013
  • MacrophonicsII@ISEA ISEA2013  UTS Bon Marche Studio Ultimo NSW http://www.isea2013.org/events/macrophonics-ii/ June
  • Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. Georgia Tech – Center for Music Technology, Atlanta. (One of twenty international artists selected to compete for the prestigious award)
  • CHI Paris Competitive peer selection for inclusion in the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI’13 France April 27th – May 2nd 2013
2012
  • Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium (Sound Travels Festival), ‘One’ August 2012
  • The Performer’s Voice 2nd Symposium Singapore peer selected work ‘One’ October (unable to attend due to family illness)
2011
  • International Computer Music Conference ICMC2011 – Huddersfield England New work with Julian Knowles ‘Gracht’ developed in a residency at Australia Council funded residency at STEIM in 2010
  • Understanding Visual Music Conference UVM2011 Presented by Hexagram-Concordia Centre for Research-Creation in Media Arts and Technologies in collaboration with the Department of Music- Concordia University – Peer selected Performance of ‘Idol’ live performance with screen.
  • SEAM2011 Spacing Movements OutsideIn Sept2011, Sydney. Idol selected by curators for performance at this event.
2010
  • NIME 2010 New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference University of Technology Performance of electro-acoustic work for Idol (peer selected performance)
2008
  • ICMC 08 International Computer Music Conference Belfast Queens University hosted by the Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music Performance of electro-acoustic work for Amphibian (peer selected performance) September
2006
  • ICMC 06 International Computer Music Conference New Orleans USW Performance of electro-acoustic work for Dysphonia (selected from over 500 applications)
2004
  • Invitation to perform at the Australasian Computer Music Conference in Wellington, New Zealand, July
2003
  • Invitation to perform at the International Computer Music Conference in Singapore, September
  • NIME 03 Concert Performance of my composition with eMic (Extended Mic-stand interface controller) – Dysphonia McGill University, Montreal, Canada. May
2001
  • Most Significant Bytes Concert Series Ohio USA Screening and webcast of Peep Show. May

Selected Live Performance – Australia

2014
  • MCA ARTBAR Curated by ‘Chicks on Speed’ 28th February 2014. Solo eMic performance
  • UTS Creativity & Cognition Studios:Lab Launch. 21st August 2014. University of Technology. Solo eMic performance
  • PARRAMATTA LANEWAYS FESTIVAL 9th & 10th October 2014. Solo eMic performance.
2013
  • Ghost Ships, Underbelly Arts Festival 2013. Competitively selected proposal for a site specific audio-visual performance/installation in the Cockatoo Island Turbine Hall with Macrophonics team.
2012
  • Lady Electronica Live, Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Art November 2012. Performance of Idol, One and Oxygen Thief. Collaboration with dancers, Lizzie and Zaimon Vilmanis.
  • ACMC 2012 Peer selected work ‘One’
2011
  • Brisbane Festival – Under the Radar – Macrophonics – curator & composer/performer. Competitive Peer Reviewed event

Invited Paper Juror

  • 2013 Art of Record Production Conference Jury, Quebec, CA
  • 2011 International Computer Music Conference Paper Jury. Huddersfield, UK
  • 2011 Art of Record Production Conference Paper Jury, San Francisco State, USA
  • 2010 Art of Record Production Conference Jury, Leeds, UK
  • 2008 Art of Record Production Conference Jury, Massachusetts, USA
  • 2007 Art of Record Production Conference Jury, Brisbane, Australia
  • 2008 International Computer Music Conference Paper Jury. SARC Belfast N. Ireland,
  • 2008 ACMC Conference Paper Jury, Sydney Conservatorium of Music