ISSTA 2018

Who’s Listening? Sound and Public Space


Dr Salomé Voegelin (Listening Across Disciplines group, author of Listening to Noise and Silence: Towards a Philosophy of Sound Art, Reader in Sound Art at the University of the Arts, London)

Prof. Anna Barney (Listening Across disciplines group, Professor of Biomedical Acoustic Engineering at Southampton University)


Contemporary urban society is a contested space. Commerce generates a flurry of signage and advertising jingles. Industry excavates and accumulates, building uniform structures of concrete and steel, and throughout all is the traffic of daily ritual, the friction of tires on tarmacadam. Commercial interests and planners often distill this heterogeneous field down to simplified brands, cultural signifiers designed to encourage investors. What room is left in this complex of power and policy for community? Where is public space and what role can it play in contemporary life? How can sound, in particular, interrogate the urban matrix?

In 2018, ISSTA returns to Derry to explore these issues, relationships and tensions. With the spatial definition provided by its historic walled city and cross–border hinterland, the resonances of its civil rights movement (of which 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary), its historic conflicts and diverse musical and sonic cultures, from traditional music sessions to marches, we hope that Derry will provide a thought–provoking setting which will support fruitful discussion, debate and listening!

We would particularly welcome contributions relating to sound and urban studies, auditory architecture and design, sonic archaeology and sonic heritage, psychogeography, place-making, activism, soundscape studies, and sound’s relationships with anthropology and human geography, alongside more general topics relating to music technologies, sound art, electronic and experimental music performance and composition.

Who’s listening? We are.


ISSTA 2018

Ulster University, Magee campus

Derry, Northern Ireland

November 9th and 10th 2018







Download the programme here



Location and Visitor Information

Derry (also know as Londonderry) is Northern Ireland’s second city (the fourth–largest city in Ireland as a whole) and is situated in the northwest of the island and on the border with County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. It is served by bus and rail connections to Belfast and Dublin (Translink and Irish Rail) and bus connections to Letterkenny, Sligo and Galway (Bus Éireann).

The nearest regional airport is City of Derry Airport (serving a limited number of UK routes) with Belfast International, Belfast City Airport, and Dublin Airport providing international connections.

See Visit Derry for further details regarding transport (including airport connections), accommodation and other local information.



Ulster University, Magee campus is a short walk or taxi ride from the historic city centre. All events will take place on campus. See here for campus map and a Google map view of location.

NB: please note that all events will take place at Magee campus and not at any other Ulster University campus (e.g. Coleraine, Jordanstown or Belfast campuses).


Chairs and Organising Committee, ISSTA 2018


Conference Chair: Dr Brian Bridges, Ulster University and President of ISSTA

Co-chairs: Dr Adam Melvin, Dr Rob Casey and John Harding, Ulster University

Chairs of Music track: Dr Adam Melvin (Ulster) and Dr Jenn Kirby (UWTSD and ISSTA)

Chairs of Paper track: Dr Rob Casey (Ulster), Dr Stephen Roddy (TCD and ISSTA), Dr Adrian Smith (DIT and Sounding Out the Space)


ISSTA Board:

Dr Brian Bridges, President

Dr Jenn Kirby, Vice–President

Robin Parmar, Treasurer

Dr Stephen Roddy, Web and PR

Dr Alan Dormer, Secretary


Registration Information: Registration Now Open.

Early-bird ticket options are no longer available.

This option closed after Monday 22nd October.

Prices for full ticket options after Monday 22nd October:

Full fee (professional): €50.

Independent artist/student/unwaged/irregular income: €25.

ISSTA is a subscriber–funded organisation and is not in receipt of state funding and we regret that we are not in a position to pay artists’ fees or make contributions to travel expenses; please see ‘funding’ below for further details regarding funding supports.


Eventbrite Ticketing Page Here


Conference Dinner:

Booking for the ISSTA conference dinner is now open.
The conference dinner will take place on campus on Fri 9th November before the main evening concert.
The meal will consist of a main (please inform us of any dietary requirements) and a desert, along with wine, for £25.

Please book by 12 noon on 5th November to confirm your place.

(NB: if you are planning on dining off campus, advance booking is generally required in most restaurants in Derry over the weekend; please also note that time will be tight between the dance performance – completing at 6.45 pm, and the concert start, at 8.15 pm.)



Other notes

If you are selected to present and the above fees may cause difficulty for you in the context of other expenses, please contact the conference chair to discuss whether a waiver may be applied (

If performers are required, artists themselves must facilitate their travel and other associated costs, though we can write letters of recommendation to funding and support bodies.

We are working with partners to source funding to support presentation of creative works at ISSTA; we will provide updates via the call page, and hope to be able to provide a small number of bursaries for artists based in Ireland. Details will be updated here shortly.