Iain Armstrong

Iain Armstrong is a Scottish composer, sound designer, performer and sound artist who has been based in Birmingham, UK since 1998. His output spans electronic music composition, sound design for theatre, dance and multimedia, live electroacoustic performance, multi-channel sound installation and soundwalks. Iain is particularly interested in investigating the creative potential of recordings of the sound environment and exploiting the inherent musicality of this material through reduced listening, digital manipulation, composition and performance. His work often explores the interplay of abstract musical ideas and the associations and resonances of recognisable sounds; always driven by a desire to encourage people to engage in, and enjoy, the act of listening.

Iain is also a co-director of SOUNDkitchen, a Birmingham based collective founded in 2010 dedicated to the creation and presentation of experimental electronic music and sound art. Together they curate and produce live electronic music events, lead augmented listening soundwalks, create sound art and perform live electroacoustic music.


Iain studied electroacoustic composition with Dr. Alistair MacDonald at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and was awarded a PhD in electroacoustic composition from the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Prof. Jonty Harrison. As a member of BEAST (Birmingham Electro Acoustic Sound Theatre) he was involved in the public presentation of electroacoustic music at various venues in the UK and abroad, regularly diffusing his own and other composers’ work.

Iain’s compositions have received numerous presentations at concerts, festivals, conferences, broadcasts in the UK and abroad including: Radiophrenia, Glasgow; BEAST, Birmingham, UK; MUSLAB, Tamaulipas, Mexico; New Adventures In Sound Art, Toronto, Canada; Sonorities Festival, Belfast, UK; ((audience)), Khoj International Artists Association, Delhi, India; Urban Observatory Festival, Torun, Poland; MANTIS, University of Manchester, UK; Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, UK; Nuit Bleue, Besançon, France;  Pointe D’Ecoute Montreal, Canada; Musiques et Recherches, Brussels, Belgium; MTRIC, De Montford University, Leicester, UK; International Computer Music Conference, New Orleans, USA; Inventionen, Berlin, Germany; EuCue, Montreal, Canada; Confluencias, Andalucia, Spain; Aldeburgh Contemporary Music Festival, Aldeburgh, UK; Royal Musicological Association Conference, Huddersfield, UK.

Please visit the Performances page for listings of performances.

In 2016 Iain composed music and designed surround sound for Humanhood’s contemporary dance ‘ZERO’, commissioned by and premiered at mac Birmingham. The piece won 1st Prize at Certamen Coreografico de Madrid 2016 and will tour the UK in autumn 2017. He is composing multichannel music for their latest piece ‘ORBIS’ commissioned by Without Walls and touring UK festivals in summer 2017.

Sound Design

Iain has created sound design for theatre productions that have toured UK venues including:

Looking For John by Tony Timberlake, Birmingham Repertory Theatre (2016); Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night by Francesca Millican-Slater, Birmingham Repertory Theatre (2016/17), REND Productions Howard Barker double bill of The Twelfth Battle of Isonzo and Judith: A Parting From The Body, Arcola Theatre, London (2015), Heartbeats & Algorithms (2015/16) a play by Jenny Lee, Soho Theatre, London; KILN’s A Journey Round My Skull (2014) and A Journey Round My Theatre (2015), an architectural soundwalk located in Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Iain also designed and performed live foley in Little Earthquake’s production of The Tell-Tale Heart (2014) and designed sound for the theatrical, site-specific soundwalk Taking Leave and theatrical installation Piece Me Back Together (2014) by Look Left Look Right.


As a performer Iain creates live electroacoustic music with a focus on manipulated field recordings and multi-channel spatialisation. He is one half of music production and performance duo Anvil & Stirrup in collaboration with composer Antti Sakari Saario. He also performs regularly as part of the SOUNDkitchen collective and was a member of BiLE (Birmingham Laptop Ensemble) from 2011-12.

He has performed at concerts and festivals including:

SOUNDkitchen, Birmingham, UK; Electric Spring, University of Huddersfield, UK; Flatpack Festival, Birmingham, UK; Klang! Electroacoustique, Montpellier, France; Supersonic Festival, Birmingham, UK; Lovebytes Festival, Sheffield, UK; Site Festival, Stroud, UK; BEAST, University of Birmingham, UK; Audiograft Festival, Oxford, UK; Anorg Festival, Zurich, Switzerland.

Please email for further information.