Pictured about locativeaudio project network at Gallery Valle Orti, Spain.


NOVARS is a new Research Centre started in March 2007 with specialisms in areas of Electroacoustic Composition, Performance and Sound-Art. Current research strands include game-audio, Space in large multichannel systems and Interactive Art. The Centre is capitalising the success of Music at the University of Manchester with the expansion of its existing research programme in Electroacoustic Composition with a new £2.2 million investment in a cutting-edge new studio infrastructure.
NOVARS is named to reference and celebrate the seminal work by Francis Dhomont (Novars). In his own words 'a reversed version of Ars Nova' - New Art, New Science. We are grateful for his permission to use his title.
Staff and postgraduate student research areas range from acousmatic composition to machine musicianship, sound spatialisation, sound and architectonic spaces, performance practice, live interactive systems and cross-disciplinary projects.
In Education areas, NOVARS is supporting and reinforcing an existing well-integrated music pathway both at Postgraduate and Undergraduate levels, merging areas of electroacoustic composition, instrumental composition and music theater, including experimental and contemporary performance practice.
An added value to our current research focus is the strength of the School's Performance Programme and the joint pathway between Music and the RCNM (Royal Northern College of Music). The accessibility to high-class performers in residence makes the NOVARS Research Centre extremely appealing for composers willing to experiment with extended techniques, chamber groups or large scale instrumental forces in combination with new music technologies.
For those with a specislism in acousmatic composition, which is currently one of the School's areas of excellence, NOVARS presents a 40 channel diffusion matrix system and a 350-seat concert hall, among others facilities, for sound spatialisation. Electroacoustic studios equiped with surround systems from 5.1 up to 24 channels (mostly Genelecs) are among NOVARS's current research tools.
Music at Manchester University has stablished itself as a very desirable space for high-profile researchers. At the last RAE assessment exercise, Music was ranked 5*. NOVARS Research Centre is providing additional research excellence to existing successful areas such as Composition and Musicology by supporting research in the areas of electroacoustic music.
NOVARS is the taking the MANTIS Festival (Manchester Theatre in Sound) into new creative challenges. The festival is constantly being reinvigorated as a research experimental space for postgraduate students, a desirable international platform for the performance and diffusion of electroacoustic music and a point of encounter and support for hosting conferences and music events in the computer music field.


Since the start of activities in 2007, NOVARS had a clear focus on building community and projecting research internationally. As a result, synergies between our artistic and scientific community have led to many projects, concerts, events, prizes and activities within research groups with a clear international vocation. Our research community is among the best of our achievements. We work hard to keep strong links with our researchers after they graduate and aim to expand at a pace at which we can guarantee the quality, identity and focus of the work we do individually and as a group.


Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama
Bridgeford Street Manchester,
Greater Manchester M13 9PL


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Get in touch

Direct enquiries:

For direct enquiries about the Research Centre Activities, contact:
Prof David Berezan - email: david.berezan@manchester.ac.uk - Tel: 0161 275 8981
Prof Ricardo Climent - email: ricardo.climent@manchester.ac.uk -Tel: 0161 275 3246