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Bristol Distinguished Address Series
UWE Music Lecturer collaborates with Imogen Heap
17 September 2009
A unique collaboration between Tom Mitchell, a Music Engineering expert from the University of the West of England, and Imogen Heap, a UK recording artist who has hit the big time in North America and was recently featured on the world famous David Letterman Show.
Tom Mitchell teaches Music Systems Engineering at UWE but in his spare time takes on additional projects supporting musicians with technical help.
Tom explains, “I met Imogen at a friend's wedding. She needed help programming a device called Monome for a forthcoming performance on The Late Show with David Letterman. The technology is fairly complicated and Imogen needed some help in setting up the device to be used later that week for a live rendition of 'First Train Home', the first track on her new album 'Ellipse'.
“It was a great opportunity to work with a musician who is exploiting technology to enhance her sound so creatively. Imogen is quite well known in UK but she has become a force in electronica-based pop music in the US with a phenomenal 15 million hit rate on her My Space, one million followers on twitter and 40th most subscribed musician on youtube. Her music has been featured in films and television shows including the US series the O.C., Six Feet Under and Heroes. I particularly admire the way that she has used the web to promote her work, she produces all of her own music and it can't be too long before she becomes equally as well known over here too.”
Imogen Heap is a UK artist who has been releasing albums and touring since 1997. Dubbed the Internet Queen by some critics, for the innovative ways she interacts with her devoted fans via the web. Her latest album 'Ellipse' debuted at no.5 on the US billboard top 200 this week. Her music spans electronic, indie, pop genres and an incredibly diverse selection of instruments.
In recent reviews of Ellipse Imogen is really making a lot of friends.
“She is a compelling singer-songwriter with emotive lyrics, a strong sense of melody and elegant pop construction” – The Telegraph.
“Ellipse” is an electronic vortex of pop hooks and stunning sonic U-turns” - Attitude
“This beguiling album deserves to be her breakthrough moment. Lovely stuff” – The Guardian.
Imogen Heap said, “It was great to work with Tom on preparing for Letterman. Typical of me to leave everything to the last minute. He certainly took the stress out of the usual going at it all alone. I'm sure I'll be calling him up in a mad panic for something soon! I'd received my Monome just a month before the big TV spot. Getting to grips with it is not easy! It was such luck to meet Tom at that time and fantastic that he was able to come to the rescue. Which he did so wonderfully"
Tom Mitchell concludes, “It really was a great privilege to work with an artist for whom I have enormous admiration. The programming techniques that I used in this collaboration with Imogen are exactly the same techniques that we teach on our courses at UWE.”
To find out more about Music Systems Engineering at UWE see
To find out more about Imogen Heap's music go to
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