Dr Dugal McKinnon

AProf Dugal McKinnon profile picture

Deputy Director; Composition and Sonic Arts School of Music


Teaching in 2020

Research interests

Electronic music, composition, sound art, installation art, sound studies, art and ecology


BA Well, BMus (Hons) Well, PhD Birm


  • Associate Professor, Composition - Sonic Arts
  • Director of the Lilburn Studios


Dr Dugal McKinnon teaches sonic art, composition, and sound studies at the New Zealand School of Music, and directs the Lilburn Studios for electronic music. He is a composer and sound artist whose output encompasses electronic, acoustic and text media, and often intersects these. In 2018 he co-organised the Aotearoa Audio Arts festival, a platform for the presentation and promotion of sound and audiovisual arts in New Zealand. He was 2014 composer-in-residence at the Institut für Elektronische Musik und Akustik (Graz, Austria), and was also a composer-in-residence at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie [Centre for Art and Media Technology] (Karlsruhe, Germany) in 2010. He holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham (UK).

Recent projects and publications

Ataata-Rongo (2018), with Grayson Cooke, Rob Thorne and Thomas Voyce. An audiovisual concert melding live taonga puoro, phonography, electronic music and film. Premiered in the 2018 Aotearoa Audio Arts festival, City Gallery, Wellington.

A Single Hurt Colour (2017). Guitar and live electronics. Commissioned and premiered by Matthew Marshall. Marama Hall, Dunedin (NZ), 24 Nov 2017.

This Storm Is Called Progress (2016), with Grayson Cooke. Dual-screen audio-visual installation. Shortlisted for the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, where it was highly commended by the judging panel. Premiered at Parer Place Urban Screens, Creative Industries Precinct, Queensland University of Technology, April 4-17 2016. Second showing, Seeing Sound symposium, Bath Spa University (UK), April 9-10 2016. Third showing, South Australian Museum 10 June – 31 July 2016.

Lost Oscillations (2015), with Jim Murphy and Mo H. Zareei. Sound installation: haptic interface, archival and field recordings from Christchurch (NZ), 8-channel audio. Commissioned by the 2015 Audacious Festival of Sonic Arts, Christchurch.

‘Broken Magic: the Liveness of Loudspeakers’. In Experiencing Liveness, ed. Lindelof and Reason. London: Routledge, 2016.


Dugal McKinnon

Composition and Sonic Arts research

Dr Dugal McKinnnon's research uses sound as a platform to explore the meshing of electronic music, instrumental/vocal composition, and other art forms. This interdisciplinarity extends to research into the theory and aesthetics of sound-based arts, including music, often with a strong sociopolitical and ecological dimension. The curation and presentation of contemporary electronic and experimental music is also a vital part of his research practice.


Teaching in 2020