Sarah Keirle

Third year, MusB, violist, singer, electroacoustic composer

What are you working on right now?

Sarah Keirle, 3rd year Music student

I'm currently putting the final details on the audio-centric game I created for the Sound for Digital Entertainment module. This has been a challenging module due to the new and constantly evolving nature of the software, but it's been great fun to design a video game from scratch! I'm also preparing for my final recital on viola. The third-year recital period is a great opportunity to hear friends play a wide variety of repertoire and also to show what you've been working on all year.

What is the most exciting and nerve-racking thing about this final part of the year?

The most exciting part is definitely the performances. As well as the final recitals, we have Estival week, which is a week of concerts including big band, symphony orchestra, choirs and even a grade-one orchestra. The nerve-wracking part is probably how quickly the three years have flown by and the inevitable goodbyes we'll have to say to all the people leaving Manchester!

What are your plans for the future? Have you anything lined up for the next year or more?

I am hoping to take the Composition Masters here at Manchester, focusing on electroacoustic and interactive composition – the electroacoustic facilities at the University are absolutely brilliant and have definitely been a highlight of my undergraduate degree. I am also taking a part-time course at SSR (School of Sound Recording) on Sound for Film, Games and TV. The combined skill sets from these two courses will hopefully prepare me for the sound design / game-audio industry. 

How has your degree and your time at the University of Manchester helped you towards these next steps?

As well as the electroacoustic and sound design modules tailored to my current ambitions, the degree has taught me valuable self-motivation and communication skills. Being able to play and listen to undergraduate, postgraduate, and lecturer compositions has taught me a lot about where I want to take my own compositional style. The music society's many ensembles have also been helpful in teaching me effective time-management!

What discoveries have you made during your time here?

The first thing I learnt was that entering an incredibly competitive industry doesn't mean you can't support and encourage each other. You can be ambitious without being aggressive! I have also discovered that focusing solely on one aspect isn't always the best way to develop as a person and musician. The degree structure has allowed me to follow both electroacoustic and performance strands in great detail, which has led to a more varied and more enjoyable three years.