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Paul Ackerley

Senior Lecturer in Music/Musical Theatre Triple Threat

Paul Ackerley is a Producer specialising in outdoor and site-specific performance, and a Composer. 

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister used his Sitting Room Symphonies initiative, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as an exemplar of music as a social action.

He produced the Ahead of the Game Festival, a series of large-scale outdoor performances as part of the London 2012 Games Cultural Olympiad which included a mass-participation choral event in specially-lit woodland at night, based on Laulupidu in Estonia; a travelling pop-up festival run by young producers, based on Roaring Hooves in Mongolia; a carnival created by people with learning disabilities in partnership with Embaixadores, Brazil and an immersive theatre production and on-line game attracting 80,000 gamers about the Victorian plant hunters, for the Great Gardens of Sussex.

He is currently a director of Creatives Across Sussex, designing imaginative creative projects for clients including local authorities and the museums sector, most recently producing Town To Earth, a curated series of three large-scale sonic events for community singers in unusual and contrasting outdoor urban and rural locations.

As Composer he co-founded and toured percussion ensemble, Left Hand Right Hand, throughout Europe and North America and the important electronic and industrial group Zahgurim performing at the Berlin Atonal Festival, Drastic Classicism at the ICA and The Icehouse, Phoenix, Az.

He studied under Gavin Bryars and musical collaborators have included Karl Blake, Lol Coxhill, Anna Homler, Motionhouse, Joel Scott, Jane Buckler, Suzanne Joinson and Lila Dance. His early work is being re-issued by the Austrian Klanggalerie label, who have commissioned a new album and he will touring a new production to Vienna, Warsaw and Berlin in 2016.

He is currently Associate Lecturer, Music and Musical Theatre developing the pioneering Musical Theatre Commission programme of immersive musicals.

These have included writing scores for Child of Chance, a contemporary adaptation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex performed on a remote farm in Sussex; Year Walk, based on the cult Swedish ‘medieval’ video game by Simogo performed in the woodlands of Bignor Park in Sussex and the score for author Suzanne Jonson’s first theatre production Without Blinking, performed at TESTBED1, London in April 2015 documenting a child’s survival of being kidnapped into a cult.

Paul trained at Royal Holloway College, University of London and the De Montfort University, Leicester. He has been Combined Arts Officer with Arts Council England with periods of international research in Mongolia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium and The Netherlands.