Christopher Tonkin

Christopher Tonkin

Dr, BMus W.Aust., MusA Hous., PhD UCSD

  • The University of Western Australia (M413), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Chris Tonkin was born in Perth, Western Australia. He holds degrees in composition from the University of Western Australia, Rice University (Houston, Texas) and a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. Chris has taught undergraduate composition and electronic music at the UWA Conservatorium of Music since 2008 as well as supervising several postgraduate students. From 2016 Chris designed a new major in Electronic Music and Sound Design which has been running since 2018. His creative output includes purely acoustic works, compositions for performers and live electronics, sound installations and recorded works as producer. Collaborations, exhibitions and performances include those with the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, IRCAM, Ensemble Offspring, the Science Gallery Dublin, the Contemporary Arts Centre of New Orleans, the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and Tall Poppies Records. Chris Tonkin's scores and recordings are held at the Australian Music Centre.

Roles and responsibilities

Chair of Composition Studies, Music; Chair of Electronic Music and Sound Design, Music; Graduate Research Coordinator (2016); Research Committee Chair, Music (2017 - 18)

Future research

Research paper with Adam Pinto on Roger Smalley's Transformation; Research paper with Dr Kati Tonkin on Kraftwerk's Autobahn; Solo LP of electronic music

New and Noteworthy

Mississippi Swan - 'Daybew' installation exhibited at the Science Gallery Dublin (Mar - Jun 2018) and at the Contemporary Arts Centre New Orleans (Aug - Sep 2018) (collab. Rick Snow). Transformation - Roger Smalley: Works for percussion, piano and electronics released on Tall Poppies Records (2017) (collab. Paul Tanner and Adam Pinto).   

Current projects

Australian tour (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane) with Ensemble Offspring in collaboration with the Goethe Institute (November 2019); Rebirth - Mississippi Swan, sound installation in New Orleans at LUNA Fête (December 2019); Solo LP of electronic music (2020).

Teaching overview

Coordinator of Electronic Music and Sound Design major; lecturer for undergraduate units in composition and electronic music; honours and postgraduate supervision;


music composition; electronic music; algorithmic computer music; sound installation; recording; historical research into electronic music

Research expertise keywords

  • Composition
  • Computer music
  • Electronic Music
  • Sonic Art


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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