Colin Frank is a percussionist, field recordist, installation artist, improviser, and multimedia composer. His works range from investigating found objects to machine noises, theatrical absurdity to site-specific performance, and audience interactivity to DIY electronics. His PhD dissertation at the University of Huddersfield, titled ‘Making With Agential Objects’, considered how unconventional instruments and objects influence his creative process.
Active on international stages, he has most notably performed in the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), Berlin’s CTM festival (DE), the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (DE), Electric Springs (UK), Beast Feast (UK), SoundThought (UK), PAS Quebec Days (CA), and the Oorsprong curators series (NL). His instrumental compositions have been presented by the International Contemporary Ensemble (US), the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble (RU), TAK Ensemble (US), AndPlay duo (US), Red Note Ensemble (UK), and many solo collaborators. In his duo project Brutalust he has released works on Crow Verses Crow, Verz, and Accidental Records, and his group the Drift Ensemble has presented concerts of experimental improvised and composed music across Yorkshire. In 2021 Colin received the Hildegard Westerkamp award from Jeu de Temps / Time to Play (CA) for a track from his album of site-specific performances, Sounding the Weight of an Object, that was released on Impulsive Habitat.
Colin creates installation and gallery pieces which are often interactive, from playing common objects to exploring virtual environments. His installations have been exhibited at Salem Art Works, Dai Hall, the Barbara Hepworth Building, and Analix Forever. He also works with businesses and organisations for public outreach projects, including in 2021 when he modified an upright piano with polystyrene and sound-responsive LEDs for the Leeds Piano Competition’s public piano trail. He worked with the architect firm Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios for the 2023 exhibition ‘Of Time and Place’ about Huddersfield’s Queensgate Market.
Colin received a double-degree B.Mus in composition and performance from McGill University. He studied sound at the Institute of Sonology (NL), composition at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik and SoundSCAPE (IT), and performance at Nief-Norf Summer Festival (US) and SICPP (US). He has taught improvisation and experimental music at the Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Festival (CA) and The University of Huddersfield, and he teaches percussion at the Leeds Conservatoire.