Reuben Derrick is a sonic artist and composer active in New Zealand and Australian exploratory music communities.

As a composer and field recordist, Reuben's works are rooted in meaningful encounters with the environment, creative exchanges which he enters into as a collaborator: the recordist and environmental soundscape as compositional co-creators. At times these engagements with the world involve the additional sound of woodwind instruments, though not always, and for Reuben the collaborative conceptual configuration holds even in instances where he is purely recording, adding no additional features to the sonic field. In Reuben's work, choices made on the part of the recordist – the framing engendered by the placement and sensitivity of a microphone, or the duration and location of a given recording – are all inherently musical and creative compositional acts. In positing the soundscape and environment as equal collaborators in such a way, all of Reuben’s works are underpinned by a deep a level of respect which informs each of his explorations of sound and space.

Reuben's Doctor of Music at University of Canterbury drew upon field recording and improvisation, exploring ways performers might engage with sonic environments. His compositions for Acoustic illuminations: recorded space as soundscape composition featured recordings of locations throughout New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka. Following his Doctoral studies, Reuben was awarded a Fulbright grant, allowing him to participate in the OMI International Musician Residency Program in New York. This saw him collaborating and exploring compositional and improvisational ideas with thirteen musicians from around the world.

Reuben has also spent time in Sri Lanka, where he has traveled on a number of occasions since 2011 to pursue collaborative work with local improvisers and traditional players. These collaborations resulted in the formation of Baliphonics, a group which combines traditional ritual performance, music, and dance with ecstatic free-improvisation. As a performer, Reuben works solo and in groups in exploratory and improvisational contexts. In addition to his electroacoustic compositions which focus on environmental sound, Reuben has written work for jazz orchestra, small ensembles and other improvisational groups. Recently performances have occurred throughout Central Europe (2019), The Nowhere Festival (Auckland, 2018), the Radio Asia Festival (Warsaw, 2018) and at the Music Matters Festival (Colombo, 2016). His recorded work has been released by labels in NZ, the United States of America, and Australia, including God In The MusicTrapdoor Tapes and Big Sound.

He is a longstanding member of the Cantabrian Society of Sonic Artists for which he regularly hosts visiting artists and facilitates experimental music events.

Reuben Derrick on SOUNZ

Reuben Derrick

Reuben Derrick on soundcloud