Off Grid: The Magic of Microtones


This project brings together ongoing research into the use of microtones from compositional, performance and analytical perspectives. Covering spectral, post-spectral, just intonation, historical and synthetic approaches, this project is particularly concerned with the expressive and structural potential of microtonal environments in interaction with conventional 12edo tuning.

Led by Martin Suckling, the project comprises compositions, software aids for microtonal composition and rehearsal, articles, talks and creative education projects linked to microtonal composition and performance, in particular the ‘Armistice Bells’ events developed in collaboration with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. This research project has led to the development of two new undergraduate modules: ‘Spectral Music’ and ‘The Magic of Microtones’.

Selected Resources

‘Radulescu: Das Andere’ – presentation at IRCAM, June 2019

Martin Suckling in conversation with the artist Edmund de Waal

Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Martin Suckling: Armistice Bells creative education project

Martin Suckling: Emily’s Electrical Absence discussion and performance

Martin Suckling: Candlebird

Robin Haigh: Samoyeds


Selected Composition outputs

– by Martin Suckling

Her Lullaby (solo viola, 2019)

This Departing Landscape (orchestra, 2019)

Emily’s Electrical Absence (string quintet, 2018)

The White Road (flute & orchestra, 2017)

Piano Concerto (piano & orchestra 2016)

Release (orchestra, 2013)

Candlebird (baritone, ensemble, 2011)


– by Robin Haigh

Grin (chamber orchestra, 2019)

Aesop (soprano recorder & ensemble, 2019)

Samoyeds (string quartet, 2018)

Morfydd (ensemble, 2018)


– by Andreas Tsiartas

String Quartet No. 2 (2019)