Accessibility statement

Fiona Keenan


Thesis - Enactive sound machines: new theatrical strategies for sonic interaction design

My PhD research focuses on Sonic Interaction Design (Franinović and Serafin, 2013), and how to better link human action and sound together in digital interfaces and systems. I am examining late nineteenth and early twentieth century theatre sound effects to try to uncover what their designers knew about action and sound, and how we can use this knowledge for the design of new sonic interactions and digital sounding objects. This is an interdisciplinary piece of work, incorporating historical research, performance interface design, perceptual audio evaluation and practical/creative work to remake historical sound effects and prototype new digital sounding objects.

My research is funded by the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH).

Supervisor: Dr Sandra Pauletto.
Start date of programme: October 2014.




I received an MSc in Sound Design (Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh in 2013. My creative work is mostly in sound design and music, focusing on systems for live performance. These include hand built audio electronics, mechanical sound producers, augmented instruments, sound props and software. 



Research Interests

Sonic Interaction Design, sound and perception, prototyping and remaking, history and philosophy of technology, sound performance, sound design, noisemakers and sound effects.



Keenan, Fiona and Pauletto, Sandra ''Listening Back': Exploring the Sonic Interactions at the Heart of Historical Sound Effects Performance,' The New Soundtrack, Volume 7 Issue 1, Page 15-30, ISSN 2042-8855 Available Online Feb 2017

Conference Proceedings

Keenan, Fiona and Pauletto, Sandra, 'A Mechanical Mapping Model for Real-Time Control of a Complex Physical Modelling Synthesis Engine with a Simple Gesture,' International Conference on Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-17), Edinburgh, UK, September 5–9, 2017

Keenan, Fiona and Pauletto, Sandra, 'Design and Evaluation of a Digital Theatre Wind Machine,' International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME17), Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark, May 15-19, 2017
Keenan, Fiona and Pauletto, Sandra, 'An Acoustic Wind Machine and its Digital Counterpart: Initial Audio Analysis and Comparison,' Interactive Audio Systems Symposium, University of York, September 23rd 2016.

Keenan, Fiona 'A Theatre Wind Machine as Interactive Sounding Object,' International Conference on Live Interfaces (ICLI) Doctoral Colloquium, University of Sussex, June 2016.

Contact details

Ms Fiona Keenan
Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media