Culture Lab Newcastle

Staff Profile

Dr William Edmondes

Lecturer in Music



William Edmondes is the 'real' name of the artist and performer variously known as Gwilly Edmondez, Gustav Thomas, Copydex, MYKL JAXN, Virginia Pipe and more. As a composer-performer his primary materials are recorded media, sequencing and sampling, 8-bit Techno (Gameboy with Nanoloop), voice, online video and drawing; his primary aesthetic is Wild Pop. He studied composition at Cardiff (with Anthony Powers; BMus), King's London (with Robert Keeley; MMus), and York (with William Brooks; PhD).

Will is one half of the duo YEAH YOU with Elvin Brandhi; he publishes (and posts on his Claws & Tongues page) critical musicology and other writings as Gustav Thomas.

Will has twice been degree programme director for the BA in Contemporary & Popular Music (W301); was DPD for the MMus between 2006 and 2011; and was head of postgraduate studies and postgraduate research 2012-2014.

Will is also a resident at Culture Lab's Digital Cultures studio where, among other things, he has overseen the Culture Lab Radio project which is currently on hiatus awaiting new funds.

In October 2017 will formally established 'Wild Pop' as a research project heading under to bring together a variety of ongoing strands in his research (Felt Beak, Yeah You etc.) and through which it is hoped various funded research initiatives might establish ICMUS as a centre for improvisation within commercial popular forms. 



Performing, releasing and publishing as Gwilly Edmondez, Gustav Thomas, MYKL JAXN and Virginia Pipe, Will's work has consistently ploughed a rarely (at-)tended furrow at the intersection of free improvisation (free music) and commercial 'pop' - the term 'commercial pop' in this instance is meant broadly to cover all social music that sustains itself through its capacity to attract the interest of otherwise disinterested elements - not just music made expressly for 'chart success' what 'commercial' is too readily used to denote - as distinct from music reliant on state subsidy

In terms of more abstracted, broader discourses, Will's research comprises: (mostly) non-notated composition; improvised performance & recording (using voice alongside guitar, recorded media such as hardware samplers, turntables & dictaphones); digital dissemination and artist branding as micro-mythology. 

In 2017, along with former PhD supervisees Charlie Bramley and Craig Pollard, Will co-founded the Wild Pop research project as a vehicle for promoting, disseminating and making more visible the work at the work at this free music/pop intersection that the three of them, alongside numerous other performers and artists in the Northeast have been doing for many years.

Current, ongoing projects:

Felt Beak (online label-archive featuring daily-operation improv & experimental pop; multiple contributors & collaborators). 
Felt Beak Vimeo (video sister-site with broader base including archive footage of previous & related projects)

Yeah You (duo, performing as MYKL JAXN with Elvin Brandhi, totally improvised electro-pop recorded & filmed in ad hoc locations and concert settings):
Blue Moon Film Festival live score to Maya Deren's At Land (1944)
Incinerator - example 'car' video
Live At Blue Rinse (May 2014)
Yeah You on Vimeo
Yeah You Bandcamp
Yeah You at FMA

Gwilly Edmondez (improvising performer solo and in multiple collaborations):
UBU Web artist feature page (assorted archive releases)
E A V I [upcoming](collage & improvisation show with People Like Us, January 2015)
Live At Rhiz (solo show in Vienna, January 2011)
Pandæmonium (with Richard Bowers/Sound of Aircraft Attacking Britain, performance installation at Experimentica 2008)

VILEEVILVEIL (sampler & mandolin duo with b-cátt)
Live At Blue Rinse (September 2013)

Falco Subbuteo (as Gwilly Edmondez duo with Val Persona):
I Could Give You Names (digital release on Moscow's Clinical Archives)
Pigged Rubble (digital release on Moscow's Clinical Archives)
Live At Blue Rinse@Barkollo (five-minute concert clip from 2011)
Live At Blue Rinse@Bridge Hotel (two-minute concert clip from 2012)

Edmondez/D'Silva - duo with alo saxophonist Karl D'Silva:
36 Units Of Blazing Hash (album, 2009)
Cuts! (album, 2008)
Tape Womb (album, 2008)
"Rural Creep" video clip from Cuts! recording session

Copydex - plunderphonic collage:
Cash Price Champion 

Virginia Pipe - beat storm theory into praxis:
Bahnhof Zum Bahnhof (2006)
"Tesco Closes" - 7" vinyl (Kakutopia 2012)

Gustav Thomas - Gameboy sequencing (Nanoloop, LSDJ):
Soul Anus (2009 multi-format release - new 10" vinyl album due Autumn 2012)

Randy Wormhole - duo with John Ferguson:
Shaming Of The True

Edmondes' work is published by Kakutopia and online at: 

Video posts can be viewed at: [currently restocking]
Gwilly Edmondez also has a regular radio show on Culture Lab Radio called 'Make Property History' (

Edmondes also managed the record label and collective Kakutopia, founded in 1998 around the activities of Radioactive Sparrow. He is currently digitizing the entire back catalogue of all Kakutopia artists (most notably Radioactive Sparrow, Tony Gage, Livestock and Gwilly Edmondez) to be made available for free download.

Other Expertise:
Hip Hop; Collage & improvisation; Noise, Funk & Extreme Metal; Situationism; Digital networking & Dissemination; drawing & painting.

Postgraduate Supervision

Current doctoral candidates:
Michael Blenkarn
Rob Blazey
Phil Begg
Kenny MacLean
Craig Pollard
Hannabiell Sanders
Ben Freeth
Kieran Rafferty
John Pope

Completed PhDs:
Gerry Richardson
Rod Sinclair
Kitty Porteous
John MacLean
Pete Dale
Paul Vandermast Bell
Merrie Snell
Craig Wells
Suade Bergmann
Jamie Thompson
Charlie Bramley
Mick Wright


Undergraduate & Postgraduate Teaching

I deliver provision in both creative practice (recorded/digital composition and contemporary performance) and popular musicology.

Undergraduate modules:

Issues in Contemporary & Popular Music (stage 1 popular musicology)
A core module for first year students on the Contemporary & Popular Music degree (W301) which, since 2010, has been a core module for second-year students on Newcastle College's FdA in Popular Music and Music Production programmes (these students may subsequently transfer to stage 2 of the W301 degree).

The module serves as an introduction to the discipline of popular musicology, above all seeking to engender students' confidence to think, talk & write openly about their critical responses to, and reflections on, a broad popular repertoire that encompasses 'mainstream' and 'underground' musics of America, Europe, and beyond. The aim is to open up access to music and critical discourse while maintaining what amounts to individual expertise garnered by students being fans and already being seriously into many different music subcultures.

Roots of Hip Hop (rotating, honours-level popular musicology module)
Established in 2005, Roots of Hip Hop has consistently sought to develop critical perspectives around a contemporary tradition that has become probably the most influential popular music culture of all time. The module traces Hip Hop's origins and progenitors while exploring core socio-economic and political narratives and dimensions relating to the broader African-American and Afro-Diasporic context. In 2013, the module benefitted from a one-off appearance from visiting professor Tricia Rose. The module will next run in 2016-17.

Freedom/Funk/Fusion (rotating, honours-level popular musicology module)
Established in 2006 (as 'Rock N Roll Subcultures'), Freedom/Funk/Fusion (popularly known as F/F/F) seeks to provide students with a grounding in both the repertoire and critical perspectives of some of the vast array of popular music subcultures that have proliferated exponentially since the inception of Rock & Roll, especially since the late 1960s. In its most recent outing (2014-15), F/F/F covered club musics from Disco to House, the 'UK Hardcore Continuum' from Jungle to Grime, Black Metal, Progressive Rock and popular virtuosity through to Math Rock, Techno, Industrial, No Wave, DIY & US Hardcore (Craig Pollard, postgrad teaching assistant), Psychedelia (Phil Begg, postgrad teaching assistant) and a study of Tin Pan Alley as the foundation of commercial pop (Kieran Rafferty) postgrad teaching assistant).

Jazz Criticism (rotating, honours-level popular musicology module)
Established in 2012, Jazz Criticism deals with traditions in Jazz music and culture which are generally overlooked and yet remain the most vital and influential strands within its many styles and traditions, while also remaining most true to the music's original purpose meaning. As such, much of the module is devoted to examining the ways in which African-American music as a whole has been relentlessly and consistently appropriated, reduced and reinvented in order to serve the interests of popular entertainment and dominant ideologies. Consequently, the lecture series focuses on key developments such as Bebop, Free Jazz, Afro-Futurism, the Black Arts Movement, Fusion and post-Bop since the Loft Scene of the early 1970s, all of which comprise music that most commentators and purveyors of 'Jazz' have consistently overlooked and marginalised. Jazz Criticism will next run in 2016-17.

Music & Film (rotating, honours-level popular musicology module)
Currently in development for its inaugural run in 2015-16, Music & Film will explore the multi-layered culture of film music through its tradition of soundtracks and their place in the wider context of popular music as a whole. While looking at the role of music in various film traditions (including both Hollywood and European art-house, experimental cinema and beyond), the module will also deal with technical discourses such as sound design (courtesy of PhD teaching assistant, Phil Begg). As well as looking at music in (relatively) established film culture, the module will also address music and film in the domain of online social networking, e.g. youtube, vimeo, vine etc.

Contemporary Music Practice 1 & 2 (repeating modules, every year)
CMP 1 & 2 represent a two-stage, two-year honours level provision in the performance and composition in disciplines outside of the European Classical tradition - i.e., loosely speaking, popular and contemporary music. In both classes, students are free to pursue any stylistic discipline, medium or platform, from the most commercially focused ('mainstream') pop to the most austere and fringe experimental and avant garde - indeed, the classes are taught and presented in a way that seeks to do away with any notion of such distinction or polarity: some of the most overtly mainstream music is highly experimental, while much of the supposed avant garde is firmly grounded in established orthodoxy. Throughout both stages, the emphasis is on the pursuit of practice that is relative to the real-world, professional context (on whatever level that might be), rather than one that is purely academic, in the hope that, in part, students are learning to establish a viable, sustainable and distinctive artistic identity for later on. Both modules are taught by full-time staff with a significant contribution from PhD teaching assistants; in all cases, the teaching staff are visibly (and audibly) developing their own professional practice which, while not informing course content directly, has the benefit of lending advocacy to their teaching by example.

The ICMUS Hub (online discussion and peer feedback resource supplementing the above modules)
Since 2006 I have been the administrator of the ICMUS Hub, an online facility developed with then-postgraduate Brendan Ratliff who designed and built both incarnations and continues to manage it (the current incarnation was launched in 2012). The Hub offers students the opportunity to post music (complete or in-progress) in order to benefit from staff and peer feedback, effectively (and often literally) 24/7; students are also encouraged to blog and dialogue on current issues and debates within popular music culture which allows them to hone their skills in articulating their ideas and formulations on subjects close to their work, research and personal interests (and, thus, the instersection of all three).

Supervising Undergraduate Dissertations
Every year I tend to supervise at least five final-year dissertations. Over the years I have supervised dissertations on subjects like Punk, Lo-Fi, DIY, Hip Hop, Reggae, Jazz, Heavy Metal subcultures, Techno, Disco and various other topics.

Masters Modules

Improvisation for Creative Practice
Variously an undergraduate and postgraduate module over the years, Improvisation for Creative Practice is currently an elective project for the masters degree at Newcastle which aims to develop musicians' ability to make up new music in the moment. While its profile as a module has diminished, improvisation remains a highly visible presence at ICMUS, an ongoing culture wherein undergrads and postgrads play, record or gig regularly together with teaching staff; these activities are often on show at events like the long-running Blue Rinse series of student-run monthly nights or through online archives like Felt Beak. ICMUS imprvisors also tend to feature regularly at new music events in Newcastle and elsewhere.

Masters Supervision

Since starting at ICMUS in 2004 I have regularly supervised masters students both for creative projects (composition and performance) and for dissertations. I have also regularly supervised MLitt candidates.


To date I have supervised 12 doctoral candidates to successful completion. I currently supervise 10 doctoral candidates, for 9 of which I am primary supervisor.

For a list of past and present PhDs, please refer to the research tab on this page.

I also post blogs (under the name Gustav Thomas) on the ICMuS Hub that are supplementary texts to essay (historical & cultural) modules such as Roots of Hip Hop and related subject areas.