J Simon van der Walt


Dr J Simon van der Walt is Glasgow-based composer of mixed descent. Over the course of his career has created a varied body of work, ranging from score-based composition to installation, sound art, performance, and devised musiktheatre. His chief current preoccupations are Indonesian gamelan music, Afrofuturism, and reconstructing the career of his fictional alter ego Edward ‘Teddy’ Edwards, unsung hero of British light music electronica. These interests are combined in his ongoing contribution to Gamelan Untethered by Gamelan Naga Mas, an hour long musical and video meditation on humanity’s place in outer space.

Professional highlights

Recent works include: Perang Gagal: a Series of Inconclusive Battles (2020) for gamelan and livecoder; Prelude, Gantungan and Dance (2018) for gamelan, piano, and prepared piano; Antichthon (2014) for two harps and gamelan instruments; Why Scotland Why East Kilbride (2013) for ensemble with multimedia and performance chemistry; RITE (2013) for four pianos and retro fx units; Poème-Étude pour Pianiste Récitant (2009) for reciting pianist; The Seventh Voyage (2012) for two pianos and laptop; Dr Mueller? Dr Mueller!? Oh, boy (2011) for clarinet and acoustic laptop; Liebesglück hat tausend Zungen (2011) for soprano voice and piano; Exercise (2009) for trombone and exercise machine; Bare Wires (2009) for ensemble with multimedia and junk electronics; and The Whirlies (2008) for strings and improviser.

Teaching commitments

PhD supervision:

  • Justyna Jablonksa-Edmonds – ‘The Improvisation Hack: A ‘Cellist’s Journey into Intercultural Performance Practice’


Module coordinator:

  • Approaches to Critical Artistry
  • Teaching Musics of the World
  • Graduate Seminars
  • Introduction to Gamelan
  • International Collaboration in Contemporary Improvisation


  • Music in History 3
  • Practical Musicianship 2
  • Interactive Composition


Supervisor for

Beyond the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland...