Born out of regular Sheffield meet-ups of the Yorkshire Sound Women Network, SONA is a Sheffield-based group which fosters skills, creates space, generates networks, and forges collaboration to support women in learning and experimenting with sound and music practices.

The collective, established in March 2016, meets regularly in Sheffield and is always open to new female members.


Amy Beeston

Amy is a postdoctoral research fellow in Music Psychology at the University of Leeds, and a visiting academic in Computer Science at the University of Sheffield. Her preoccupation with human and machine listening arose while studying Sonology in The Hague, where she created audio installations that responded to sounds made by visitors in the space. Finding it hard to reliably move these works (but not her own ears) from one room to another, she eventually embarked upon a doctorate to study perceptual compensation for reverberation in human listeners and machines. Her research interests include bio-inspired auditory modelling, hearing impairment, and the use of live audio analysis techniques in sound art and music performance.

Lucy Cheesman

Lucy organises and facilitates inclusive workshops and events and is a founder member of SONA and the Yorkshire Sound Women Network. She recently acted as project lead on a year-long initiative to build a community of practice for women in creative technology and has contributed to research showing how community building approaches can have a significant impact on redressing inequalities in digital arts. As well as sound installations, Lucy makes live coded music under the name Heavy Lifting, using open source software TidalCycles and FoxDot. She runs a record label called Pickled Discs which is dedicated to promoting experimental electronic sounds. Lucy is also a board member at Access Space, a charity for the promotion of arts and technology.

Deborah Egan

Deborah originally trained as a musician and designer at York University and English National Opera Design School. Driven by the desire to effect positive change, each project she generates pushes forward the core value of creating people-centered design. Over the years, her work has stretched from live performance and curation to digital entrepreneurship and strategic development. Strong partnerships and stakeholder engagement lies at the heart of her work and, with a sharp focus on innovation and the new economy, she uses the skills of the creative, financial and digital industries sectors to create benefit for communities, children and young people driven by Art, Tech, Music and Code. Deborah is currently Director at DINA, Connect the Dots, Welcome to Yorkshire and The MakerHub.