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Faculty of Music

 
Contemporary Music
Popular Music
Music Philosophy
Conflict Transformation
Media

Biography

I am currently an Affliliated Lecturer in Music as well as a former postdoctoral researcher at Cambridge. My research focuses on the ethics and epistemology of contemporary music and society and is organised around questions of what music (as practices, objects, and ideas) does to and for individuals and societies. I draw primarily on 20th- and 21st-century music in both popular and art traditions, and incorporate a wide range of influences from historical musicology and ethnomusicology through to media studies, community arts, cultural studies, and virtue ethics. I likewise teach on a variety of topics from the 19th century to the present with a particular interest in issues of race, gender, ethics, and conflict in contemporary society.

Recent articles can be found in Ethnomusicology Forum, Journal of the British Academy, Twentieth-Century Music, and Popular Music, while I am also the author of Music Transforming Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Associate Editor for the Oxford Handbook of Western Music and Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2020).

My current research project advances new ideas about how music/sound can open up spaces for deepening understanding of past, present, and future violence as well as contribute to contemporary social transformation through distinctively 'contrapuntal' movement. Additional areas of investigation bring together my core interests in sound, verbal testimony, and performance to explore issues of sonic witnessing, the aesthetic possibilities for musical ‘truth’, and the gendered labour of mourning and lament.

My doctoral thesis, completed at Cambridge under Professor Nicholas Cook, explored how themes of guilt, forgiveness, and reconciliation are enacted and negotiated in contemporary genres and contexts spanning popular music, Western art music, and multimedia projects from four different continents. Since completing my PhD in 2017 I have held positions in Music and Philosophy  at the University of Cambridge and at the Mitchell Instutute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University Belfast. Prior to studying at Cambridge, I studied at Baylor University (Texas, USA) receiving a BM (Hons) in Piano Pedagogy and Performance and a double MM in Piano Performance, Music History and Literature.

Publications

Key publications: 

Music Transforming Conflict. Elements of Music Since 1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. 

'Sonic Witnesses: Music, Testimony and Truth', Ethnomusicology Forum 30, no. 2 (2021): 1–18.

‘Repertoires of Remembrance: Violence, Commemoration, and the Performing Arts’, Journal of the British Academy 8, s3 (June 2020): 51–71.

 ‘Private Words, Public Emotions: Performing Confession in Indie Music’, Popular Music 37, no. 3 (October 2018): 329–50.

 ‘Performing the South African Archive in REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape, and Testimony’, Twentieth-Century Music 15, no. 2 (Summer 2018): 187–209.