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Dr Drew Crawford 

Lecturer in Music

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Dr Drew Crawford is a Lecturer in Music at the University of Southampton.


I am a composer, producer, sound designer and songwriter with work spanning studio recordings (pop and EDM genres, film, tv, radio and video game soundtracks) and live performances (opera, theatre, dance, cabaret, the concert hall and large-scale corporate events) as well as installation & sound design projects. I love collaboration and being able to work across a broad range of compositional activities, from global projects to intimate commissions, in both commercial and more “art” oriented contexts and feel that each stream of work feeds the others. 

I am passionate about teaching creative contemporary music-making and, having taught techniques from digital sound design to 18th century counterpoint, I care deeply about teasing out connections between seemingly unconnected subjects to find the DNA that links them to each other, as well as to the student’s own musical experiences.

In 2018/19 I will be teaching the first year Fundamentals of Analysis, Counterpoint and Harmony and Composition Fundamentals modules as well as co-teaching the third-year Commercial Composition module with Dr Andy Fisher.

Starting with the academic year 2018/19 I am also the coordinator of the Masters programme in Music, responsible for Masters admissions. This means that I oversee our Masters students’ progress from admission to graduation, providing advice and support throughout their course of study at the University of Southampton.

 I studied composition at the University of Sydney with Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards and Anne Boyd, and was awarded my PhD in composition in 2006 (under the supervision of Ross Edwards). I taught Composition and Music Production at the Australian Institute of Music for ten years and was involved in course design as well as delivery at both Undergraduate and Graduate levels before relocating to the UK in 2016, where I taught as a Visiting Lecturer at City, University of London and as a Teaching Fellow here at the University of Southampton.

Research interests

My research is based on the idea that all music is multimedia in nature - that is to say, music is never alone. Whether in the context of narrative (through image, text, history & memory), its physical realisation as sound (performance, acoustics, site-specificity & multichannel delivery systems), or its creation (technological mediations, modes & sites of creativity, and collaborative models), music never exists in isolation, but always in a web of relationships within and outside of itself. Foregrounding this understanding allows this multimedial nature to be the site of creative exploration, experimentation and play.  

I have spent over a decade working on projects that have involved increasingly complex engagements with sound design. Sound design is a broad term that can cover a variety of roles and practices: from digital and analog synthesis, or creating, editing and spatialising sound effects for multimedia, to designing sound diffusion systems for physical spaces - to name just three examples. In a studio context, where sound can be decoupled entirely from live (real-time) performance, it can mean responsibility for every moment-to-moment detail of a given sound’s changes over time, how that sound might be combined and balanced with other sounds, and what kind of virtual or physical acoustic they might be presented in.

By foregrounding sound design’s role in the mediation of musical experience, my research posits that musical ideas have a multimedia relationship with their realisation as sound - their sound design - and investigates this as a site for the deployment of compositional strategies.


Research group

Composition and Music Technology

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Dr Drew Crawford
University of Southampton
Music Department
SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 2/2029

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