- Interdisciplinary and collaborative music creation practice
- Choreographic implications of sound spatialisation in live performance
- Geographically and temporally distributed creativity
- Electronic music production and composition
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning in digital music making
My current practice-based research in contemporary composition seeks to generate new knowledge on how to approach making music that accounts for the space in which it is performed. Spatial music – that is, music that uses human perception of sound localisation as a compositional parameter – has a modest but long history dating back to at least biblical times (call and response prayers, for example). More recently, acousmatic and electro-acoustic practice has seen an increased interest in spatial music via multi-channel electronic diffusion.
The problem remains, however, that music for live performance practices still largely ignores space as a compositional parameter. My research asks how can we develop a language of music-in-space/space-in-music with the same sophistication as (for example) harmonic or rhythmic vocabularies? What new forms could result when we foreground sound-in-space as a key compositional parameter? What new kinds of skills are needed from performers and composers when engaging in this kind of music-making practice? What are the aesthetic and emotional experiences of sound and music in space? And what are the choreographic implications of spatialising sound in live performance?
My interest and expertise in this area stems from two decades of studio-based practice in which the manipulation of (perceived) space is a primary concern, and over three decades of collaborative practice in theatrical contexts in which sound and physical movement in space are also central. As such, this ongoing interdisciplinary research draws on scholarship from a range of fields, including acoustics, affective aesthetics, and aural architecture, as well as theatre-, choreography- and studio-based creative practices.