Late Voice presents the work of Richard Elliott, a writer, teacher and cultural musicologist based in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK). I am the author of the books Fado and the Place of Longing: Loss, Memory and the City (Ashgate, 2010), Nina Simone (Equinox, 2013), The Late Voice: Time, Age and Experience in Popular Music (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015) and The Sound of Nonsense (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). I’ve also published articles and reviews on popular music, literature, consciousness, memory, nostalgia, place and space, affect, language and technology, details of which can be found below.

I’m a Senior Lecturer in Music at the International Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University, where I specialise in popular music studies. Prior to this, I lived on the South Coast of England, where I taught courses on popular and classical music, contextual music studies, and music and media at the University of Sussex. I have also worked as a teacher of English for Academic Purposes, a journal editor and a reviewer of books and music.

My research interests are wide but predominantly connect to ways in which music reflects and produces time and space. I’ve long been fascinated by the roles played by loss, memory, nostalgia and revolution in popular music. My work in these areas is heavily influenced by theories of place and spatiality and I am particularly interested in the ways in which music creates or evokes ‘memory places’ that take on significance for individuals and communities. Just as important for me is the way that music soundtracks lives and histories and, to this end, I’ve explored about the representation of time, age and experience in popular song.

My other areas of specialisation include post-1950s popular music; African popular musics; North American country music and Americana; music and cultural theory, urban musicology, the poetics of song and the politics of authenticity. I have a background in a variety of disciplines, having gained a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative American Studies, a Master’s in Popular Culture and a PhD in Music.



The Sound of Nonsense (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). More

The Late Voice: Time, Age and Experience in Popular Music (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). More

Nina Simone (Sheffield: Equinox, 2013). Series: ‘Icons of Popular Music’. More

Fado and the Place of Longing: Loss, Memory and the City (Ashgate, 2010). More


Some of the essays listed here are available to read on this site – see ‘Essays‘ section.

Brilliant Disguises: Persona, Autobiography and the Magic of Retrospection in Bruce Springsteen’s Late Career’, Persona Studies 5/1 (2019): 17-32. DOI:

‘Sounding Out Popular Music History: A Musicological Approach’, in The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage, edited by Sarah Baker, Catherine Strong, Lauren Istvandity and Zelmarie Cantillon (London: Routledge, 2018), 46-54.

Species of Sonic Spaces’. Literary Geographies 3/1 (2017): 69-86.

“Words Take the Place of Meaning”: Sound, Sense and Politics in the Music of Robert Wyatt’, in The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place, edited by Isabelle Marc and Stuart Green (London: Routledge, 2016), 51-64.

“My Tongue Gets t-t-t-”: Words, Sense and Vocal Presence in Van Morrison’s It’s Too Late to Stop Now’. Twentieth-Century Music 13/1 (2016): 53-76.

Words from the New World: Adventure and Memory in Patti Smith’s Late Voice’, in Patti Smith: Outside, edited by Claude Chastagner (Montpellier: Presses Universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2015), 113-35.

Across the Evening Sky: The Late Voices of Sandy Denny, Judy Collins and Nina Simone’, in Gender, Age and Musical Creativity, edited by Catherine Haworth and Lisa Colton (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), 141-53.

“Time and Distance Are No Object”: Holiday Records, Representation and the Nostalgia Gap’, Volume! 11/1 (2014): 131-43.

‘You can’t just say “words”: Literature and Nonsense in the Work of Robert Wyatt’, in Litpop: Writing and Popular Music, edited by Rachel Carroll and Adam Hansen (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), 49-62.

The Choreography of Longing: Songs, Screens and Space in Carlos Saura’s Fados’, Quaderns de Cine 9 (2014): 71-8.

So Transported: Nina Simone, “My Sweet Lord” and the (Un)folding of Affect’, in Sound, Music, Affect: Theorizing Sonic Experience, edited by Marie Thompson and Ian Biddle (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 75-90.

Free, Confused and Lonely: On Age, Pop, Fashion and Incompatibility‘, Radical Musicology Volume 6 (2012-2013), PDF

Public Consciousness, Political Conscience and Memory in Latin American Nueva Canción’, in Music and Consciousness: Philosophical, Psychological and Cultural Perspectives, edited by David Clarke and Eric Clarke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 327-41.

The Same Distant Places: Bob Dylan’s Poetics of Place and Displacement’, Popular Music and Society 32/2 (2009): 249-70.

‘Popular Music and/as Event: Subjectivity, Love and Fidelity in the Aftermath of Rock ’n’ Roll’, Radical Musicology 3. (2008). More

‘Reconstructing the Event: Spectres of Terror in Chilean Performance’, British Postgraduate Musicology 8.


‘Aging and Popular Music’, in Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging, edited by Danan Gu and Matthew E. Dupre (Cham: Springer, 2019). DOI:

‘Beatboxing’, in Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World (New York: Bloomsbury, 2018).

I am the revising author for the following entries in Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World originally authored by Richard Middleton:

  • ‘Singing’ (revised 2018)
  • ‘Solo’ (revised 2018)
  • ‘Song’ (revised 2018)
  • ‘Songwriter’ (revised 2018)
  • ‘Vocalized Tone’ (revised 2018)
  • ‘Voice as Instrument’ (revised 2018)

‘The Testimonial Imperative: Reflections on Saer’s The Witness, written in late 2003 as an exercise in bringing together ideas arising from postcolonial theory and psychoanalysis as preparatory work for my doctoral thesis on loss, memory and nostalgia. PDF


Some of the reviews listed here are available to read in the ‘Reviews‘ section.

Ronald Radano and Tejumola Olaniyan (eds), Audible Empire: Music, Global Politics, Critique (Duke University Press, 2016). Reviews in Cultural Theory 8/1 (2019): 17-22

Jocelyne Guilbault and Roy Cape, Roy Cape: A Life on the Calypso and Soca Bandstand (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014). Perfect Beat 17/2 (2016): 192-94]. Link

Lila Ellen Gray, Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013. Popular Music 34/2 (2015): 337-338. Link

Salwa Castelo-Branco (ed), Enciclopédia da Música em Portugal no Século XX (Lisbon: Temas e Debates/Circulo de Leitores, 2010). Popular Music 33/1 (2014): 161-164. PDF

Keith Negus, Bob Dylan (London: Equinox, 2008). Volume!, 9/1 (2012): 181-83.

Tony Tost, Johnny Cash’s American Recordings (New York: Continuum). Tiny Mix Tapes (1 July 2011).

Trevor Schoonmaker, The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010). PopMatters (15 April, 2011).

Edward Hollis, The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories (Picador, 2010). PopMatters (10 Mar 2011).

Viscount Lascano Tegui, On Elegance While Sleeping, translated by Idra Novey (Dalkey Archive, 2010). PopMatters (10 Feb 2011).

Leonard Brown (ed.), John Coltrane and Black America’s Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music (Oxford University Press, 2010). PopMatters (7 February 2011).

José Saramago, The Elephant’s Journey, translsated by Margaret Jull Costa (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). PopMatters (28 November 2010).

Diane Pecknold, The Selling Sound: The Rise of the Country Music Industry (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008). Popular Music, 29/3 (2010): 506-509.

Brandon LaBelle, Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life (Continuum, 2010). PopMatters (12 October, 2010).

Robert Friedel, A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007). PopMatters (24 September, 2010).

Patrick Huber, Linthead Stomp: The Creation of Country Music in the Piedmont South (U. of North Carolina Press, 2008). Popular Music 29/2 (2010): 320-22. DOI:

Gerald Raunig, A Thousand Machines: A Concise Philosophy of the Machine as Social Movement (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010). PopMatters (14 June, 2010).

Bill Minutaglio, In Search of the Blues: A Journey to the Soul of Black Texas (University of Texas Press, 2010), PopMatters (16 May 2010).

Rosalind E. Krauss, Perpetual Inventory (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010). PopMatters (29 April, 2010).

Richard E. Stamz with Patrick A. Roberts, Give ‘Em Soul, Richard!: Race, Radio, and Rhythm and Blues in Chicago (University of Illinois Press, 2010). PopMatters (21 April 2010).

Andrew Perchuk and Rani Singh (eds), Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular (Los Angeles: Getty, 2010). PopMatters (2 April).

Caleb Kelly, Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009). PopMatters (18 November, 2009).

Rob Kirkpatrick, The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen (Westport: Praeger, 2007) Popular Music, 27/2 (2008): 336-38.

Monte Dutton True to the Roots: Americana Music Revealed (Lincoln: U. of Nebraska, 2006). Popular Music, 27/1 (2008): 179-81.


Presentations with hyperlinks are available to view and/or listen to on this site – see also the ‘Presentations‘ section.

Keynote: ‘Revisiting Old Haunts in a Time of Lockdown:  Holiday Records, Virtuality and the Nostalgia Gap’, Urban Nostalgia: The Musical City in the 19th and 20th Centuries’, directed and organized by Lola San Martín Arbide (CRAL — EHESS), Online, 5–7 July 2020.

“This Is Our Grime”: Encounter, Strangeness and Translation as Responses to Lisbon’s Batida Scene’, IASPM UK & Ireland Conference, Online, 19 May-31 July 2020.

‘Tracks of Our Years: The Sonic Mapping of Lives’, Sonic Memory conference, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, 5 September 2019.

‘“You’ll Need a Good Companion for This Part of the Ride”: Navigating Bruce Springsteen’s Sonic Persona in the Born to Run Audiobook’, International Persona Studies conference, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, 25-26 June 2019.

Songs as Systems: Objects, Ecologies, Weather, Viruses’, Future Present: Current Practices in Pop Music Studies conference, Uppsala University, Sweden, 19-20 June 2018. Also presented at IASPM UK & Ireland Conference, Huddersfield, 3-5 September 2018 and at ELLAK International Conference, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea, 13-15 December 2018.

‘Batida as Urban Sonic Encounter’, Iberian Sound Cultures symposium, Institute of Modern Languages Research, London, 1 June 2018.

‘From Sound Objects to Song Objects: Rethinking Sonic Materiality and Metaphor’, Rethinking Sound 2018 conference, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea, 30–31 March 2018. Longer version presented at Gloucestershire Philosophical Society, Cheltenham, 11 April 2018.

‘Pop Hearts Nonsense’ / ‘The Sound of Nonsense’. Delivered at research seminars at Newcastle University, Liverpool University and University College Cork, 2017.

‘Listed Buildings: Rock and Pop Stars as Icons of Age and Experience’, IASPM UK & Ireland Conference, Brighton, 8-10 September 2016.

A Blank Space Where You Write Your Name: Taylor Swift’s Early Late Voice’, EMP Pop Conference, Seattle, USA, 14-17 April 2016.

‘Be-bop-sh-boom-a-langa-langa-doo-wop: Pop’s Love of Nonsense’, Music Department Research Seminar, University of York, 27 January 2016.

‘“All You See Is Glory”: The Burden of Stardom and the Tragedy of Nina Simone’, IASPM Australia-New Zealand branch conference, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 4-6 December 2015.

‘Excavating “Coimbra”: Genealogy, Nostalgia, and the Material Life of a Portuguese Popular Song’, 18th biennial IASPM conference, Campinas, Brazil, 30 June 2015.

‘The Lure of Ephemera: Record Labels as Visual and Textual Icons’, One Century of Record Labels conference, Newcastle University, 6-7 November 2014.

Keynote: ‘Familiar Futures, Strange Pasts: Popular Music and the Art of Storytelling’ , SIBE-Sociedad de Etnomusicología conference, Cuenca (Spain), 23-25 October 2014.

‘Dead Voices: Phonography, Archaeology and Materiality’, Musical Materialities in the Digital Age conference, University of Sussex, 27-28 June 2014.

‘Won’t You Spare Me Over Til Another Year?: Age, Death and Deferral in Old-Time Music’, Music, Film and Media Research in Progress seminar, University of Sussex, 26 February 2014.

‘Plenary Discussion: Songs of/and Place’, ‘Singing Places’ symposium, University of Sussex, 22 November 2013.

‘A Dream Deferred: Nina Simone and the Work of Mourning’, Centre for American Studies research seminar, University of Sussex, 19 November 2013.

‘Listening to Europe: “Continental Records” in Britain’, IASPM International Conference, Universidad de Oviedo, Gijón, Spain, 24-28 June 2013.

‘“Across the Evening Sky”: Real and Anticipated Experience in Nina Simone’s Late Voice’, Gender, Musical Creativity and Age conference, University of Huddersfield, 6-7 October 2012.

‘“The Place of Meaning”: Sound, Sense and Politics in the Music of Robert Wyatt’, From Adele to Zeca Afonso: The Singer-Songwriter in Europe conference, University of Leeds, 13-14 September 2012.

‘“You Can’t Just Say ‘Words’”: Literary Voices in the Work of Robert Wyatt’, LitPop: Writing and Popular Music conference, Northumbria University, 24 June 2011.

‘Songs of Fate: Marceneiro’s Drooping Cadences, Morrissey’s Avenging Misery’ (co-presentation with Lars Iyer), ICMuS Research Forum, Newcastle University, 3 March 2010.

‘“Trago fado nos sentidos”: Witnessing and Testimony in Fado’, IASPM International Conference, University of Liverpool, 13-17 July 2009.

‘Fado’s Invisible Cities: Lisbon Sounded and Silenced’, Fado: Percursos e Perspectivas conference, Universidade Nova and Universidade Católica, Lisbon, 18-21 June 2008.

‘“Quem me dera lá morar”: City, Text and Trace in Fado Songs’, Música, Ciudades, Redes conference, Conservatorio Superior de Música de Salamanca, 6-9 March 2008.

‘When the music’s over…’, Third Philosophies of the Vernacular symposium, Newcastle University, 8 December 2007.

‘Late Voice / Posthumous Voice: Nina Simone and Jandek’ (co-presentation with Lars Iyer), ICMuS Research Forum, Newcastle University, 24 October 2007.

‘Tudo isto ainda é fado? Fado as Local and Global Practice’, BFE (British Forum for Ethnomusicology) Annual Conference, Newcastle University, 18-21 April 2007.

‘Hail, Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll: Interpellation, Identification and Ideological Transference in Popular Music’, First Philosophies of the Vernacular symposium, Newcastle University, 25 November 2006.

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