Things I’ve worked on or am working on, mostly research projects which have yet to find a definitive form
The Late Voice
This mostly takes the form of a book project I’m researching, dealing with the representation of time, age and experience in popular song. More generally, the ‘late voice’ tag is the one I use when dealing with late style in the arts.
Spaces of Sound
A project inspired by the spatial turn in the humanities that has taken place (in multiple meanings of the term) over recent decades. Inspired, too, by Georges Perec’s Species of Spaces, I’m looking at ways to connect the internal spaces of music (the space between the notes), the external spaces in which we experience sound, and the ‘spaces’ of perception that process the eperience. What is the sonic equivalent of starting, as Perec does, with the space of the page and zooming out to the room, town, world, universe in which that page is being written?
Much of the work I do is connected with issues of sound recording, or phonography as it has been termed by those wishing to consider it as a transcriptive and creative technology akin to photography. I remain fascinated by the ways in which the documentary potential of sound recording interact with the uses of sound recording technologies to create and recreate new sonic possibilities. I’ve explored many of these issues in my research and teaching and have plans to publish more widely in this area. One project I’m working on analyses distinct moments in the history of the recording industry (the 1930s, the 1950s-60s, and the 1980s-early 2000s) that correspond to particular ways of representing and marketing cultural otherness to audiences. While at Newcastle University, I worked with my colleagues Ian Biddle and Nanette de Jong on a project entitled ‘Ritual, Remembrance and Recorded Sound’, resulting in a taught postgraduate course of the same title and plans for a co-authored book. Some of the initial propositions can be found in this PDF.