I’m a composer based in Cambridge, UK. Here I also supervise undergraduates, and on Saturdays I teach in London at the Royal Academy of Music, junior department.
My compositions reassess various social dynamics of performance, staging dialogues between old traditions and new, invented traditions.
My research essentially concerns musical meaning—how is it possible that music can move us? I focus on conceptions of order: their codification, and relation to their social, physical and notational histories. I'm interested especially in the music and writings of Luciano Berio, who was writing at a time when order seemed unbounded, as well as in the codifications of order that manifested in the early eighteenth century.
My PhD is Out of Order, an examination of the expressive operations of disorder. I present disorder as a simultaneously creative and destructive agent, and argue that the perception of a work's expression is the sense of its disorder, offering as evidence close readings of work by Beethoven and Messiaen, before turning to the writings and music of Berio, whose work I present as a kind of encyclopaedia of musical order, a living network of potential musical relations.
Alongside Rachel Stroud and Zephyr Brüggen in 2016 I founded rites, a musical and theatrical collective that questions and challenges rituals and conventions of the concert hall.
Outside of music I also write about the work of William Hogarth (especially his graphic works), and I work with analogue photography (see here for scans).
University of Cambridge profile