Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.
- British History
- History of Music
- Theatre Studies
- Urban Studies
Much of my work is concerned with the criss-crossing of musical and urban histories in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - especially, though not exclusively, in big cities like Paris and London. I like to approach the music of the past via the places and spaces with which it was commonly identified. This might mean paying close attention to particular sites of performance (Italian opera is a different beast when taken out of the theatre and into the street, for instance) or it might mean asking how music contributed to the (often multi-media) evocations of particular territories or landscapes. I'm also interested in the history of how music and musicians travel and adapt. The notion of cultural mobility is central to The Melodramatic Moment, a collection of essays that I edited with Katherine Hambridge (Durham) as well as my first monograph (in preparation), Music on the Move in Victorian London. If any of this is up your street, do get in touch.
You can find deatils of some of my published research on my Academia.edu profile page.
As well as working on my monograph (see above) I currently have a few essays in the pipeline: one is about the curious history of promeande concerts and indoors fountains (for a special issue on music and the environment in the nineteenth century); another is about resonance, fame, and Fingal's Cave (for a book on sound and sense in Britain, 1770-1830); another is about the Victorian travels of the "Old Hundredth" psalm (for a book on music and the Bible in the British nineteenth century); lastly, I'm writing a review article entitled "Opera History, the Travel Edition," which deals with a range of issues in the study of operatic sound (and stuff) on the move.
Longer term, I plan to write study of sound and music in the early town planning movement (mainly in Britain, from the late-nineteenth to the early-twentieth century). I also aim to publish something on the history of musical cartography (see the section on grants below).
I was a founder member of the Hearing Landscape Critically research network, which brought together scholars and practitioners from various fields between 2012 and 2016 to address the significance of sound in landscape and the role of landscape in shaping our understanding of music.
I am co-director of The London Stage Project led by Michael Burden (New College, Oxford), which hosts a biannual conference on The London Stage and the Nineteenth-Century World; the next instalment is 16-18 April 2020. In previous years we have curated a major exhibition on Staging History, 1780-1840 (2016-2017) and published a volume of essays (also titled Staging History, 1780-1840) on the phenomenon of historical drama in Britain and the United States. We are currently preparing to launch a digital calendar of performances in London theatres, 1800-1844, which will be freely accessible via the Oxford Digital Library when it goes live some time in 2020.
I am a member of the editorial collective of the journal Radical Musicology and the editorial board of the Cambridge Elements series Music and the City. I am also a board member of the newly-formed Nineteenth-century Experimental Song Collective (web link forthcoming).
My current supervision areas are: Music.
I'm first supervisor for:
- Ignasi Solé Piñas's study of the performance and recording history of Beetoven's cello sonatas.
I'm second supervisor for:
- Ben Ponniah's creative practice portfolio of choral compositions;
- Daniel Collins's study of the influences of the Edda and the Heimskringla on Norwegian Composers in the nineteenth century; and
- Claudia Falcone's study of women and domestic music in early 19th century Britain.
Women and domestic music in early 19th century Britain
Research Funding and Grants
I am Principal Investigator for an for an AHRC research network on Mapping Music History (2019-2020). As the network gather steam we will be posting blogs and resources to musicalgeography.org, a site run by my co-investigator Louis Epstein (St. Olaf College).