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Music and Performance Research Group

The Music and Performance Research Group comprises practitioners of, and writers on, subjects related to music, theatre, drama and dance. Members of the group actively compose music, write drama and comedy, perform and devise theatre, create technological applications, record and engineer sound, and write about all aspects of cultural theory related to these practices. We are particularly adept at using collaborative and interdisciplinary, methods in addressing research inquiries. We have well- established creative and research partnerships with the BBC Philharmonic orchestra, Tempo Reale (Italy), Groupe de Recherche de Musique Vivante (France), Studio Matejka (Poland), Imitating the Dog (UK), Blast Theory (UK), Triangle Theatre (UK) and Ridiculusmus (UK/Australia). Our researchers act as consultants for the Blue Note recording label, as well as regularly having work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4.

We have specialisms in:

  • the interaction between traditional artistic disciplines and digital technologies and culture; examples of this include gaming controllers used to allow audiences to directly affect the playback of music during performance; the incorporation of digital technology into live performance; the use of digital recording technology to emulate analogue technology
  • interactive and location-based performance; our researchers have been working with leading location-based companies such as Blast Theory to create rules-based performance environments in which the audience become protagonists
  • collaborative and interdisciplinary working methods; this includes working with artists from other disciplines; working in communal and unscripted structures; embedding performance within communities
  • understanding popular culture; including popular music culture, live performance cultures, tribute acts and boybands, arena performances and online audience participation.
  • Northern Voices Opera Project: investigating the technical and cultural possibilities for English language opera incorporating regional identity through accent:
  • God’s Own Caught in No Man’s Land : a major commission from the BBC Philharmonic commemorating Salford’s role in the first World War (for 2016)
  • The Kraken Wakes. A multidisciplinary project featuring writer Val McDermid, the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Research and Development, BBC Radio Drama, and AHRC funded PhD students and music staff part of which was already featured in the 2015 BBC Proms:
  • The Tank Tram Project: Triangle Theatre The Tank Tram project will investigate Public Performance and Military Technology as part of the HLF First World War heritage projects.
  • Music composition using notation
  • Electro-acoustic music composition
  • Algorithmic, interactive and generative music
  • Popular music and cultural studies
  • Jazz Studies
  • Creative writing for drama
  • Contemporary performance techniques
  • Location-based and interactive performance
Prof. Alan E. Williams
0161 296 6234