I am a Visiting Scholar in the Music Department at Reed College. My Ph.D. is in Ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago, where I wrote a dissertation titled “Creativity in the Mix: Collaboration and Contingency in Britain’s Classical Music Recording Studios.”
My research explores the creative and technological practices of classical music recording engineers and producers, emphasizing the ways in which modern recording techniques are shaped by late capitalist reorganization of the recording industry. I argue that through the use of advanced recording and editing technologies, recordists participate in the discursive construction of the “classical” genre and challenge traditional ontologies of the musical work. Further, they grapple with ethical concerns about the authenticity of the recorded performance, although these worries are commonly subordinated to the pragmatic demands of the recording session.
While my research ethnographically analyzes the cultural practices of a subset of Western classical music performance, my research and teaching interests extend well beyond classical music. I am deeply fascinated by the practices of musical performance across many genres, as well as the ways in which ideas about social class, gender, and fame are mediated by technologies of recording and reproduction. These ideas connect the world of classical music with pop stars and rock scenes, and I aim to demonstrate the interconnected sounds and values of the many musics in contemporary culture. I believe strongly in the value of an ethnomusicological approach to the Western classical canon, and of using our scholarly tools to understand the claims made by contemporary media (including popular music, modern art, and film).