From January- July 2015, as the result of a successful Bursary application to Creative Scotland, I had the opportunity to develop a project to explore the rich relationship between emotion and music in more depth.
There has been a surge of academic interest in the psychology of music in recent years – perhaps because of the technology that is now available to observe brain physiology in real time, enabling us to better understand what is happening when we perform or listen to music.
The bursary enabled me to attend two major academic conferences – The International Conference on the Multimodal Experience of Music at The University of Sheffield, and The 2nd International Conference on Music and Consciousness at the University of Oxford. Discussing the subject with leading experts in the field was a rare privilege, and I also conducted interviews with some of the key figures in music research.
As well as investigating the academic research, I also wanted to find out what this meant to composers – especially those working in the multi-modal areas of Theatre, film and television- and so I set about interviewing several of Scotland’s most prominent composers about their approach, their own philosophy of music and their reactions to some of the science informing contemporary music psychology. This will be invaluable in my ongoing work in schools and will also inform my future approaches to composition.