Dr Martin Dixon
- Lecturer in Music (Music)
From my PhD onwards, I have been exploring music in its moment of production, as a “creative process”. My published output has been largely philosophical and critical theoretic, but I am now returning to work-centred analysis as a means of focusing research enquiry. My recent and forthcoming papers are concerned in one way or another with song and poetry. I treat singing in ontological terms, as a basic human expressive practice (common to both poetic writing and music), a practice that articulates and intensifies human existential conditions. When I consider the musicalized poetry of Paul Valéry, Kurtag’s Kafka-Fragmente, or Wolf’s Mörike Lieder, the analytical challenge is to understand composition as a means of fashioning a “possible world” for the poetic subject. In my view, this principle also allows us a much more coherent grasp of the emotional content of music than traditional expressivist accounts.
2015 – PI for the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with the British Library "The music of Thea Musgrave, an analysis based on the manuscript sources".
2013 – Carnegie Trust Travelling Scholarship.
2008 – Scottish Opera Commission for "Five:15".
1995 – AHRB Doctoral Research Grant.
The Aesthetics and Philosophy of Music, Opera
Selected Compositions and Theatrical Collaborations
2009 – The Lightning Rod Man. A chamber opera in one act based on a short story by Herman Melville. Libretto by Amy Parker. A Scottish Opera commission and production for Five:15. Performed by Scottish Opera at Oran Mor, Glasgow and The Hub, Edinburgh.
2006 - ...for of course it was that afternoon... A song cycle setting excerpts from the diary of Virginia Woolf for Soprano, Flute and Piano. Premier: Musica Nova, University of Glasgow.
2005 – Electroacoustic soundscape for Howard Barker’s The Last Supper, RSAMD, Glasgow.
2005 – Composition for Piano and a Woodwind Instrument. Musica Nova commission, University of Glasgow.
2004 - Electroacoustic soundscape for Howard Barker’s The Bite of the Night, RSAMD, Glasgow.
2004 - The Head of Bernado Soares. Musica Nova Commission for small ensemble and Baritone. Settings of texts from Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquietude. Premier: Paragon Ensemble with Damien Thantry, University of Glasgow.
2002 – All Quiet in Preston Park, a Scottish Flute Trio commission. Premier: RSAMD, Glasgow.
1997 – Electroacoustic soundscape for The Tempest, Cambridge Experimental Theatre.
1997 - Two Larkin Settings for Counter-tenor and String Orchestra, Cambridge Festival Orchestra.
1996 - Incidental music for Chekov’s The Seagull, Cambridge Footlights,Cambridge Festival Theatre.
1993 – Music for Bryony Lavery’s Her Aching Heart, Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
1993 – Clarinet Quintet, a Scottish Chamber Orchestra Commission for Academy Now.
1991 – Ballet music for Anthony Minghella’s Hang Up and Cigarettes and Chocolate, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow.
Specialist External Assessor for the Postgraduate Masters by Research, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK (2006-2011)
Chief External Examiner, School of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (2006-2008)
External Examiner, BA Music, School of Music, University of East Anglia (2005-2007)
External Examiner for the MMus in Composition, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (2005)
External Moderator, BMus Performance, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (2003-2006)
Non-published refereed conference contributions
2016 - “Kafka, Kurtág, and parabolic truth”. Conference on the 90th birthday of György Kurtág. Institute of Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.
2016 - “Bread, stones, and the regionality of inference”. Global Adorno conference, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam.
2015 - “Posing research questions natively: a phenomenological approach to creative activity”, Reflective Conservatoire Conference 2015, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
2014 – “A Brechtian Approach to Schubertian Drama”, Oxford Lieder Festival, Faculty of Music, Oxford.
2012 - “Private Music Listening and Inwardness”, International Society of Religion, Literature and Culture, University of Copenhagen.
2011 - “Seen from a Train”, a staged reading. 21st Annual International Virginia Woolf Conference, University of Glasgow.
2007 - “The Name of Action: Decision in the Compositional Process.” International Conference: Music and/as Right Action, University of East Anglia.
2007 - “Aesthetic Economies.” The Institute for Capitalising on Creativity, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow.
2006 - “Decision Theory in the Creative Context.” The Institute for Capitalising on Creativity, School of Management Studies, University of St Andrews.
2006 - “On Kierkegaard's Musical Erotic.” Second International Conference on Music and Gesture, Royal Northern College of Music.
2005 - “The Self-Reflection of the Artist as a Path to Aesthetic Insight.” 21st Century Music: Aesthetics and Reception, Royal Musicological Association Study Day, Royal Northern College of Music.
2005 - “Towards a Tragic Criticism.” Keynote Address, Society of Music Analysis Study Day, University of East Anglia.
2003 - “Adorno, Musical Experience and the Uses of Criticism.” CongressCATH: Warp:Woof - Aurality/Musicality/Textuality, University of Leeds.
2003 - “Critical Language and the Concept of Experience.” Adorno’s Schubert, Society for Music Analysis, Winter Study Day, University of Cambridge.
2002 - “Intermezzo: Robert Schumann and Recent French Critical Thought.” 38th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association, University of Glasgow.
2002 - “Art and Life: John Cage, Avant-Gardism and Technology.” Cage 2002 - 90/10, University of Southampton.