Dr Philip Alexander

  • British Academy Post Doctoral Research Fellow (Theology & Religious Studies)

Research interests

Research interests

  • Klezmer and Yiddish music
  • Music and space
  • Traditional music and the contemporary city
  • Scottish-Jewish music and culture
  • Berlin in the twenty-first century
  • Jewish life and lives in the UK

Biography

I hold a first in Music, a Masters in Ethnomusicology, and completed my PhD in 2016. My PhD research examined the ways that klezmer and Yiddish music have been reinterpreted and recreated in today’s Berlin, in particular the dialogue between traditional musical culture and the diverse performance spaces of the modern urban environment.

From 2017-2019 I worked as Research Associate on the Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces project (Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh). My British Academy ECR Fellowship (autumn 2019 – summer 2022) will allow me to take this work further, concentrating particularly on musical practice among Jews in early twentieth century Scotland.

Alongside my academic life I am a busy musician. In 2003 I set up the successful world/folk band Moishe’s Bagel – in 2015 the group was commissioned to compose, record and perform a new score to the Soviet silent film classic “Salt for Svanetia”. I was for seven years a central part of the Scottish big band Salsa Celtica, and I am an occasional member of the groundbreaking Mr McFalls Chamber ensemble. I have been a longtime collaborator of English folksinger Eliza Carthy and a regular duo performer with internationally-acclaimed clarsach player and composer Catriona McKay. I am currently working on a trio project with bassist Mario Caribé and percussionist Signy Jakosdottir. My performances and recordings have been reviewed in The Guardian, Times, Sunday Times, Herald, Scotsman and specialist press, and I have performed on BBC Radio 3, BBC 6 Music and Radio Scotland.


Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2015
Number of items: 7.

2019

Alexander, P. (2019) Narratives of here and of elsewhere in Scottish-Jewish music: Meyer Fomin and Isaac Hirshow. Shofar, 37(3), pp. 19-58. (doi:10.5703/shofar.37.3.0019)

Alexander, P. , Holtschneider, H. and Spiro, M. (2019) Introduction: Narrative spaces at the margins of British-Jewish culture(s). Shofar, 37(3), pp. 1-18. (doi:10.5703/shofar.37.3.0001)

2018

Alexander, P. (2018) Sounding the Holocaust, silencing the city: memorial soundscapes in today's Berlin. Cultural Studies, (doi:10.1080/09502386.2018.1543715) (Early Online Publication)

Alexander, P. (2018) Salsa Celtica's Great Scottish Latin Adventure: an insider's view. In: McKerrell, S. and West, G. (eds.) Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition and Policy. Series: Ashgate popular and folk music series. Routledge: London, pp. 139-156. ISBN 9781138205222 (doi:10.4324/9781315467573-11)

Alexander, P. (2018) Our city of love and of slaughter: Berlin klezmer and the politics of place. Ethnomusicology Forum, 27(1), pp. 25-47. (doi:10.1080/17411912.2018.1460616)

2017

Alexander, P. and Galford, E. (2017) Among Others: 200 Years of Jewish Lives in Edinburgh. [Performance]

2015

Alexander, P. , Lawson, G., Caribe, M., Garnett, P. and Nicolson, G. (2015) Salt for Svanetia (newly commissioned score). [Audio]

This list was generated on Thu Dec 12 12:51:00 2019 GMT.
Number of items: 7.

Articles

Alexander, P. (2019) Narratives of here and of elsewhere in Scottish-Jewish music: Meyer Fomin and Isaac Hirshow. Shofar, 37(3), pp. 19-58. (doi:10.5703/shofar.37.3.0019)

Alexander, P. , Holtschneider, H. and Spiro, M. (2019) Introduction: Narrative spaces at the margins of British-Jewish culture(s). Shofar, 37(3), pp. 1-18. (doi:10.5703/shofar.37.3.0001)

Alexander, P. (2018) Sounding the Holocaust, silencing the city: memorial soundscapes in today's Berlin. Cultural Studies, (doi:10.1080/09502386.2018.1543715) (Early Online Publication)

Alexander, P. (2018) Our city of love and of slaughter: Berlin klezmer and the politics of place. Ethnomusicology Forum, 27(1), pp. 25-47. (doi:10.1080/17411912.2018.1460616)

Book Sections

Alexander, P. (2018) Salsa Celtica's Great Scottish Latin Adventure: an insider's view. In: McKerrell, S. and West, G. (eds.) Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition and Policy. Series: Ashgate popular and folk music series. Routledge: London, pp. 139-156. ISBN 9781138205222 (doi:10.4324/9781315467573-11)

Performance

Alexander, P. and Galford, E. (2017) Among Others: 200 Years of Jewish Lives in Edinburgh. [Performance]

Audio

Alexander, P. , Lawson, G., Caribe, M., Garnett, P. and Nicolson, G. (2015) Salt for Svanetia (newly commissioned score). [Audio]

This list was generated on Thu Dec 12 12:51:00 2019 GMT.

Grants

Grants and Awards

  • 2019-2022 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow: Foreign Sounds, Musical Life in Jewish Scotland, 1880-1950
  • 2017-2019 AHRC-funded project: Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces (Research Associate)
  • 2013-15 AHRC Full Studentship
  • 2013-15 Jewish Music Institute Mildred Loss Studentship

Teaching

  • Ethnomusicology
  • Introduction to Judaism
  • Modern Judaism
  • Klezmer and Yiddish song
  • Music and Culture
  • Music and Gender

Additional Information

Academia.edu page: https://glasgow.academia.edu/PhilAlexander

Composition commissions

  • 2015 Full score for the silent film Salt for Svanetia (funded by Creative Scotland and commissioned by Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film)
  • 2013 Album commission for Mr McFall’s Chamber (“Notango”)
  • 2010 Two original compositions arranged for small orchestra for continuing performance by the Northern Ballet Theatre.
  • 2009 Music for “Misha’s Story” and “Russian Fairytale” promotion for Love’s Bridge Charity (Perm, Siberia)
  • 2004 Touring commission for Mr McFall’s Chamber (“The Wisps of Ardisht”)
  • 2001 Album commission for Just East of Jazz (“Dance of the Hayseeds”)

Select Recordings

 

  • 2016 Maria de Buenos Aires (Astor Piazzolla) Mr McFall’s Chamber feat. Victor Villena
  • 2015 Salt for Svanetia, new score Moishe’s Bagel
  • 2013  La Pasionaria Mr McFall’s Chamber
  • 2014  The Tall Islands Salsa Celtica
  • 2010 Michael MarraMr McFall’s Chamber
  • 2010 Uncle Roland’s Flying Machine Moishe’s Bagel
  • 2008 El Camino Salsa Celtica
  • 2007 SaltMoishe’s Bagel
  • 2005 La Zucca BaruccaTangalgo piano trio
  • 2004 Don’t Spare the Horses Moishe’s Bagel
  • 2000 The Music of Astor Piazzolla (original piano arrangements) Phil Alexander