Dr Philip Alexander

  • Research Associate: Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces (English Language and Linguistics)

Research interests

Research interests

  • Klezmer and Yiddish music

  • Music and space

  • Berlin in the twenty-first century

  • Scottish traditional music and the contemporary city

  • 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 research examines the ways that klezmer and Yiddish music have been reinterpreted and recreated in today’s Berlin, and the relationship of musical practice to contemporary German/Jewish identities. I am particularly interested in the dialogue between traditional musical culture and the diverse performance spaces of the modern urban environment. Prior to joining the Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces project, I lectured in Music and Culture and Music and Gender at SOAS, and more recently in klezmer and Yiddish song at Cambridge University.

 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 am a member of the groundbreaking Mr McFalls Chamber ensemble, and I was for seven years a central part of the Scottish big band Salsa Celtica. 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 recording a duo album with bassist Mario Caribé. 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.


Grants

Projects

AHRC-funded project: Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces (Research Associate)


Additional Information

 

Publications

Book Chapters

  • Forthcoming: “Salsa Celtica’s Great Scottish Latin Adventure – an insider’s view” in Mckerrell & West (eds.) Understanding Scotland Musically (Ashgate)

    Book Reviews

  • Forthcoming: Walter Zev Feldman, Klezmer: Music, History, and Memory (OUP, 2016) in the Journal of the Society of American Music

    CD reviews

  • 2015: Storm Game (Michael Winograd). 2013 & Two Worlds/Zwey Welten (Benjy Fox-Rosen). 2014. Golden Horn Records. Yearbook for Traditional Music.

  • 2013 Cute Boy, Charming Girl: Childrens Songs of the Modern Hebrew Nation (1882–1948). 2013. AMTI 0113. Yearbook for Traditional Music.

    Conference Papers

  • 2015 “Yosl mitn garmoshke?: Klezmer accordionists take Berlin” Society for Ethnomusicology, Austin.

  • 2014 “Our city of love and of slaughter/will always be known as Berlin: Berlin and the Politics of Musical Space”. British Forum for Ethnomusicology, ‘Ethnomusicology and the City’, City University, London.

  • 2014 “Kreuzberg-Neukölln Sessions: Klezmer Music and New Jewish Space in Berlin”. Society for Ethnomusicology, Pittsburgh.

  • 2014 “Salsa Celtica’s Great Scottish Latin Adventure: an insider’s view”. Newcastle University, ‘Understanding Scotland Musically – can we, do we?’ conference.

  • 2014 “The Night of the Singing Balconies”: Organised Anarchy in East Berlin”.
     British Forum for Ethnomusicology, SOAS, London.

  • 2013 “Brighton Front Room Folk and the Virtual Session”. British Forum for Ethnomusicology, ‘Ethnomusicology and the Digital Age’, Queen’s University Belfast.
     

    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 Loves 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 Dont Spare the Horses Moishe’s Bagel

  • 2000 The Music of Astor Piazzolla (original piano arrangements) Phil Alexander

     

    Awards

  • 2013-15 AHRC Full Studentship

  • 2013-15 Jewish Music Institute Mildred Loss Studentship

  • 2016-17 Creative Scotland funding for accordion/bass recording project


Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2017 | 2015
Number of items: 3.

2017

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

Alexander, P. (2017) 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. Ashgate. (In Press)

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 Mon Dec 11 14:41:50 2017 GMT.
Number of items: 3.

Book Sections

Alexander, P. (2017) 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. Ashgate. (In Press)

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 Mon Dec 11 14:41:50 2017 GMT.