Autumn 2016 – Nikki’s sabbatical

The Thursday reading group will be back on in the new year – meanwhile, Nikki has been on sabbatical. Here’s what she has been up to:

“I’ve spent some time in Durham as part of my Visiting Fellowship for the new AHRC-funded Interpersonal Entrainment in Music Performance project, working with Kelly Jakubowski (in a new post-doc role after her work on ear-worms…), Martin Clayton, Tuomas Eerola and Simone Tarsitani. One early output from this work is a jointly-authored conference paper, accepted for presentation in Ghent, Belgium later this year at ESCOM: ‘Measuring Visual Aspects of Interpersonal Interactions in Jazz Duos: A Comparison of Computational vs. Manual Annotation Methods’.

The Fellowship at Durham came out of an earlier project, for which I created a database of audio and motion-captured recordings. These featured pairs of musicians improvising together.  Following the original experiments that we carried out using these recordings, other people have taken an interest in this database. So I’ve continued to explore and process the original recordings to make them as useful as possible for other people’s research projects. It’s hard to describe exactly what this entails, but if you have spent any time editing or working with digital media and data in different formats, and if you’ve ever played a locked-room game then you will have an idea how about 100 hours of my sabbatical were spent…

Another large portion of my time went on preparing a new research project proposal. I am interested in the impact that scientific discourse around music – coming from music psychology, music neuroscience, music cognition – has on wider understandings of music within scholarship, education and the public sphere of arts and culture. Still working on this. There’s no single way to carry out a research project. I still have decisions to make about the best methodology for the job.

Alongside these tasks, I did the things that I would normally do (alongside the teaching and admin roles that a research sabbatical relieves) — I peer-reviewed other people’s journal articles, I completed the revisions on a book chapter for a Routledge text book, I drafted the first version of a new article, and I carried out my external examiner roles for programmes at Sheffield and Newcastle Universities, plus a PhD viva at Cambridge.

And I made my first ever trip to Hull, to give one of the Music department’s Newland Lectures. What a city – I mean it! It’s not somewhere that always gets a good press, but I loved it! That place has character and I thought it was beautiful.

So there you go, what I did on my sabbatical – in case you were interested.”

About Nikki

Nikki is Senior Lecturer in Music at Edinburgh University.
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