A bit about myself…

I am a music theorist who studies the role of technological mediation in 20th- and 21st-century sonic practices, focusing on electroacoustic sound, timbre, microtonality, and experimental subgenres of popular music. More broadly, my research aims to draw music and media studies into an interdisciplinary dialogue that tracks the transductive flow of sounds across diverse media environments.

My published research includes a pair of recent articles in the journal Circuit: musiques contemporaine, where I offer detailed analyses of new works by Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri and Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas. I also have a chapter in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Time in Music, where I present a general history of rhythm quantization in digital music production, examining its attendant technologies and its reception within the context of different musical genres. And I hope to soon publish two articles highlighting my recent archival work with post-spectral music: the first presents lost recordings and previously unreported sketches for Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s early electronic works, showing how they correspond with her development of a customized computer program dubbed “transkaija”; the second takes British composer Jonathan Harvey’s orchestral work, Speakings (2008), as a point of departure for a genealogical analysis of how the idea of timbre came to be constructed in computer-assisted orchestration software. Both of these articles are based on research from my dissertation, “Sounds, Signals, Signs: Transductive Currents in Post-Spectral Music at IRCAM,” which examines the articulation of post-spectral aesthetics to psychoacoustics and technological development at the Institut de recherche et coordination acoustique/musique (IRCAM) in Paris.

Currently, at Harvard, I teach core courses in the undergraduate theory sequence, and I have introduced graduate seminars on the analysis of musical media and on how the idea of timbre has been negotiated across different disciplinary frames. Before arriving at Harvard, I taught as a course lecturer at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where I also completed a PhD in Music Theory under the co-supervision of Robert Hasegawa and Jonathan Sterne.

Feel free to contact me with questions: landonmorrison@fas.harvard.edu