A bit about myself…

I am a music theorist interested in the role of technological mediation in 20th- and 21st-century sonic practices, with a special focus on electronic and digital instruments in experimental, avant-garde, and popular music. My research aims to develop an interdisciplinary perspective on musical media by bringing theory into dialogue with surrounding discourses from science, technology, and cultural studies, and by combining analytical approaches with historiography, archival work, and ethnographic methods.

Recent publications include articles for Archival Notes (2023), Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies (2022), Music Theory Online (2021), Circuit: musiques contemporaine (2018, 2019), and Nuove Musiche (2018), a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Time in Music (2021), and an hour-long episode for the inaugural season of SMT-Pod: The Society for Music Theory Podcast (2022). Of note, my MTO article on early computer-based music by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho received the 2022 Emerging Scholar Award from the Society for Music Theory. I have also given regular presentations at international conferences, including the annual meetings for the Society for Music Theory, American Musicological Society, Electroacoustic Music Studies Network, European Music Analysis Conference, and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

In 2019, I completed a PhD in Music Theory at McGill University, working with co-advisors Robert Hasegawa and Jonathan Sterne on a dissertation that examines the articulation of post-spectral aesthetics to psychoacoustics and technological development at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris. On graduating, I was awarded McGill’s K.B. Jenckes Convocation Prize as “the most outstanding graduate receiving a Ph.D. degree in any discipline in the social sciences and humanities.” Over the past four years, I have been a post-doctoral College Fellow (2019-21), Lecturer (2021-23), and Director of Undergraduate Studies (2022-23) at the Harvard University Department of Music, where I taught undergraduate courses in theory and musicianship, as well as graduate seminars on popular music analysis, timbre studies, and sound studies. Most recently, I taught a special topics seminar titled “Instruments, Interfaces, Infrastructures,” which then grew into an interdisciplinary conference on the same themes held at venues across Harvard campus on May 11-13, 2023.

Looking ahead, I am excited to spend the 2023-2024 academic year at Imperial College London doing research as part of a European Research Council grant project on digital music instrument design and analysis, which is being led by Andrew McPherson. Likewise, in the following year (2024-25), I am excited to move to Rochester, NY, where I will begin a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Theory at the Eastman School of Music.

Feel free to contact me with questions: landonmorrison@fas.harvard.edu (n.b., this summer, email switches to l.morrison@imperial.ac.uk)