- BA (Hons) in Popular Music, University of Liverpool
- MMus in Musicology, University of Edinburgh
- Field Recording
- Popular Music Studies
- Cultural History, Theory, and Historiography
- Ethnographies of Recorded Music and Material Culture
- Sound Studies
- Postgraduate Student Representative for Music (September 2011 - September 2012)
- Voluntary Sound Archive Assistant, Celtic and Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh (September 2011 - present)
- Member of the Organising Committee for the 2011 Edinburgh College of Art Research Students' Conference (September - December 2011)
- AHRC International Placement Fellowship for study at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. November 2012 - March 2013
- Panel discussion on the Art of Field Recording at Field Day festival, London, 25th May 2013. With Chris Watson, Ian Rawes (London Sound Survey), Rob St.John and Jonny Trunk - chaired by Cheryl Tipp of the British Library. More information here
- Presentations on 'The Aestheticisation of Technology in Field Recording' at Folklore Tapes nights in Glasgow (Glad Cafe, 24th April 2013) and Edinburgh (Scottish Storytelling Centre, 25th April 2013). I'm in the process of making a video of my talk and slides from this event; here's the poster made by David Chatton Barker
- I also play music with Rob St.John, which is (kind of) a sonic outlet for my research, and a lot of fun too.
Field Recording in Postwar Britain: Aestheticising Technology, Mediating Sound
- Prof Simon Frith
- Dr Katherine Campbell
My PhD research centres on the practice of field recording, through an exploration of a series of events that took place across Britain in the 1950s, as collectors and corporations set about staking out a place for musical traditions in the postwar cultural climate. I am using these case studies to critically engage with issues of materiality, collecting ideology, networks, technology, institutions, nationalism, discourse, and cultural politics; to trace the lives and mediations of recordings as they moved (and continue to move) from abstract ideas of authenticity, through processes of selection, production, preservation, reproduction, dissemination, and reception.
Research so far has been mostly archival, but, having recently completed a stint at the Library of Congress rummaging through the Alan Lomax Collection and the Columbia Records holdings, I’ll be conducting ethnographic fieldwork in 2013, in attempts to explore the sonic past, and the roles of recordings therein.
Publications/presentations/papers list for Tom Western
- Guest lecture on 'The Politics of Field Collecting,' Scotland and Orality (SCET08008), October 2012
- Led a field trip to the Celtic and Scottish Studies sound archive, MMus Research Methods A (MUSI11015), October 2012
This article was published on Sep 16, 2010