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3.8 Doug and Nikki - listen now

Guests Doug Johnstone and Nikki Moran discuss paradiddles and flams, the pitfalls of perfectionism, and weird left turns.

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Transcript for 3.8 Doug and Nikki

About our guests

Doug and Nikki
Doug (photo credit: Duncan McGlynn) and Nikki.

Doug Johnstone

Chosen object: a pair of Promark drumsticks

Recording location: Portobello, Edinburgh 

Doug is a Scottish crime writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh.

He holds a BSc (1992) and a PhD (1996) in physics at the University of Edinburgh

Doug spent four years designing radar and missile guidance systems for planes and helicopters, before deciding to pursue his ambition of becoming a writer. After taking a diploma in journalism, he now writes and reviews for a number of newspapers and magazines, primarily covering music and literature.  

His twelfth novel, 'The Big Chill', was published by Orenda Books in August 2020. His previous novel, 'A Dark Matter', was shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Doug’s work has received praise from many others, including Irvine Welsh, fellow Edinburgh alumnus Ian Rankin, and Val McDermid.  

Between 2010 and 2012, Doug was Writer in Residence at the University of Strathclyde and prior to this, worked as a lecturer in creative writing there.  

He plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a crime writing supergroup.

Doug's website

Doug's profile at Orenda Books

Follow Doug on Twitter @doug_johnstone

Nikki Moran

Pair of Promark drumsticks and box of crafting materials
Doug's drumsticks and Nikki's box of crafting materials

Chosen object: cardboard postal box of craft materials 

Recording location: Marchmont, Edinburgh 

Nikki is Senior Lecturer in Music at Edinburgh College of Art. She joined the University of Edinburgh in 2007 after receiving her Master’s degree from Cambridge and her PhD from the Open University. During her undergrad, Nikki studied classical viola and North Indian sitar performance.

Much of Nikki's research focusses on the cognition of music performance, stemming from her fascination between musical performance and social interaction.

During her time at Edinburgh, Nikki has developed courses and curricula that reflect a number of different issues, including the role of conventional music literacy in higher education and music scholarship, access and opportunity in music education. She is the presenting lecturer and co-author of the free online course ‘Fundamentals of Music Theory’.  

Nikki enjoys playing with local ensembles and friends, including Edimpro, Grey Area and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. She is proud to be a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy (YAS), which connects its members across disciplines and professions to develop and share in initiatives for positive social change across Scotland, the UK and internationally.

Nikki's staff profile

Free online course: ‘Fundamentals of Music Theory’ on Coursera

Follow Nikki on Twitter @DrNikkiMoran 

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Host: Richenda Rae

Theme music: Nathan Webb

Producer: Kate Stewart