Academic Staff Directory

Simon Zagorski-Thomas

Professor Simon Zagorski-Thomas

Course Leader - MA Record Production
Academic school:
Job title:
Course Leader - MA Record Production
Professor of Music
PhD / DMus supervisor
Higher qualifications:

BA Economics and Artificial Intelligence (Sussex University), PhD Studio Based Composition (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Professional organisations:
Chairman of the Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production (ASARP)
Arts & Humanities Research Council – Peer Review College
International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)
Music Research Consortium - UK
The Audio Engineering Society (AES)


Simon Zagorski-Thomas is Professor of Music at the London College of Music, University of West London, co-chair of the Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production and a Director of the Art of Record Production Conference. He worked for 25 years as a composer, sound engineer and producer and is, at present, conducting research into the musicology of record production and performance in the studio. He was recently awarded a visiting fellowship at the University of Cambridge and was the Principle Investigator in the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council funded network on Performance in the Recording Studio. His book on The Art of Record Production, which he co-edited with Simon Frith, was published by Ashgate Press in 2012 and his monograph on the Musicology of Record Production for Cambridge University Press was published in 2014.

Funded research projects

(2015) Principle Investigator on the AHRC Classical Music Hyper-Production project
(2012 - 2013) Principal Investigator on the AHRC Research Network into Performance in the Studio.
(2012) Visiting Research Fellow, University of Cambridge’s AHRC project on Contemporary Musical Performance as Creative Practice.

Research and scholarly output:
Forthcoming publications

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2016) Sonic Cartoons. In M. Hanáček, H. Schulze, & J. Papenburg, eds. Sound as Popular Culture. MIT Press.

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2016) How Is Theoretical Research Meeting The Challenges of Pedagogy In The Field Of Record Production? In King, A. and Himonides eds, E. Music, Technology and Education: Critical Perspectives. Ashgate Press.

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2016) The Spectromorphology Of Recorded Popular Music: the shaping of sonic cartoons through record production. In Fink, R, Latour O’Brien, M and Wallmark, Z. The Relentless Pursuit of Tone: Timbre in Popular Music. Oxford University Press

Book and book chapters

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2015) An Analysis of Space, Gesture and Interaction in Kings of Leon’s 'Sex On Fire' (2008). In R. von Appen et al., eds. Twenty-First-Century Pop Music Analyses: Methods, Models, Debates. Ashgate Press.

Zagorski-Thomas, S. & Frith, S. (eds.) (2012) The Art of Record Production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, Ashgate Press.

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2010) Real and Unreal Performances. In Danielsen, A. (2010) Rhythm In The Age of Digital Reproduction, Ashgate Press.

Journal articles

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2012) Musical Meaning and the Musicology of Record ProductionBeitraege zur Popularmusikforschung (Vol.38), Bielefeld.

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2010) The Stadium In The Bedroom: functional staging, authenticity and the audience led aesthetic in record production, Popular Music Journal 29(2).

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2008) The Musicology of Record Production, 20th Century Music 4(2).



Conference presentations and/or papers

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2008) The Medium In The Message: Phonographic staging techniques that utilize the sonic characteristics of reproduction media. Peer-reviewed Proceedings of the Art of Record Production Conference, University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2007) Gesturing Producers and Scratching Musicians. Peer-reviewed Proceedings of the Art of Record Production Conference; Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Recent guest lectures

University of Aalborg (Denmark)
Bogota School of Audio Engineering, University of Chicago
University of Copenhagen
University of Curitiba (Brazil)
Deutsch Pop (Berlin)
Drexel University (Philadelphia)
University of Edinburgh
University of Falun (Sweden)
Harvard University
Instituto Technico Metropolitano Medellin (Colombia)
Jacksonville University (Florida)
University of Los Andes (Colombia)
University of Massachusetts Lowell
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Mid Tennessee State University
New York University
Pop Akademie (Mannheim)
University of Rio Di Janeiro
Royal Academy of Music
Royal College of Music (Stockholm)
Rowan University (New Jersey)
York University

Research degree supervision:
Current supervision
Student Role in team Thesis title
James Bell Principal supervisor The digital audio workstation as a mediator of the electronic music production process.
Paul Borg Second supervisor The new Modular Instrument in Electronic-Music Mediation and Performance Practice.
Jose Cubides Gutierrez Second supervisor Development of Compositional Methods Based on Sound/Noise as a Public/Private expression.
Agata Kubiak Second supervisor Under what circumstances does performing new music encourage creativity in string players?
Yongju Lee Principal supervisor How can Actor-Network-Theory and Ecological Approach to Perception be used to analyse creative mixing practice?
Jo Lord Second supervisor 3D Audio for Music: Ecological perception, embodied cognition and applied technique.
Paul Mackley Second supervisor What impact are sound design technologies having within the live medium of theatre?
Christos Moralis Second supervisor Live Popular Electronic Music - ‘Performable Recordings’.
Liz Pipe Principal supervisor The role of gesture and non-verbal communication in popular music performance, and its application to curriculum and pedagogy.
Tyrian Purple Principal supervisor In what ways have guitar players’ tools come to shape the playing style, compositional approach, and recording methodology of noise rock music from the 1970s to the present?
Susan Thomason Principal supervisor The Embodied Feminine and the Sensory Self.


Completed Research Degrees
Student Role in team Thesis title Date of award
Anthony Meynell Principal supervisor

How recording studios used technology to invoke the psychedelic experience: The difference in staging techniques in British and American recordings in the late 1960s.

July 2017