London College of Music

Practice as research

LCM is an extremely adept institution when it comes to research into composition.  With world leading professors and researchers still very much active within their field, LCM prides itself on the strength and expertise within this area.


Chair of Composition/Head of Research, Professor Francis Pott, is internationally recognised especially in the field of organ music and sacred choral work. Widely published and recorded, his work has been heard in almost 40 countries and in the Vatican. An authority on the music of Nikolai Medtner, he is also a professional pianist with performance-based research interests.  There is also a strong thread of electronic and electroacoustic composition practice as research within the department which encompasses both popular and art music. 

Many of our music technology staff have professional experience and established profiles in this area and several have developed this creative practice into practice as research through DMus and PhD research degrees. Susan Thomason, one of our PhD students, is composing and creating multi-media sound sculptures using wearable technologies. Nino Auricchio and Jose Manuel Cubides are both undertaking a DMus in Electronic Music Composition, and Justin Paterson is nearing completion of one in Music Production that involves a showcase of advanced and hybridised production techniques alongside bespoke software development.

Other interesting projects include Jez Nash’s “Motormouth.”  The Motormouth project is looking at the point at which noise becomes music and the extent to which ‘liking’ can be facilitated by recontextualisation, focussing on notions of familiarity, and boundaries between noise and music.  Recontextualisation is a feature of the project which draws from Russolo's vision for a new music constructed with unwanted side-products of industrial activity, namely, noise created by the new machines of the industrial revolution.  This is coupled with an attempt at prior associational familiarity as a way of increasing chances of likability through arousal potential.  The latter is achieved through transitioning between Smalley’s 4 stages of surrogacy.  The field recordings are taken from automobiles, and organised into Pop arrangements with a lyric linked to the source vehicle.