Music and Sonic Studies Manchester

Established in 2018, Music and Sonic Studies Manchester (MASSmcr), based at Manchester Metropolitan University, conducts innovative research into music and sonic phenomena.


MASS ManchesterWe aim to produce new ways of understanding and experiencing the production, reception and aesthetics of music, sound and other sonic encounters. We seek to understand how sonic and musical practices shape our understanding of the world and how they inform diverse identities, communities and spaces.

Our interdisciplinary research in Arts and Humanities at Manchester Met will connect with, engage, and inspire public audiences of all ages across Greater Manchester and beyond. We endeavour to enrich Manchester’s internationally renowned music culture, which forms an important part of the city’s night time economy, and that is central to its post-industrial identity. As part of this contribution to society and culture, we will also take our research to learning contexts beyond the academy by collaborating with youth organisations, schools, archives, and museums across the region.

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Sonic Waves: Music and Sound Beyond Borders

Date: 8 May, 2019 | Time: 10am – 5:30pm | Venue: Geoffrey Manton, Manchester Met
Evening Event: Music and Sound in one of Manchester’s underground music venues

Call for Participation

We are a group of multidisciplinary researchers exploring the musical beats and sonic streets of Manchester and beyond. For this symposium we want to bring together academics, researchers, practitioners, students and community organisations interested in exploring if and how the sonic transcends boundaries and is able to move beyond borders. At a time of global uncertainties from climate change and conflict zones, to national and international political upheaval, we question if music and the sonic can narrate and negate these changes and shift our understanding of core and peripheral preoccupations. We encourage submissions along the following themes, covering popular music and sonic engagements:

We especially welcome contributions that speak to the above themes on the gothic, electronic, synthesis, punk/post-punk, and avant-garde.

Email a 250-word abstract plus short biography to For all other enquiries please contact Dr Susan O’Shea:

Hosted by MASSmcr at Manchester Met. MASSmcr steering group: Dr Susan O’Shea, Dr Beate Peter, Dr Matthew Foley and Dr Julian Holloway

Keynote Speaker - Dr Linda O Keeffe (Edinburgh School of Art)

Dr Linda O KeeffeWe are delighted to confirm Dr Linda O Keeffe as our keynote speaker. Dr O Keeffe is Head of the School of Art at Edinburgh College of Art. She is both an artist and social scientist and many of her projects, which include solo exhibitions, performances and public installations, have had a multi-disciplinary aspect to them. Her most recent body of work focused on the impact of renewable technology soundscapes on rural environments and subsequently the further impact on local community soundscapes.

This has involved working with ecologists, environmentalists and technologists as well as engaging with communities, activists and artists. A body of that work is currently touring, Hybrid Soundscapes I-IV, as part of the Sounds Like Her exhibition. Past works have focused on sound through the theories of phenomenology and perception, examining the connections between communities and their urban spaces. This practice has involved deep investigations of the social construction of sound alongside an interrogation of urban planning and sensory management projects.

O Keeffe is founder of the feminist research group Women in Sound Women on Sound an international collective focused on making visible women in the field of sonic arts and sound studies research, she is also editor in chief of the Interference Journal, a journal of audio cultures


Our Expertise