Richard is a long-time producer of techno/acid dance music (discogs), and occasional amateur classical guitarist. After working in software development for many years, Richard returned to a full-time focus on music. Currently pursuing a PhD in Music at the University of Liverpool, he holds an MA in Music Industry Studies from the University of Liverpool awarded in 2018. His dissertation focused on aspiring musicians’ use of internet platforms for career development.
As a doctoral candidate, Richard facilitates undergraduate seminars, and provides teaching assistance on the Music as an Industry and Contemporary Genre modules.
Richard’s thesis The Persistence of the Underground in Dance Music Scenes looks at the notion of ‘underground’ scenes associated with dance music. This study seeks to explore their decision-making patterns related to local ‘underground’ events and cultural practices. The act of social dancing is rarely referred to within musicology’s literature. There is a tendency to assume that dancing to music is ‘obvious’ or can be ‘taken-for-granted’. However, dancing as an activity ties together the music, the people, the cultural spaces, and social history.
Therefore, the study will also aim to capture the research participant’s levels of engagement within scenes with an emphasis on dancing. The research aims to discover and interpret patterns of social behaviours within a sample group of those that attend dance music events and those involved in the creation and maintenance of cultural events, infrastructures and spaces in the city, and parties in Liverpool. It aims to gather their motivations, attitudes, and perspectives towards the ‘underground’ as a concept.
As Richard’s research is taking place during the 2020 global outbreak of COVID-19, it has been realigned to consider the national pandemic response which has necessitated the cancellation of all dance music events and the temporary closure of all venues. The research field has been transformed with unpredictable circumstances and methodologies have been has adapted to consider lockdown’s implications on research participants – socially, emotionally, economically and culturally. A question arising from the research considers what kind of scene will emerge from this historical point in time.
Richard has also been involved in research into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with fellow IPM researcher Dr Mat Flynn, and local music magazine Bido Lito! which has culminated in a series of articles in the magazine on the subject and two forthcoming co-authored academic papers.