Richard Anderson

Name: Richard Anderson

Thesis title: Investigating the Persistence of the Underground in Dance Music Scenes

University email:

Richard is a PhD candidate at the University of Liverpool, sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council via North West Consortium Doctoral Training Programme. He is a long-time producer of techno/acid dance music, and occasional amateur classical guitarist. After working in software development for many years, Richard returned to a full-time focus on music. 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.

Richard’s thesis aims to undertake an in-depth exploration of the notion of the underground within contemporary dance music scenes, arguing that underground functions as conceptual anchor, tying together many seemingly disparate operations throughout urban cultural ecosystems. The primary goal of the study is to explore how underground becomes attached to and mobilised as a defining influence within scene practice, sociality, and micro economies. It hopes to shed light onto the ways in which the principles of the underground intersect with and shape the establishment of areas of cultural vibrancy within repurposed city spaces. The thesis addresses that such spaces are contested, and that dance music scene operate whilst facing existential threat arising from gentrifying residential developments. The research commenced during the 2020 global outbreak of COVID-19 and consequently realigned to uniquely capture the reactions, emotions and decision making of people involved in Liverpool’s underground dance music scenes as they lived through and emerged from this distinctive point in history.

Richard has also been involved in research with fellow Institute of Popular Music researcher Dr Mat Flynn, looking into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Liverpool musicians and the wider music sector in the City Region.

Teaching and learning:
Lecturer - Audiences (MUSI540)
GTA - Music as an Industry (MUSI150)
GTA - Contemporary Genres (MUSI263)

Conference papers:
Anderson, Richard; Cannizzo, Fabian; Flynn, Mathew; and Strong, Catherine. 2023. "Illuminating the shared experience of being a regional music maker/practitioner during the COVID-19 pandemic: A comparative study of the United Kingdom and Australia"
Music in Global Epidemics Symposium. Virtual conference Boulder, Colorado (USA),11th March.

Flynn, M. and Anderson, R. 2022. ‘Music-makers and Covid 19 in the Liverpool City Region’, 2022 IASPM-UK/Ireland Branch Conference. Liverpool (UK), 31st August.

Anderson, R. 2021. ‘It’s underground! Do you know what I mean?’, KISMIF Conference 2021 - Keep It Simple, Make It Fast! DIY Cultures and Global Challenges, Porto (Portugal) and online, 13th July.

Flynn, M. and Anderson, R. 2022. ‘Playing On: Exploring the Post-Pandemic Impact on Music Venues Across the Liverpool City Region’, IASPM-Canada and the Working in Music 2022 Conference. Virtual conference London, Ontario (Canada), 24th May.

Anderson, R. 2021. ‘Plague Raving: DJ Culture in the Pandemic’, Dancecult Conference, Online, 17th September.

Flynn, M. and Anderson, R. 2021. ‘Playing Out: A Life in the Year of COVID: The Loss of 15 Sociality’s Impact on Liverpool’s Music Scene’, Royal Geographical Society & Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference, London and online, 31st Aug – 3rd September.

Anderson, R. 2021. Control… Release: Anticipating how underground dance music scenes emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic’, KISMIF Conference 2021 - Keep It Simple, Make It Fast! DIY Cultures and Global Challenges, Porto (Portugal) and online, 8th Jul.

Flynn, M. and Anderson, R. 2021. ‘Playing In: Exploring the Effect of COVID-19 on Music19 Makers across the Liverpool City Region’, ISAPM Symposium: The Impacts of 20 Covid-19 on the Live Music Industries, IASPM virtual conference, 17th Mar.

Book Chapters
Flynn, M. and Anderson, R. (Forthcoming). Observing the Music Venue: A case study of the challenges of developing comparable and consistent data classifications. In: Anderton, C., James, M., Nordgård, D. and Pisfil, S (eds) The Intellect Handbook of Global Music Industries. Bristol: Intellect

Journal Articles
Flynn, M. and Anderson, R. (Forthcoming 2023). Playing On: The challenges of reinvigorating regional live music sectors post-pandemic. Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle Music and Covid Special Issue

Anderson, R. (Forthcoming 2023). It’s Underground! Do you know what I mean? In: Keep it Simple, Make it Fast! An approach to underground music scenes (vol. 6) Porto: University of Porto.

Anderson, R. 2022. Plague Raver Reflections: What Happened in the Pandemic Stays in the Pandemic, In: Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture 14(1).

Flynn, M and Anderson, R. 2022. Playing Out: Exploring How Liverpool’s Live Music Sector Adapted to Survive the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of World Popular Music Vol. 9 No. 1-2

Anderson, R. 2022. Control… Release: Dance Music Scenes' Reflections on a Pandemic, In: Keep it Simple, Make it Fast! An approach to underground music scenes (vol. 5) Chapter: 7.2. Porto: University of Porto.

Flynn, M and Anderson, R. 2021. Playing In: Exploring the Effect of COVID-12 19 on Music Makers across the Liverpool City Region. In: Journal of Music, Health and Well-Being (Autumn).

Spaces, dancing, and mixing bits of music together

External links:

Dr Marion Leonard and Professor Sara Cohen.