Stephen Jackson Banks

Thesis working title: Practice-based research into new methods of synergising pitch and timbre

University email:


I am a second year PhD student and GTA at the University of Liverpool music department, funded by the John Lennon Memorial Scholarship. My main specialisms are music composition, piano, and electronic music production. Additionally, I recently completed my bachelors (2021) and masters (2022) here.

My multimodal PhD project centres on music composition, exploring how timbre modulations can manipulate perceptual parameters in pitch-centric compositions. Initial experiments seek to evaluate the extent to which digital timbre modifications can change consonance relationships between note harmonies. Techniques like this could work towards my interests in creating new musical possibilities that bridge remaining gaps between compositional practice and audio production techniques. To test my ideas, I am currently developing Max MSP tools, an audio perception survey, and new electroacoustic compositions based on them, with eventual aims of developing new audio manipulation techniques that would provide new compositional opportunities.

Teaching and learning:

Graduate Teaching Assistant on the following modules (2023-2024):

Theory in Practice: Exploring Music’s Construction (MUSI180)

Foundations in Tonal Harmony (MUSI181)

Music for Digital Games (MUSI206)

Additionally, extensive experience (~7 years) teaching piano and music theory freelance.

Conference papers:

Banks, S.J. (2023). ‘Practice-based research into new methods of working with timbre’. The 16th International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology (SysMus23). 18-20th October 2023. University of Sheffield.

Banks, S.J. (2024) 'Integration' [sound recording]. BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference 2024. 10-12 January. Cardiff University.

Dr Paul Turowski, Dr Ben Hackbarth, and Dr Eduardo Coutinho