Like many people, I grew up making and listening to music, and also wondering about difficult questions that turned out to be philosophical – whether God exists, how you could know whether your experience was like anyone else’s, and so on. One day I took a course in aesthetics and realized I could combine these two passions. I’ve been trying to share that experience ever since.
My principal research is in the philosophy of music, literature, and film. In addition to publishing regularly in the two leading aesthetics journals (the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism and the British Journal of Aesthetics) I am the editor of Memento (Routledge, 2009), a collection of essays on philosophical issues raised by the film of the same name, and co-editor, with Theodore Gracyk, of The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music (2011), the first ever reference work devoted to the philosophy of music. You can read my essay-length introduction to the philosophy of music, in the open-access Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, here. I am currently working on a book-length introduction to the subject to be published by Routledge in 2020.
I have performed as a violinist, singer, and conductor. I have also arranged music for string quartet and choir. From 1997 to 1999, I was a member of the New Zealand Youth Choir, participating in the 1999 international tour during which, among other prizes, the NZYC was awarded “Choir of the World” at the Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. (A tour recording is available on the Naxos Music Library, available through many academic libraries.)
Ph.D. - University of Maryland, College Park
M.A. (first class honors) - University of Auckland