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Alex South

RCS / St Andrews / SHARE PhD Student (Music / Biology)

I am currently a PhD candidate, carrying out an interdisciplinary investigation into humpback whale song considered as a cultural and aesthetic phenomenon and approached with the trained ear of a professional musician. Supervised by composer Emily Doolittle at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and biologists Luke Rendell and Ellen Garland at the University of St Andrews, I am using methods drawn from bioacoustics and zoömusicology to study quantitative and qualitative aspects of humpback song structure, performance and evolution, and am creating and performing new music informed by these studies. Alongside my PhD work, I play clarinet and bass clarinet with ensembles including the Scottish Clarinet Quartet, The One Ensemble, Collective Endeavours and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. As a clarinettist, I have recently performed in festivals including Celtic Connections, ClarinetFest (Madrid), Counterflows, Cultural Olympiad (Rio), Dance International Glasgow, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, GIOfest, Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Hidden Door, Sound, and Tectonics, given recitals at the Universities of Glasgow and St Andrews; and appeared on national radio in broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 6, and Resonance FM.

Alex's area of Postgraduate study is: ‘Consider the subtleness of the sea’: An interdisciplinary music-science investigation into humpback whale song, co-supervised by Luke Rendell and Ellen Garland (St Andrews) and Emily Doolittle (RCS). Funded by a St Leonard’s Interdisciplinary PhD Scholarship.

Alex is currently looking for peformance-based collaborations.