We are very pleased to welcome Professor Andy Hamilton and Professor Peter Nelson to give keynotes.

Andy Hamilton studied at St Andrews University for his MA, M.Phil and PhD. His PhD, awarded 1987, was “The Self and Self-Consciousness”, and his supervisor Crispin Wright. He subsequently taught at every pre-Thatcherite university in Scotland except Aberdeen and Glasgow, was a Leverhulme Research Fellow at Sheffield 1988-90, and then a Lecturer at Stirling and Keele before arriving at Durham in 1994. He has supervised a range of PhD students in philosophy of mind and aesthetics. He has been working on the topic of self-consciousness since his Ph.D., although he now recognises, rather late in the day, that it is simply too difficult. However, he has published several articles on it in Philosophical Quarterly, European Journal of Philosophy and Australasian Journal of Philosophy; and a monograph, “The Self in Question: Memory, the Body and Self-Consciousness”, has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan (2013). His areas of research are Philosophy of Mind, History of 19th and 20th Century Philosophy, and Wittgenstein, but he is now working more in Aesthetics and Political Philosophy, and has published articles in British Journal of Aesthetics. A monograph, “Aesthetics and Music”, was published by Continuum in 2007, and a book on improvisation, “The Art of the Improviser”, written with jazz saxophonist Lee Konitz, appeared in the same year, published by Michigan University Press. The Routledge Philosophy Guidebook “Wittgenstein and On Certainty” is due to appear in 2014.

He is a jazz pianist and writes for “The Wire” and other contemporary music magazines on contemporary composition and improvised music. This expertise has led to the creation of an Impact Case Study on “Aesthetics of Improvisation”, submitted to REF 2014. A workshop on the topic, involving leading musicians from jazz, improvised music and contemporary composition, was held in Durham in May 2013, and further projects are planned as part of REF 2020.

Peter Nelson is Professor of Music and Technology, and is a composer and theorist. He is currently interested in the social aspects of rhythm. His compositional output includes chamber, choral, orchestral and electronic music, with commissions from many leading performers and ensembles including the BBC, Radio France, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Edinburgh Quartet and the Dunedin Consort.

Peter studied English Literature and Music at Glasgow University, continuing his studies at the University of Edinburgh and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also studied composition with György Ligeti, and conducting with George Hurst and Peter Eötvos. Through the 1980’s he worked closely with the composer, Iannis Xenakis and his UPIC computer music system, composing a number of works for the UPIC and touring extensively with les Ateliers UPIC. He was lecturer, and Director of the Electronic Music Studio at the universities of Glasgow and Nottingham, before joining the University of Edinburgh in 1986, where he established the electronic music studios, and developed a research group in Music Informatics.

Recent published outputs include articles in leading refereed journals, and book chapters, “Towards a Social Theory of Rhythm.” (In J.-L. Leroy (ed.), Actualités des Universaux en Musique / Topics in Universals in Music. Paris, France: Edition des Archives Contemporaines) and “Performing the UPIC system of Iannis Xenakis.” (In S. Kanach (ed.), Performing Xenakis. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press.) Recent compositions include Lost Landscapes, for ensemble, commissioned by the Hebrides Ensemble, and Letters, for oboe and harp, Commissioned by Spinnerei Festival, Dresden.