Sean Albiez

Sean Albiez
Independent Scholar

Doctor of Philosophy
Currently researching electronic music history and genres | Developing a Talking Heads book project

About

29
Publications
3,482
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
91
Citations
Introduction
I am an independent music scholar and musician. I have lectured at several UK HE institutions in electronic and popular music, media and cultural studies. I have co-edited books on Kraftwerk, Brian Eno and The Velvet Underground for Bloomsbury. I am Contributing Editor (Music Technology) for the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World and write on electronic music history and genres. I release music as ghost elektron and, with Martin James, as Nostalgia Deathstar.
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - August 2019
Anglia Ruskin University
Position
  • Principal Lecturer
Description
  • I led the portfolio of music courses through full revalidation, and established and led a new course BA Electronic Music.
September 2004 - August 2017
Southampton Solent University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • I established the portfolio of music courses at Southampton Solent University between 2004-2010, leading them through validation and acting as subject area leader. I was Postgraduate Research Co-ordinator from 2015-17. I taught popular musicology across all of the music courses
Education
March 2005 - September 2012
Bath Spa University
Field of study
  • Creative Music Technology - 'Sounds of Future Past: the Poetics of Electronica'

Publications

Publications (29)
Book
When they were creating and releasing their most influential albums in the mid to late 1970s, Kraftwerk were far from the musical mainstream - and yet it is impossible now to imagine the history of popular music without them. Today, Kraftwerk are considered to be an essential part of pop's DNA, alongside artists like the Beatles, the Velvet Undergr...
Book
On the back of his published diary Brian Eno describes himself variously as: a mammal, a father, an artist, a celebrity, a pragmatist, a computer-user, an interviewee, and a 'drifting clarifier'. To this list we might add rock star (on the first two Roxy Music albums); the creator of lastingly influential music (Another Green World; Music for Airpo...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is an extensive rewrite of what was originally a short entry on vinyl in the Bloomsbury EPMOW Volume 1 written by John Borwick in 2003. In approaching this update I drew from lecture material I had developed in teaching on a module on music technology and production, and undertook new research that unearthed interesting anomalies and questions...
Thesis
Full-text available
My PhD was a practice-as-research project. I felt, after submitting the thesis, that a large part of the written research could be useful for other researchers, but other material had significance only for my own creative practice. The thesis has not been available until now. I recently decided to collect the most widely useful material together fr...
Book
Edited Academic Book Collection - Sean Albiez and David Pattie (eds) - Though The Velvet Underground were critically and commercially unsuccessful in their time, in ensuing decades they have become a constant touchstone in art rock, punk, post-punk, indie, avant pop and alternative rock. In the 1970s and 80s Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico produced...
Chapter
These were updates and revisions of encyclopedia entries as part of a project to develop the digital version of the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. The entries were originally written mainly by John Borwick at the turn of the millennium and required extensive research and work due to the changed status of many of the technolo...
Chapter
Full-text available
Techno is a globally successful genre of electronic dance music that can trace its origins to Detroit in the early 1980s, but it has been generally overlooked in academic, historical and critical analyses of 1980s African American music in the United States. This study will consider the cultural context of early Techno, its relationship to European...
Chapter
A number of encyclopedia genre based entries ranging between 750 - 2000 words exploring the historical, social, musical and technological features the genre in question.
Chapter
Full-text available
A 2,500 word encyclopedia entry outlining the boundary crossing between art music with popular music in the work of a number of musical artists since the 1960s such as The Velvet Underground, Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, Kate Bush, Bjork, David Sylvian, Sonic Youth and Scott Walker whose work leaves them in a liminal space between avant-garde and popular...
Chapter
Full-text available
A 1,900 word encyclopedia entry outlining the history and development of dubstep - originally written in 2010, updated in 2015 and then published in 2017.
Chapter
This chapter discusses Eno's work and his influential 1979 lecture - The Recording Studio as a Compositional Tool. As previous studies have identified the importance of John Cage and post-Cageian experimental music for Eno, this study extends the flows of influence and counter-influence back to the second decade of the twentieth century, and situat...
Chapter
Contrary to potted histories of Brian Eno's music, he did not silence himself in favour of aphonic ambient music from the late 1970s. He continued to sing or use his voice in other performative ways on a number of releases and projects. This chapter is an analysis of Brian Eno's use of (his) voice in his work from the late 1970s, outlining how his...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is a 2012 update of the chapter originally published in Ian Inglis (ed.) Performance and Popular Music by Ashgate and later republished without the updated material in 2017 by Routledge.
Chapter
Explores the negotiation of post-war German identity by Kraftwerk through a broad historicist contextualisation and the analysis of 'Autobahn'.
Chapter
An exploration of the multi-directional flows and networks of influence in the late 1970s connecting West German and British electronic music and at the birth of synth pop.
Article
Full-text available
Techno is a globally successful genre of electronic dance music that can trace its origins to Detroit in the early 1980s, but it has been generally overlooked in academic, historical and critical analyses of 1980s African American music in the United States. This study will consider the cultural context of early techno, its relationship to European...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is an unpublished book chapter. It was intended to be the introductory chapter of a book on contemporary perspectives on punk and hardcore. After a very protracted process, and all sorts of publisher shenanigans, the book never saw the light of day. The chapter is an attempt to understand the significance of the 1976-77 punk moment for musicia...
Chapter
Full-text available
Das Sound-Design bildet in der Popmusik eine entscheidende Komponente der kreativen Gestaltung und des ästhetischen Empfindens. Nicht der Ton macht die Musik, sondern dem Sound verdankt die Popmusik einen Großteil ihrer emotionalen Wirkung und ihres kommunikativen Gehalts. Zugleich ist Sound ein wichtiges Mittel zur sozialen Positionierung von Musi...
Article
Full-text available
The early history of 1970s electronic rock music, or electronica, often centres on the innovations of Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk, whose creative roots are identified as in avant-garde modernist and contemporary music (e.g. Luigi Russolo, Edgard Varese, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Schaeffer). German, British and America...
Article
Full-text available
Johnny Rotten / John Lydon was and remains the first voice of British punk and yet consistently refuses to identify with punk as a subculture. In revisiting his observations on his career with the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd (PiL) in the 1976–1980 period, this article considers how ‘narratives of self’ enable us to gain insights into individua...
Thesis
Full-text available
This is a 22,000 word MA dissertation submitted as half/part of a practice-as-research major project in 1996 that examined popular music in the developing 90s technoculture. It was an early attempt to examine the implications of the internet and digital production technologies for popular musics before the arrival of the MP3. The introduction state...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Talking Heads have proved to be one of the most influential of any of the groups associated with the punk and new wave scene that flourished in New York in the mid-1970s. They released a number of epoch-defining albums (Talking Heads 77, Fear of Music, Remain in Light, Little Creatures); they spawned influential and successful offshoots- David Byrne’s collaboration with Brian Eno on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts; Tom Tom Club (Tina Weymouth’s and Chris Frantz’s side project); and their forays into other media (music video; the concert film Stop Making Sense; and the feature film True Stories) were, for the most part, both critically and commercially successful. After the band’s dissolution, the band members, David Byrne in particular, have continued to produce music and to work in a variety of different cultural areas. And yet the band itself is difficult to pin down. Simultaneously controlled and spontaneous; moving across a wide range of styles- from Velvet Underground influenced rock, through funk and Afrobeat, postpunk, and Americana; and with a lead singer whose lyrical output only very rarely touched on the standard topics of popular music. For these reasons (as well as for their importance as a key part of the musical environment of the 70s, 80s and beyond) Talking Heads are a particularly complex and interesting band; however, as yet, their work (and the work of band members after the group dissolved) has rarely come under academic scrutiny. To fill this gap, we are looking for 6-7,000 word studies focusing on Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and/or other collective, collaborative or solo releases and projects from all the band members - from 1975 through to the present. Subjects for discussion might include, but are not limited to, the following- · The work- thematic, analytical studies · The work- individual, grouped or comparative studies of studio and/or live albums · The work- musical/lyrical styles · The work- studio recording practice, the influence of Eno · The work- album artwork and visual (re)presentation · The band / David Byrne in performance · Talking Heads and geographical / aesthetic musical cultures o NY Punk and CBGB o Post-Punk / New Wave o trans-Atlantic identity o intra/inter-cultural musical hybridisation (African music, American popular music forms) o genre blending · The role of theoretical and academic influences · Cross-media/interdisciplinary work - music videos, True Stories, Stop Making Sense, Once in a Lifetime (Channel 4 1984), soundtracks, dance music, theatrical projects · Talking Heads as ensemble (changing band lineups/collaborations) · David Byrne's other cultural works (Luaka Bop label boss/author etc) · The band / band members in their (sub)cultural and wider contexts Please send proposals of 300-400 words including an outline of the subject, approach and theoretical context of your proposed chapter, and a short academic bio, by Friday 16th September 2022 to Sean Albiez (SA-TalkingHeads@outlook.com) and David Pattie (D.Pattie@bham.ac.uk)
Project
This is a music project established to explore research potential in this field. A collaboration with Dr Sean Albiez that through applied practice in electronic music is exploring a number of potential research outcomes. Specifically we are considering online, networked practice and dissemination and the wider cultures of electronic music outside the club and dance context. We are currently exploring funding opportunities and a variety of potential outcomes. More details at - https://nostalgia-deathstar.bandcamp.com