About

Richard Elliott is a cultural musicologist with a particular interest in popular musics of the world.

He is the author of the books Fado and the Place of Longing: Loss, Memory and the City (Ashgate, 2010), Nina Simone (Equinox, 2013), The Late Voice: Time, Age and Experience in Popular Music (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015) and The Sound of Nonsense (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). He has also published articles and reviews on popular music, literature, consciousness, memory, nostalgia, place and space, affect, language and technology.

Richard is Senior Lecturer in Music at the International Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University, where he specialises in courses related to popular music. Prior to this he taught courses on popular music, contextual music studies, and music and media at the University of Sussex. He has also worked as a teacher of English for Academic Purposes, a journal editor and a reviewer of books and music.

Richard’s research interests are wide but predominantly connect to ways in which music reflects and produces time, space and memorable objects. His early work explored the roles played by loss, memory, nostalgia and revolution in popular music and was heavily influenced by theories of place and spatiality. These ideas were developed in his first book Fado and the Place of Longing, which analysed Portuguese fado music as a reflection and production of space and place. An ongoing theme is the various ways in which music creates or evokes ‘memory places’ that take on significance for individuals and communities. More recent work reflects music’s potential to soundtrack lives and histories; Richard’s 2015 book The Late Voice explores the representation of time, age and experience in popular song.

The Sound of Nonsense, published at the very end of 2017 (with a 2018 publication date), reflects Richard’s interest in words, music and sound studies. It brings together novelists, nonsense writers, sound poets, experimental composers, comedians and pop musicians in an attempt to get at the role of sound in creating, maintaining and disrupting meaning.

Richard’s other areas of specialisation include the global span of popular music styles from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, music and cultural theory, urban musicology, the poetics of song and the politics of authenticity. He has a background in a variety of disciplines, having gained a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative American Studies, a Master’s in Popular Culture and a PhD in Music.

Education

PhD in Music, Newcastle University

MA in Popular Culture, Open University

BA (Hons) in Comparative American Studies, University of Warwick

Other Publications

MONOGRAPHS

The Sound of Nonsense (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018).

The Late Voice: Time, Age and Experience in Popular Music (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).

Nina Simone (Sheffield: Equinox, 2013). Series: ‘Icons of Popular Music’.

Fado and the Place of Longing: Loss, Memory and the City (Ashgate, 2010).

BOOK CHAPTERS

‘Sounding Out Popular Music History: A Musicological Approach’, in The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage, ed. Sarah Baker, Catherine Strong, Lauren Istvandity, Zelmarie Cantillon (London: Routledge, 2018), 46-54.

‘“Words Take the Place of Meaning”: Sound, Sense and Politics in the Music of Robert Wyatt’, in The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place, edited by Isabelle Marc and Stuart Green (London: Routledge, 2016), 51-64.

‘Words from the New World: Adventure and Memory in Patti Smith’s Late Voice’, in Patti Smith: Outside, edited by Claude Chastagner (Montpellier: Presses Universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2015), 113-35.

‘Across the Evening Sky: The Late Voices of Sandy Denny, Judy Collins and Nina Simone’, in Gender, Age and Musical Creativity, edited by Catherine Haworth and Lisa Colton (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), 141-53.

‘You can’t just say “words”: Literature and Nonsense in the Work of Robert Wyatt’, in Litpop: Writing and Popular Music, edited by Rachel Carroll and Adam Hansen (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), 49-62.

‘So Transported: Nina Simone, “My Sweet Lord” and the (Un)folding of Affect’, in Sound, Music, Affect: Theorizing Sonic Experience, edited by Marie Thompson and Ian Biddle (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 75-90.

‘Public Consciousness, Political Conscience and Memory in Latin American Nueva Canción’, in Music and Consciousness: Philosophical, Psychological and Cultural Perspectives, edited by David Clarke and Eric Clarke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 327-41.

PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES

‘Species of Sonic Spaces’, Literary Geographies 3/1 (2017):  69-86.

‘“My Tongue Gets t-t-t-”: Words, Sense and Vocal Presence in Van Morrison’s It’s Too Late to Stop Now’. Twentieth-Century Music 13/1 (2016): 53-76.

‘“Time and Distance Are No Object”: Holiday Records, Representation and the Nostalgia Gap’, Volume!, 11/1 (2014): 131-43.

‘The Choreography of Longing: Songs, Screens and Space in Carlos Saura’s Fados’, Quaderns de Cine 9 (2014): 71-8.

‘The Same Distant Places: Bob Dylan’s Poetics of Place and Displacement’, Popular Music and Society 32/2 (2009): 249-70.

‘Popular Music and/as Event: Subjectivity, Love and Fidelity in the Aftermath of Rock ’n’ Roll’, Radical Musicology 3 (2008). http://www.radical-musicology.org.uk/2008/Elliott.htm.

Richard Elliott

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