Christian Ferlaino

Christian Ferlaino 2018

PhD 2018

HEI: University of Edinburgh

Funding: AHRC DTP

Title: Confluences: Folk Wisdom in Contemporary Music

Supervisors: Professor Raymond MacDonald and Professor Peter Nelson

What was your research about?

I researched the composition of contemporary music that uses folk music resources from Calabria (southern Italy). I conducted ethnomusicological research in Calabria and used the outcomes of that enquiry to generate new music. The PhD produced a portfolio of compositions and a thesis that discussed both ethnographic and artistic research. 

What made you apply for the SGSAH AHRC DTP?

For years, I had been planning to undertake research that could bring together my interest in contemporary music and my knowledge of Calabrian music. Undertaking a PhD seemed to me the perfect way to afford the time and resources to focus on such an ambitious endeavour. 

Which aspects of your PhD did you enjoy the most?

I greatly enjoyed the stimulating discussions with my supervisors and colleagues. Training and support were also amazing both within University of Edinburgh and SGSAH. I also hugely enjoyed being fully focused on a project that I really wanted to work on. 

How has your PhD helped you to decide on a career path?

The PhD has offered me many opportunities of personal, academic and artistic growth. Besides opening new job opportunities in the academic world, the PhD has had a tremendous impact on my career as a composer. I also developed a set of skills and competences that I would hardly had the opportunity to develop otherwise.  

And now?

After completing my PhD, I took a break from academia, composed new music and I have focused on my family. Next year, I will be returning to academia as a post-doctoral researcher with a project that extends the work I did during my PhD. 

One piece of advice you would give an incoming PhD researcher?

Choose your supervisors carefully. Also, design a research project that you truly love and can make you grow: a PhD is an incredibly demanding job which could be extenuating if you do not fully enjoy what you work on. 

Where can people find you? 

This article was published on 11 April, 2022