Christian Ferlaino

Christian Ferlaino 2018

PhD Cohort 2018

HEI: University of Edinburgh

Funding: AHRC DTP

Project Title: Confluences: Folk Wisdom in Contemporary Music

Supervisors: Prof Raymond MacDonald and Prof Peter NelsonEdinburgh College of Art

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?

SGSAH; SGSAH ResearchWebsite: