Dr. Lara Pearson

Research Areas

  • South Indian art music
  • Improvisation
  • Music and gesture
  • Aesthetics and social context
  • Raga performance and affect
  • Embodied, enactive, and ecological approaches

Vita

Academic Education

2012-2016Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Durham, UK with a thesis on gesture in South Indian art music
2011-2012MA in Ethnomusicology (with Distinction) at Goldsmiths, University of London

Career

Since 2018Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Music Department
2016-2017Postdoctoral fellow at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
2013-2017Part-time teacher at the University of Durham, UK
2008-2011Fieldwork and practical music studies in South India

Publications

Edited Volumes

Hamilton, A. and Pearson, L. (Eds.) (forthcoming). The Aesthetics of Imperfection: Improvisation and Spontaneity in Music and the Arts. London: Bloomsbury Publishing

Journal Articles and Book Sections

Pearson, L. (forthcoming). Perfect imperfection: The experience of completeness in South Indian art music. In A. Hamilton and L. Pearson (Eds.), The Aesthetics of Imperfection: Improvisation and Spontaneity in Music and the Arts. London: Bloomsbury Publishing

Pearson, L. (2018). Cultural heritage, sustainability and innovation in South Indian art music. In B. Norton and N. Matsumoto (Eds.), Music as Heritage: Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives. Aldershot: Routledge

Pearson, L. (2016). Coarticulation and gesture: An analysis of melodic movement in South Indian raga performance. Music Analysis, 35(3), 280-313.

Pearson, L. (2013). Gesture and the sonic event in Karnatak music. Empirical Musicology Review, 8(1), 2-14.

PhD Thesis

Pearson, L. (2016). Gesture in Karnatak Music: Pedagogy and Musical Structure in South India.(PhD), University of Durham.  

Conference Papers (selected)

Pearson, L. (2019). Movement aesthetics in South Indian art music: Conceptualising music through the body. Paper presented at the workshop on 4E approaches to (Music) Aesthetics: Challenges and Perspectives, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 7-9 March 2019

Pearson, L. (2018). Gesture in South Indian vocal lessons: mappings between music and movement in a pedagogic context. Paper presented at the founding meeting of the new ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music) Study Group on Sound, Movement, and the Sciences (SoMoS), Graz, Austria, 20-22 September 2018.

Pearson, L. (2018). What is the future of music analysis in ethnomusicology? Collaborations with music psychology, and analysing movement in performance. Talk given at City Music Analysis Conference, London, UK, 5-7 July 2018.

Pearson, L. (2018). Gesture, segmentation, and meaning in South Indian raga performance. Paper presented at the Analytical Approaches to World Music (AAWM) conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, 26-29 June 2018

Pearson, L. (2018). Notation, gesture, and identity in South Indian art music. Paper presented at Material Cultures of Music Notation: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 20-22 April 2018.

Pearson, L. (2018). Cultural activism in South India: Protesting social inequality within and through Karnatak music. Paper presented at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) Annual Conference, Newcastle, UK, 12-15 April 2018.

Pearson, L. (2018). Renascences in South Indian art music: Interconnections between aesthetics and socio-political change. Paper presented at Center and Peripheries? A Summer School on European Renaissance and Asian Renascences, Tübingen, Germany, 9-11 April 2018.

Pearson, L. (2017). Gesture as thought in South Indian raga performance. Paper presented at the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Study Group (RMA MPSG) conference, London, 13-14 July 2017.

Pearson, L. (2017). Gesture in Karnatak vocal lessons: correspondence between music and movement in a pedagogic context. Paper presented at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology
(BFE) conference, Sheffield, UK, 20-23 April 2017.

Pearson, L. (2017). Gesture in Karnatak vocal lessons: Cross-domain mapping and gestural indexing. Paper presented at the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research
(SEMPRE) conference, Hull, UK, 3-5 April 2017.

Pearson, L. (2015). Hand gesture in South Indian vocal lessons: The exploitation of cross-domain mapping as a pedagogic tool. Paper presented at the European Society for the Cognitive Science of Music (ESCOM) conference, Manchester, UK, 17-22 August 2015.

Pearson, L. (2014). Gesture in Karnatak music pedagogy: Typologies, ethical constraints, and cross-modal Interaction. Paper presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) annual conference, Pittsburgh, USA, 13-16 November 2014.  
       
Pearson, L. (2014). Deviation from standard melodic formulas by an expert performer: An analysis of Karnatak raga alapana. Paper presented at Perspectives on Musical Improvisation II (POMI II), University of Oxford, 9-12 September 2014.        
  
Pearson, L. (2014). A typology of gestural interaction in Karnatak vocal lessons. Paper presented at the 6th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies (ISGS), University of California, San Diego, 8-11 July 2014.   

Pearson, L. (2014). A kinetic approach to music analysis: Coarticulation in South Indian raga performance. Paper presented at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology – Analytical Approaches to World Music conference (BFE-AAWM), University College London, 1-4 July 2014.

Pearson, L. (2014). Documenting the learning process: Preservation in Karnatak music. Paper presented at Safeguarding the Intangible: Cross-cultural perspectives on Music and Heritage, Goldsmiths, University of London, 19-21 February 2014.

Pearson, L. (2013). Gesture and the sonic event in Karnatak music. Paper presented at the Sixth International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology, Genoa, Italy, 12-14 September 2013.

Pearson, L. (2013). Coarticulation and kinetic analogy in Karnatak music. Paper presented at Society for Music Analysis Theory and Analysis Graduate Symposium (TAGS), Keele University, 18-19 February 2013.

Pearson, L. (2012). A delicate balancing act: Tests of skill and the creation of risk in Karnatak music performance. Presented at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) conference, University of Durham, UK, 29 March – 1 April 2012.
 

Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

2017Aubrey Hickman Award given by SEMPRE (Society for Education, Music and
Psychology Research)
2015Martin Hatch Award given by the Society for Asian Music
2014 iARC (Institute of Advanced Research Computing) Digital Humanities Durham Postgraduate Research Award
2014Durham University Arts and Humanities Faculty Postgraduate Research Award
2014ERASMUS Mobility Award to conduct motion analysis at the University of Oslo
2013SEMPRE (Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research) Gerry Farrell Travel Award for fieldwork in India
2012-2015Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Studentship Award

 

Projects