Ed Cooper

Ed Cooper


I am a composer and researcher based in Leeds, UK. Informed by the writings of Jean-Luc Nancy, Gaston Bachelard, Lyn Hejinian, and Pauline Oliveros amongst others, my compositional practice considers the listening body as an intermediary to itself, simultaneously acting as both a reflexive boundary and transmitter. In plain terms, as one listens, one strains towards an understanding of one's body. But this act of listening limits or changes what might be known, such that body itself is a threshold. Resonance forms and fractures bonds between chambers of the literal body, and but also between real and imagined listenings: sounds of the mind disturb physical sensation, such that multiplicious interferences are themselves the listening body (or, for that matter, the body as it listens). Such ideas manifest as compositions in which the aural attention is constantly disrupted, through physically cumbersome performance techniques or hindered ways of listening, such that a suspension of one’s own self is felt.

My music has been performed across North America and Europe and I have worked with international ensembles and artists such as Apartment House, Octandre Ensemble, Reanimation Orchestra, Jack Adler-McKean, Ryoko Akama, Heather Roche, Kathryn Williams, Neil Luck, and Kate Ledger. I am currently studying a PhD at the University of Leeds, supervised by Scott McLaughlin and Martin Iddon; this is fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, through the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH).

My musicological writings are broader in scope, covering issues such as contemporary music, gender, listening, and homelessness. I was a Musicology Fellow at Tzlil Meudcan in both 2022 and 2023.

I teach on a variety of undergraduate modules at the University of Leeds. I also sing tenor in The Clothworkers Consort of Leeds.

Research interests

  • composition
  • new music
  • experimental music
  • liminality
  • time in music
  • listening
  • (musical) bodies
  • Pauline Oliveros
  • homelessness
  • Wandelweiser
  • masculinity


  • MMus Critical and Experimental Composition
  • BA Music (International)