Dr Scott Mclaughlin

Dr Scott Mclaughlin


This year (2019–20) I am on research leave, undertaking an AHRC-funded compositional project. See here – https://forkingpaths.leeds.ac.uk

I was born in Ireland (Co. Clare) in 1975. I played in an indie-rock bands until my mid-twenties, I then studied music at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown where I gained a BMus degree in 2001. I completed a PhD (Strange Attractors: A Commentary on Applications of Indeterminacy in my Recent) at the University of Huddersfield with Pierre Alexandre Tremblay and Bryn Harrison in 2009. I attended the Ostrava New Music Days summer school (2005, 2007), and the Irish Composers Summer School (1999—2001). I have previously lectured at the University of Huddersfield, and Brunel University.

Current Research Students

Jenni Hogan (2019–) ‘music and performer movement (Practice Research)

Murray Royston-Ward (2019–) ‘vital materials in contemporary improvised music’ (Practice Research) 

Hannah Firmin (2018–) ‘translation as composition’ (Practice Research)
Michele Abondano (2018–) ‘composition: timbre, light and darkness’ (Practice Research)
Federico Pozzer (2018–) ‘breath as musical regulator in composition and performance’ (Practice Research)
Max Erwin (2017–) ‘Ghosts in the machine: A secret history of total serialism’
Jacob Randell (2017–) ‘composition strategies for decoupled organ pipes’  (Practice Research)
Martin Loridan (2017–) ‘Souffle: air and breath as a composition material’ (Practice Research)
Samuel Ridout (2017–) ‘Musique concrète and the Language of Things 1948–1958’
Manuel Farolfi (2017–) ‘John Cage in Italy: 1949-59’
Timo Tukhanen (2016–) ‘Mixed Signals: composition and touch’ (Practice Research)
Stuart Mellor (2016–) ‘Site-specific composition using acoustic feature segmentation: An exploration into the timbre of space‘ (Practice Research)
Caitlin Mockridge-Rice (2015–) ‘Creative practice and its modes of dissemination in the soundings of Hugh Davies’
Symeon Yovev (2014–) ‘Soundcastles: Playing with soundscapes, social spaces and composition’ (Practice Research)

Completed Research Students
Alex De Little (2014–2019) [composition] ‘Spatial Listening’ (Practice Research)
Arne Sanders (2014–2018) ‘composition and heterophony’ (Practice Research)


  • Deputy Director of Centre for Practice Research in the Arts, & Centre for Audio Visual Experimental

Research interests

My research is practice-led and focuses on composition, materiality, and indeterminacy in complex systems. My current research uses different methods to excite resonance in sounding bodies to exploit physical non-linearities to generate musical patterns/structures.

See here for composition research at Leeds.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (practice-based), University of Huddersfield 2009
  • MA Composition, University of Huddersfield 2005
  • BMus University of Ulster (Jordanstown) 2001

Professional memberships

  • Association of Irish Composers

Student education

Most of my teaching is on composition modules, and some music technology. I have a particular interest in helping composers develop into new areas and question the musical ideas they have inherited; while understanding that the ideas they've grown up with will always be the basis of their understanding.

I also have a special interest in interdisciplinarity, and different ways that disciplinary boundaries affect collaborative research.

Research groups and institutes

  • Making Music

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>