James Fox is one of our authors from Volume 2 of Fields, and we caught up with him to chat about how his research is progressing and the importance of open access publishing in his field.
Tell us a bit about your area of specialism?
As a researcher at the University of Huddersfield I specialise in music composition and video art. I have been learning about how we perceive and experience sound and music through research that includes the composition of pieces which attempt to generate the sensations of sound through senses other than hearing. While science helps us to discover answers relating to the way things work, art can help us to understand how we feel about these things. Discovering more about the sensations which emerge as we perceive sound and music may expand our understanding of how we experience the world and reveal dynamic forms of expression and stimulating perceptual experiences.
How has publishing in Fields helped you to develop?
Following a publication in the University of Huddersfield’s Fields Journal with the paper ‘It’s a-me, Mario!’ Exploring dynamic changes and similarities in the composition of early Nintendo video game music, I was given the chance to present my research at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) at Manchester Metropolitan University in March, 2016. Preparing and rehearsing for the verbal presentation (which I approached in a similar way to how I prepare for a live musical performance), combined with the experience of meeting the targets and deadlines for the publication itself while in the early stages of my research degree, boosted my confidence enormously. I can honestly say that these experiences, although rather challenging, provided me with the courage to fully pursue my current research and to seek out public exhibition of my work. The support provided throughout the publication and conference experiences further reinforced a positive student experience at the University. Being part of such a vibrant school and student community while studying as an undergraduate and now as a postgraduate researcher have been truly remarkable experiences, leaving a positive and lasting sense of empowerment.
Your work is available open access, is this important in your field?
The open access publishing movement is a large, vital and dynamic element of music and arts research. Open access not only allows fellow researchers, potential collaborators or interested and curious individuals from anywhere in the world to gain free access to essential information and insight but it also provides the researcher with a breadth of demonstrable tools, experiences and skills when seeking further employment, applying for funding or when building a portfolio of work. Allowing free access to research may actually be essential as the arts typically suffer from funding cuts, with some secondary schools recently appearing in the mainstream news for removing music and arts education from their curriculum altogether. Open access publishing not only provides students and researchers with viable methods to disseminate their work but it also expands the opportunity for anyone, anywhere, to gain access to essential inspirational and educational material.
Read James’s article in Volume 2 of Fields