Mark Ferguson

Mark Ferguson

Department of Music
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD Title: Acousmatic music composition, guided by the inherent methodologies and approaches of wildlife sound recording.
Supervisor: Dr Scott Wilson  and Annie Mahtani
PhD Musical Composition by Research (FT)

Qualifications

  • University of Manchester: MusM, Electroacoustic Music Composition with Distinction (2012-2013)
  • Queen's University Belfast: BMus, Music with First-Class Honours (2009-2012)

Biography

I’m a UK-based wildlife sound recordist and composer.

In August 2019, I made what are believed to be the first ever behavioural recordings of the great yellow bumblebee, capturing the species’ mating activity directly outside the nest and its wider foraging activity across the machair habitats of South Uist, Scotland.

My electroacoustic compositions have been noted for their rich, textural layering of processed and unprocessed sonic material. All are crafted exclusively from my own library of wildlife sounds, using audio programming languages and customised processing algorithms to dramatically alter original recordings and reveal hidden sonic detail.

My work has been broadcast by the BBC, mentioned by the Guardian and selected for performance in the UK, Ireland, France and the USA. My research at the University of Birmingham is generously supported by the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership and AHRC.

Teaching

  • University of Birmingham, 2019-2020 (Semester 1): Year 1 UG Studio Composition Teaching Assistant
  • HEFi Horizon Award for completion of introductory modules in lecturing, small group teaching, assessment, feedback and other fundamental HE teaching practices.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Acousmatic music composition, guided by the inherent methodologies and approaches of wildlife sound recording.

Research

Sound recording and studio-based composition are the two main components of my practice-based research.

I’m particularly interested in how the various methodologies of wildlife sound recording inform creative work in the studio, and vice versa.

All of my compositions are created exclusively from my own library of natural sounds.

Other activities

Other areas of interest include: the broader practice of field recording and its associated technologies, methodologies, pedagogy and online community; approaches to wildlife sound archiving and curation; the historical development of wildlife sound recording; and cross-disciplinary conservation projects.

Please see my personal website for updates on all ongoing work.