I am Deputy Director of the Institute for Digital Culture at the University of Leicester, where I also founded the Creative Computing programme. My background is in Music, in which I am a Professor and an active composer and musicologist. Throughout my career, I have worked across artistic and scientific disciplines. I believe in the importance of transdisciplinarity.
I have three invisible disabilities: I am autistic (includes social and sensory issues but no learning difficulties); I have severe hearing loss including tinnitus and diplacusis; and I have Ménière's Disease, a balance disorder which also caused the hearing loss. I work actively in all these areas to improve lives for others with similar conditions.
My research covers cultural and creative technologies, music composition and musicology, neuro- and aural diversity; and 'pataphysics.
Current projects include:
Investigating hearing differences and their implications for a range of differences for disciplines such as acoustics and psychoacoustics, audiology and engineering, music and sound studies, hearing science and psychology, disability studies and social science. The project includes an ongoing network, a series of workshops and concerts, and a forthcoming book to be published in October 2022. Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.
Electroencephalogram-driven AI composition and performance system for autistic and/or d/Deaf musicians.
The project initiates a new form of digital musicianship that enables traditionally marginalised groups such as autistic people and deaf musicians to create and perform original music. It uses an EEG-driven AI to explore the individual sound worlds of the musicians and make connections between them. The system interprets neural performance metrics based on the musicians’ reactions to sensory stimuli. The project has been funded by the KEIPOC scheme (University of Leicester) and is the topic for a Future 50 PhD scholarship. It builds on Digital Syzygies, funded by the European Research Council.
Recently completed projects include:
The Continuous in Motion: Music and/as Science
This special edition of Interdisciplinary Science Reviews concerns the relationship between music and science and the nature of the knowledge that music contains. I was the Guest Editor.
Commissioned by the BBC and all four Arts Councils of the UK, this is a collection of seven original compositions that explore my unique hearing, including synaesthesia (sounds being seen as colours), diplacusis (hearing different pitches in the two ears) and autistic ability to decompose soundscapes.
Virtual Vauxhall Gardens
A multisensory VR recreation of an 18th Century pleasure gardens in London. The project won 'Research Team of the Year' at the 2019 'Discovering Excellence' awards. Funded by LIAS and a collaboration with MBD Ltd.
Drever, J. L. and Hugill, A. (eds.) (2022) Aural Diversity. (New York: Routledge)
Hugill, A. (2018) The Digital Musician, 3rd edition (New York: Routledge)
Hugill, A. (2012) 'Pataphysics: A Useless Guide (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press) (Russian Edition, Hylaea Books, 2017)
Selected Book Chapters
Drever, J.L. and Hugill, A. (2022) 'Aural Diversity: General Introduction'. In: Drever, J.L. and Hugill, A. eds. Aural Diversity (New York: Routledge) pp. 1-12.
Hugill, A. (2022) 'Consequences of Meniere's Disease for Musicians, their Music-Making, Hearing Care and Technologies'. In: Drever, J.L. and Hugill, A. eds. Aural Diversity (New York: Routledge) pp. 143-159.
Hugill, A. (2022) 'Composing with Hearing Differences'. In: Drever, J.L. and Hugill, A. eds. Aural Diversity (New York: Routledge) pp. 217-222.
Hugill, A. & Hendler, J. (2022) 'Pataphysics and Computing'. In: Price, K. & Taylor, M. eds. 'Pataphysics Unrolled. Philadelphia: Penn State University Press, pp. 258-279.
Hugill, A. (2017) 'The Origins of Electronic Music'. In: The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition), pp. 7-24.
Hugill, A and Amelides, P (2016) 'Audio-only computer games: 'Papa Sangre'.' In: Emmerson, S and Landy, L, eds. Expanding the horizon of electroacoustic music analysis. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 355-375. ISBN 9781107118324
Hugill, A. (2015) 'Percy Grainger: Pioneer of Electronic Music'. In: Dreyfus, K. and Robinson, S. eds. Grainger the Modernist. (Farnham: Ashgate) pp. 231-253.
Hugill, A. (2022) 'The continuous in motion: music and/as science'. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 46(3-4): 1-11.
Gasparin, M., Brown, S., Green, W., Hugill, A., Lilley, S., Quinn, M., Schinckus, C., Williams, M., Zalasiewicz, J. (2020) 'The Business School in the Anthropocene: Parasite Logic and Pataphysical Reasoning for a Working Earth'. Academy of Management Learning and Education 19(3): 385-405.
Hugill, A. (2020) 'Transboundaries: moving across the art science divide'. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 45(1): 25-34.
Recent Musical Compositions
Hugill, A. (2021) Spectrum Sounds (7 pieces commissioned by BBC and all four UK Arts Councils)
Hugill, A. (2019) Thirty Minutes for diplacusis piano (commissioned by Arts Council England and GNResound Ltd)
Hugill, A. (2019) Kelston Birdsong (commissioned by Arts Council England and GNResound Ltd)
I have had a distinguished teaching career, which was recognised in 2006 with a National Teacher Fellowship and again in 2016, when I was made a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In 2018 I founded the BA/BSc Creative Computing. My current teaching is third year and Masters level only, including: Final Project/Dissertation supervision, Independent Study and the MSc module on individual and group working.
In the past I have taught the following modules:
- CO1110 Digital Arts Lab;
- CO1113 Ideation and Design;
- CO2108 Concurrent Design;
- CO2110 Computational Arts;
- CO3107 Emerging Technologies;
- CO3110 Independent Study.