Practice-as-Research Study and Networking Day
  • Room 206-207, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth

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This event is an opportunity to strengthen the research community in Plymouth. Come along and meet a community of researchers involved in any aspect of practice-as-research (including performance, music, creative writing, etc.). 

The event is open (and free) to anyone interested in research, and participation by postgraduates is particularly encouraged. The programme is intended to encourage participation and discussion, while inviting thoughts on ways of doing practice-as-research. Free lunch and refreshments are provided.


  • 9:30 | Registration and welcome
  • 10:00-11:00 | Helen Billinghurst and Phil Smith (Workshop)
  • 11:00-11:30 | Tea and coffee
  • 11:30-12:30 | Peter Falconer - What Happened to Seaton Snook? A Parafictional Archive of Sounds and Music from an Abandoned Seaside Town (seminar)
  • 12:30-13:30 | Lunch
  • 13:30-15:00 | Scott McLaughlin - Articulating Practice Research (workshop)
  • 15:30-17:00 | Núria Bonet - Historically Informed Pub Crawl of Greenbank (walk)

The programme is provisional and may be subject to change.


Helen Billinghurst and Phil Smith are a collaborative duo who explore and reveal the secrets of everyday spaces through artworks, publications, readings, scryings and performances.

Peter Falconer is a UK-based sound artist and composer, originally from Hartlepool. His work frequently combines music, sound design, narration, historical research, and sonic journalism to tell parafictional stories about both our own and possible alternative realities.

This practice-based PhD takes the form of a web-based archive of sounds and music from a parafictional seaside town in North East England called Seaton Snook, and an accompanying commentary. The archive features a wide range of individual sound pieces across a range of materialities, including artistic compositions, pedagogic compositions, recorded musical performances and field recordings. It also includes interviews and transcriptions, photographs of handwritten scores, and accompanying explanatory information. The project draws on Carrie Lambert-Beatty’s notion of parafiction (artistic practices that play in the overlap between fact and fiction) and Peter Cusack’s practice of sonic journalism, to investigate aspects of 20th century and contemporary North Eastern English culture. More broadly, this project investigates how listener experience can be shaped by the stories we tell about musical works, the compositional process, and social and biographical aspects surrounding the work.

Scott McLaughlin (born 1975) is an Irish composer and improviser based in Huddersfield, UK. He started out as a shoegaze/experimental guitarist before studying music in his 20s at the University of Ulster, then a MA/PhD University of Huddersfield (with PA Tremblay, Bryn Harrison). Currently, Scott lectures in composition and music technology at the University of Leeds, and co-directs CePRA (Centre for Practice Research in the Arts), as well as convening the RMA Practice Research Study Group. His research focuses on composing for contingency and indeterminacy in the physical materiality of sound. Scott is currently Co-I on the AHRC SPARKLE (Sustaining Practice Assets for Research, Knowledge, Learning and Engagement), and recently completed an AHRC Leadership Fellowship, the ‘Garden of Forking Paths’ project, on composing for contingency in clarinets -

Thinking of how practitioners can really integrate their research narrative and their practice in a manner that shows both the imperative for doing this through practice, but also how it speaks clearly to the wider field that they contribute to as researchers (not just as practitioners).

Núria Bonet is a composer and Lecturer in Music at the University of Plymouth. Her research interests are varied, but include the use of scientific material as compositional material, Catalan woodwind instruments and pub jukeboxes. In 2020, she began the 'Pubs of Greenbank' project which aimed to collect the oral history of the pubs of the Greenbank area of Plymouth. 

The long-awaited 'historically-informed pub crawl' of the pubs of Greenbank took place on 1 August 2021. It will be repeated on this occasion and you are invited to bring your own memories or make new ones, while we combine archival, oral and personal history during the walking tour. Please note that this tour will go through uneven streets and pavements, and you may wish to enter pubs on the way.


Register your place via the Eventbrite web page* or email for further information.

* Please note that this event is available to book online through Eventbrite. Eventbrite is a third-party data capture tool which is not owned or managed by the University of Plymouth. Information about how your data is treated can be found on Eventbrite’s Privacy Policy webpage. If you wish to attend this event but do not want to use Eventbrite to book your place, please email

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This event is supported by the Royal Musical Association.


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