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Bill Bruford, PhD Music

"I’ve always tried to contribute different ways of doing things. My PhD continues with that."

A key motivation in my working life as a drummer [Yes, King Crimson, Genesis] was trying to contribute, to suggest ways that we might go about doing things differently. In a way, my PhD continues with that.

I’m seeking to develop a theoretically-grounded cultural psychology of the Western kit drummer, which may illuminate issues of the meaning and experience of creativity within popular music instrumental practice, and particularly that of drummers.

My research participants constitute an eminent group of internationally recognized creative practitioners, spread from Guildford to Los Angeles, so I might have to get back on the plane. My overall supervision is from Professor Allan Moore, with hands-on supervision from Dr Milton Mermikides. Both have been enormously encouraging in my first two (part-time) years.

It’s a privilege to be able to put down the sticks, step back and examine drummers’ motivations, intentions and behaviours from a calmer perspective.