mark slater

Dr Mark Slater

Senior Lecturer in Music and Subject Group Head (Music)

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

+44 (0) 1482 465604

Mark Slater is a composer, producer and musicologist with an interest in the processes of how music is made, usually including uses of technology and improvisation in some way.

Whether working as a composer or producer, Dr Slater’s work is fuelled by an exploration of spontaneity and collaboration – regardless of style. The focus of his music-making is on celebrating the abilities and idiosyncrasies of the musicians he works with.

As a writer, he interrogates the patterns and processes of music-making from theoretical and philosophical perspectives to understand something about what's going on when people make music.



Research Interests

  • Composition
  • Music production
  • Poetics of recorded music
  • Technology and creativity

Research groups

  • International Association for the Study of Popular Music
  • Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production


Articles and chapters

‘Locating Project Studios and Studio Projects’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 141/1 (2016).

‘Nests, Arcs and Cycles in the Lifespan of a Studio Project’, Popular Music, 34/1 (2015).

‘Processes of Learning in the Project Studio’, in Music, Technology and Education: Critical Perspectives, eds. Andrew King and Evangelos Himonides (Ashgate, 2015).

Original Musical Works

Nightports with Matthew Bourne, 45-minute album (CD, vinyl, digital) released on The Leaf Label (2018).

Sea Change for trumpet and string quartet (c. 20 minutes). First performed at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull (May 2017) and then in Tianjin, China (July 2017).

Full list



Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Creative Music Skills I (songwriting)
  • Creative Music Skills II (instrumental composition)
  • Music in Practice II
  • The Materials of Composition
  • Individual Project I and II (supervision)
  • Special Study (supervision) - UG and MMus
  • Music Skills I and II
  • Technical Studies I and II

Research PhDs

Dr Slater welcomes applications for PhD research in the areas of composition, production, the aesthetics and poetics of record production, and collaborative creativity.

Completed PhDs

  • Jamie Moore, Robert Glasper’s Black Radio: Issues of Style and Identity, University of Hull, 2017 (performance element).
  • Rowan Oliver, Rebecoming Analogue: Groove, Breakbeats and Sampling, University of Hull, 2015 (2nd supervisor).
  • Niall Thomas, How Has the Development of Technology Influenced Recorded Heavy Metal, University of Hull, 2015 (2nd supervisor).
  • Adam Martin, Music Producers in 21st Century Britain: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, University of Hull, 2014

Current PhD supervisions

  • ​Lewis Kennedy, Functions of Genre in Metal and Hardcore Music (musicology)
  • Sandy Clark, The Water Fairy (composition)
  • George Marshall, Music for Games and Original Instrumental Compositions (composition)
  • Stuart McCallum, Collaboration and Ambisonic Composition in Popular Music (composition & production)
  • Brice Catherin, Designing New Musical Works as Fairer Social Models (composition)
  • Brett Gordon, Sculpting Sound: the Composer’s Relationship with Sound Material in Electroacoustic Music (2nd supervisor)


Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BMus (University of Sheffield)
  • PhD in Composition (University of Sheffield)

External roles

  • External examiner for Music at Oxford Brookes University (2014-18)
  • Articles editor and peer reviewer for the Journal of the Art of Record Production

Awards and accolades

  • ‘Excellent in Teaching’ finalist in the 2017 Employee Excellence Awards, University of Hull
  • ‘Inspiring Teacher Award’ finalist, Hull University Union Student-Led Teaching Awards 2013

Professional highlights


  • The Middlewood Sessions was nominated for Jazz Album of the Year 2012 on Radio 6 Soul & Jazz (Netherlands) and was voted number 14 in Albums of 2012 on Rté Pulse in Ireland
  • Fall Back released on Brownswood Recordings supported by Gilles Peterson (2006) and featured on Brownswood Bubblers 2 (2007) with the Middlewood Sessions project
  • Astro Blue released on Wah Wah 45s (2008) with Middlewood Sessions
  • Red Waters released on Wah Wah 45s (2008) with Middlewood Sessions
  • Nowhere in Between released on Brownswood Bubblers 11 (2014) with the Nightports project


  • Sea Change for trumpet and string quartet premièred in the Ferens Art Gallery (Hull) in May 2017 followed by a performance in Tianjin, China in July 2017
  • Fanfare from the Edge for trumpet trio at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford for the Encaenia 2017 (June 2017)
  • Apheresis for trumpet and electronics premièred at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Czech Republic (October 2017)
  • The Turning Room for string quartet premièred by the Mavron String Quartet (October 2016)
  • Solo for Trombone and Electronics performed by Matthew Gee (principal trombonist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) at the Juilliard School in New York (June 2016)