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Professor Brian Cox

Star Lecture Series at The University of Manchester

Our Star Lecture Series has been developed to allow teachers and pupils access to exciting curriculum resources, delivered by some of our leading academic staff.

Filmed and recorded at the University, these lectures cover topic areas on the national curriculum and exam syllabuses. They link school and college work to current research and offer an insight into university study.

The series aims to cover a variety of different subject areas and age ranges, from Year 9 to sixth-form students. As well as booking your place for upcoming Star Lectures, you can watch videos of previous Star Lectures and see accompanying information, such as suggested further reading. See the left-hand menu for a list of previous lectures.

Confirmed Star Lectures for 2016/17

Humanities Star Lecture

Ghosts in the Machine: 9/11 and Music Technology – delivered by Dr Kevin Malone, Director in Composition

  • 23 November 2016
  • 6pm to 7.15pm
  • The University of Manchester campus

Since 2001, Kevin Malone has composed music about the events of 9/11 based on oral histories of witnesses recalling the events. Using a variety of sources from broadcast news bulletins to recording his own interviews with witnesses, Kevin has listened carefully to how people related their experiences – their exclamations, hesitant recollections, pensive asides – and then notated the music within their voices.

He captured their pitches, rhythms and phrases to make instrumental melodies, resulting in tunes which sound more like speech than song, thus preserving the original emotions but without the words. Six of his seven compositions about 9/11 use this technique, and they have been featured in newspapers, television interviews, radio broadcasts, dozens of internet news outlets, embassies' publications, two CDs, Spotify, iTunes and through Amazon.

The lecture includes historical background of the events, video and audio examples of the music, explanation of the technique, ethical issues, and a live demonstration with audience interaction on how this works.

Booking for this event is essential, and we welcome bookings from individual students, as well as group bookings by teachers.

Please note: if your students will be attending without a teacher or staff member, please ask them to complete the individual booking form.

Make an individual booking

Make a teacher-led group booking

YouTube channel

Our YouTube channel has a number of videos about The University of Manchester. Edited versions of the Star Lectures by Professor Brian Cox and others are also available there for use by learners and teachers.


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