Since October 2000 I have taught Classics at Jesus College, Oxford. My research focus is the culture of ancient Greece – its language, poetry, music, society, history, and influence. Alongside the Classics I trained as a pianist and cellist at the Royal College of Music, and I still perform regularly.
I have been awarded research leave (2013-2015) to reconstruct the sounds of ancient Greek music and to record practices in Greece, Turkey and Sardinia which derive from ancient traditions of music and performance — mousikē (μουσική).
BBC Online (Oct 2013): my project to
reconstruct ancient Greek music.
1) CBC Canada: humming the Iliad.
2) Newstalk Ireland from 49.42: doing an Elvis.
3) NPR USA with Scott Simon: I sing some Homer.
Daily Mail Online article (29 Oct 2013): the extravagant claim about 100% accuracy was taken out of context.
I don’t write a blog, but I compile a clog – i.e. a very intermittent blog. Recent posts are listed on the left. Below them is my Twitter timeline.
Jan 2014 My piece in Oxford Today explains the genesis of my project to reconstruct Greek music.
Dec 2013 Review of my book by Prof. Josiah Ober in latest Journal of Hellenic Studies: ‘engaging and significant’. Lovely comment in TLS review by Prof. Helen Morales about my Sappho 31 reconstruction – ‘bold and beautiful’. Radio talk about my project on NPR America with Scott Simon.
Oct 2013 Nice review of my book (‘a ‘rich and remarkable book’); my thanks to the editors of Common Knowledge and to the reviewer, Rachel Hadas. I am asked to translate into Latin a vigorously expressed motto on a rock band T-shirt.
Aug 2013 Blackwell’s Bookshop interview me about the Julio-Claudian dynasty, with questions about: 1) historical sources, 2) how stable was the empire?, 3) what about Claudius? 4) ’all roads lead to Rome’, and 5) can we compare the modern world?
July 2013 My article on Plato and Play in American Journal of Play, spurred by a misattribution to Plato by Sarah Palin of the idea that ‘you can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation’. That’s Palin, not Plato.
June 2013 Among those I taught Beginners’ Greek at UCL in 1995 was Chris Martin of Coldplay, who discusses with me how ancient Greek song and modern music compare.
Mar 2013 The British Academy awards me a Research Fellowship to investigate ancient Greek music.
Getting in the Flow
A talk on Innovation and ‘the classic’, with cello, for TED Oxbridge. Watch and listen here.
I’ve completed a book about creativity and innovation called Eureka and am looking forward to its publication by Princeton University Press. I’m active in Classics outreach to schools, including Hackney college BSix. I’m organising a conference on Greek music, and awaiting publication of articles on Greek aesthetics, commentaries, and music. I support International Bridges for Justice, an organisation that aims to end routine investigative torture in non-political settings around the world, and I gave a cello recital to accompany its President Karen Tse‘s presentation to funders in Davos on 22 Jan. 2014.