Alex South


I am currently a PhD candidate, carrying out an interdisciplinary investigation into humpback whale song considered as a cultural and aesthetic phenomenon and approached with the trained ear of a professional musician. Supervised by composer Emily Doolittle at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and biologists Luke Rendell and Ellen Garland at the University of St Andrews, I am using methods drawn from bioacoustics and zoömusicology to study quantitative and qualitative aspects of humpback song structure, performance and evolution, and am creating and performing new music informed by these studies.

Alongside my PhD work, I play clarinet and bass clarinet with ensembles such as the Scottish Clarinet Quartet, The One Ensemble, Collective Endeavours and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. As a clarinettist, I have recently performed in festivals including Celtic Connections, Counterflows, Cultural Olympiad (Rio), Dance International Glasgow, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, GIOfest, Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Hidden Door, Sound, and Tectonics, given recitals at the Universities of Glasgow and St Andrews; and appeared on national radio in broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 6, and Resonance FM.

Research interests

Animal Culture, Bioacoustics, Composition, Humpback Whale Song, New Music, Performance, Zoömusicology