M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Zach Dawson

Music, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

�X for Y Hours� � Reimagining Open Duration After the Internet

My project will explore ‘open duration’ to formulate new ideas about musical time and structure that have arisen from internet mediation and current economic, political and technological conditions. As cloud-based storage has removed the material carrier of music, ownership––meaning duration (linked to material)––becomes indeterminate. Now experiencing musical ‘completeness’ is devalued with the emergence of streaming services and rentier capitalism, resulting in an increasingly indistinct relationship between live and online perceptions of time. 

I will use my project title ‘x for y Hours’, where parameter x (material) exists to mediate y (indeterminate time), to generate music that departs from inherent linear and teleological form and structure, commenting on a historical politicisation of duration.

Research Area

  • Music


 Dawson, Z., Stenton, R. (2017), ‘Forever Grey’ [a score with no beginning or end for any four musicians to perform in any space.] Avaliable at: http://www.stenton.press/uncategorized/forever-grey/

Other Research Interests

Experimental Music, Post-Internet, Post-Digital, Noise Music


Masters in Composition


Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (2012–2015)

BA (Hons) Music - Classical Music Performance

Leeds College of Music (2009–2012)


Hinrichsen Foundation – Post-Paradise Series Projects - 2017 – 2020

Arts Council England: National Lottery Project Grant – Post-Paradise Series: ‘Music in the Margin’ - 2018

RVW Trust – Post-Paradise Series Projects - 2017 – 2018

Arts Council England: Grants for the Arts – Post-Paradise Series: 'Season #2' - 2017

Orkest de Ereprijs – Commission Prize - 2016