ROGER THOMAS

Music and sound in words, education and performance


Practitioner, writer, editor and lecturer in the fields of classical and contemporary music, sonic art and music technology.

Roger Thomas is a journalist and educator with a particular interest in music and sound art. He also works as a practitioner and workshop convener, specialising in projects that enhance and expand sonic creativity using digital, analog electronic and electroacoustic resources.

He has presented performances, papers and workshops at many sonic art and new music events including the BEAM Festival at Brunel University (2011), the SPEEC symposium at Oxford University (2012), the Network Festival in Birmingham (2013) the Symposium on Acoustic Ecology at the University of Kent (2013), the NoiseFloor Festival at the University of Staffordshire (2011, 2013 and 2015) and the Sound Art Curating Conference at Goldsmiths, University of London (2014). He teaches at the Bishopsgate Institute in London, is a guest lecturer at Brunel University and a member of the OUDCE tutor panel at Oxford University, where he teaches electronic music, sonic art and ethno-organology. He also teaches historical courses on classical and popular music and jazz.

He has written for many publications including
BBC Music, Sound On Sound, DJ magazine, Music Teacher, Jazz Review, Songlines, Gramophone and The Wire, having also held full-time staff positions on the latter two publications. During the 1990s he co-edited and published the innovative Gramophone Explorations series of books, including a collaborative volume with the contemporary music audio quarterly Unknown Public. During the late 1990s and early 2000s he wrote a series of textbooks on instruments and musical genres for the education sector (published by Heinemann) before succeeding John Fordham as editor of JazzUK magazine in 2008, a post he held until 2013. He continues to write for BBC Music, primarily as jazz critic.

Other posts previously held include membership of Unknown Publics editorial advisory panel and board membership of the iF Festival of Contemporary music. He is currently on the judging panel for the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Awards, hosted annually at the House of Commons by PPL.

He has worked as a percussionist in orchestral music, rock, jazz and improvisation and occasionally as a bassist and DJ, but his current performance activities are focused on Bishopsgate Experimental Noise Theatre (BxNT), an improvising workshop group that began as a class taught at the Bishopsgate Institute, and on various electronic projects: SARAH and SARAH II, which are transactive systems for use in real-time improvisation, and CIRCE, a group improvisation workshop system. He also plays drums for the Blues Dudes, easily the finest weekender electric blues trio in Hyde Heath, Buckinghamshire.


Roger is always interested to hear about new freelance writing, editing and teaching opportunities connected with his specialisms and skills.

rogerthomas@fastmail.co.uk