Shona is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the supervision of Dr Gordon McPherson and Dr Alistair MacDonald. Her research investigates ways to perceivably convey personal narrative through her creative practice whilst maintaining ownership of this narrative in a performance-based setting. To do this she often combines composition with non-musical media (including video, photography, spoken word and theatre) as a tool to convey a deeper sense of meaning and "aboutness" which music alone cannot provide. Through her presence within the work, she also explores the role of the composer as non-musical performer, introducing an element of visibility to a role which is traditionally less so.
Scottish Journal of Performance
Shona has been a Review Editor for the Scottish Journal of Performance since it began in 2012. The journal is open-access, published bi-annually, run by doctoral students and welcomes submissions on performance in Scotland (contemporary and historical) and/or wider aspects of performance by scholars/practitioners based at Scottish academic institutions.
She has had two publications in the journal. Her book review of "It's All Allowed: The Performances of Adrian Howells", edited by Deirdre Heddon and Dominic Johnson, was published in the September 2017 issue and can be found here: Book Review 1
Her review of Judith Rudakoff's "Dramaturging Personal Narratives", published in the journal in June 2015, can be found here: Book Review 2
Between March and June 2016 Shona undertook a research internship with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in association with the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities. She was asked to carry out research in the area of audience engagement and the result was a project entitled "Understanding and engaging with RSNO audiences, staff and collaborators".
To conduct the research she filmed interviews with 26 people, including RSNO audience members, project participants, non-attenders and RSNO musicians, before coding all of the data and writing a 4000-word report of the findings. Shona was also keen to display the research findings in a practical way and produced and edited a 10 minute video collated using participants' responses.
As a predominantly practice-based researcher, this project was an opportunity to learn new skills in qualitative research and analysis and to expand on existing research armoury. Shona is grateful to all RSNO staff, SGSAH staff and RCS staff for their guidance and support.