SOME NON-MATHS THINGS I DO
I learned to play the flute when I was five and since then it has been one of my major hobbies. My preference is playing on my own or in chamber settings, and my passion is Baroque music - some favourites include Telemann, Quantz, JS and CPE Bach, and Handel.
I have sung since the age of 10, and now sing as a bass. I was a member of the chapel choir of Hatfield College, Durham during my time as an undergraduate, and a choral scholar. I now sing in the Imperial College Choir.
In addition, I also conduct both orchestras and choirs. I was the first conductor of the Durham University Classical Ensemble, a chamber orchestra specialising in pre-Romantic music. I am currently an assistant conductor with the Imperial College Choir.
Despite professing a preference for Baroque era music when conducting or playing the flute, when it comes to listening to music I am not so discriminating. I adore the works of Richard Wagner, and have made a semi-serious study of his use of leitmotifs in his musical dramas. This manifests itself in the catalogue of these motifs which I made and published a few years ago, and which can be found here.
A leitmotif is a short musical phrase which represents a character, object, place, or idea. They can often be found in modern film music, like Howard Shore's soundtrack to the Lord of the Rings films, but their use is most extensively found and developed in the works of Wagner, and perhaps particularly in his Der Ring des Nibelungen or Ring Cycle. This is a cycle of four operas, heard over the course of four consecutive days, and whose plot is drawn - as it happens - from the same sources as JRR Tolkein used for his magnum opus.
Through the use of leitmotifs, Wagner is able to tell significant parts of the story purely through the orchestra, without the singers at all, and even give the audience a glimpse inside the minds of the characters, and at times transcend time and space.
I think it's very important for minorities to be loudly and unashamedly visible and represented, so that we may try to expose and eradicate discrimination wherever we find it. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, these are the minorities I choose in particular to champion.
During my undergraduate degree at Hatfield College, Durham University, I was one of two LGBTQ+ reps for three years. In recognition for this and other things, I was awarded the Spencer Regan Shield in 2017 for making a significant contribution to champion equality, diversity, and inclusivity with the College community.