Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Aspects of this research evolved over my career have been discussed in part at the following fora:

- ‘Culture & Creativity in Leading Human Development’, EU Science ‘Global Challenges & Global Collaboration,’ Brussels, [6/3/2013] Oral Presentation, Diaspora Panel convened by ISC - Intelligence inScience.

‘Networking, Cultural Programming & Production in a Research Environment’ Cairo, [04/04/2012] Closed Workshop organized by the Umm Kulthum Museum w/ Undersecretary of State, Egypt Ministry of Culture, CDF.

- 'Culture at the Heart of Regeneration: Maximising our Cultural Resource and Development of the Culture Industries in N. Ireland', Conference paper for Creative Clusters International Conference, Belfast [25-28/9/2005].

- ‘Tradition & Artistic Processes, Policy Development within a European Environment’, Norwegian Traditional Music & Dance Association / Nordic Council of Traditional Music, Kristiansand, [2/9/ 2005]

- (2002) ‘Moments of Traditional Music in Europe’, a Joint Action - Campaign Title: ‘Europe A Common Heritage’. [CD- ROM] Council of Europe, Directorate of Communication & Research & EuropeanCommission.

- (1990) 'The Application of Archaeological Organology to a Gaelic-Celtic Music Context' Article Submission, Department of Ethnomusicology, Goldsmiths College, University of London


The enquiry ‘Súnesis’ investigates aesthetic awareness in traditional music practices in Ireland and seeks to evolve an aesthetic discourse with the practices at hand.Súnesis undertakes a critical examination of a suite of performances from contemporary and traditional folk music practices in Ireland. Engaging an interpretative model evolved by Paul Ricoeur, the author designs a dimensional pathway to articulate the modes of consciousness and aesthetic awareness at work in the creative act.

It is proposed that a rethinking of traditional folk music is required, beyond the disciplinary, geographical or political boundaries more typically conceived in music studies. With an alternate process of evolving aesthetic consciousness in practice, the challenge proposed is to change the view. It is to engage an active dimensional view, a process of how, through a consideration of discourse and practice, a reflective act upon the reach and realisation of artistic representation may come into play.

A lexicon of Súnesis (σύνεσις) implicates the act of uniting and a union. My characterisation of Súnesis is to engage wisdom, a lively and interconnecting intelligence that activates a dimensional pathway howsoever complex or simple, from the modes of knowledge production to forming creative practice. Rather than articulating a definitional profile, to demonstrate consciousness in its understanding of intermediacy and interplay, a mutuality comes into play to form sentient ideas; that through a constellation of thought-lines, an understanding of multiple states become reconciled. In this sense, I would suggest that forming an Aesthetic sensibility is an integrative intellectual and sensory cognition; it is the consciousness of combining and connecting elemental parts to a momentary whole.

Súnesis therefore suggests a cognitive mode of working, to draw an interconnecting dimensional pathway, that seeks a unified mode of thinking from a theory of the large to a theory of the small, to facilitate an integrative understanding of metaphysics with the tangible formations of the physical sciences; the act of interpretation and the act of physical representation. In this way, Súnesis implicates how art becomes, a dimensional manifestation, a medium to discoveries of consequence not solely for a music or art theory but to evolutionary theory and our potential understandings with the forces of nature.