Research projects

My doctoral project (1997-2004) focused on the anthropology of djembe music.  In particular, I investigated how the work and style of djembe drumming in the city of Bamako have changed in the context of urbanization, commercialization, nationalization, and globalization processes.

Two post-doctoral projects (2006-07, 2011-16) aimed to investigate music-theoretical questions using methods from empirical musicology and music cognition.  Specifically, I developed a theory of swing-based meter in music from Mali.

Recently, I have used scientific methods to study tempo and ensemble synchronization in Malian drumming, and cross-cultural variation in rhythm perception and the aesthetics of timing variations.

 As with my research on swing-based meter, this research was fundamentally based on my collaboration with Justin London and Nori Jacoby.

I have moved to Oslo and joined the RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion in summer 2022. There I will direct a multidisciplinary and multimethod collaborative research project that will use the example of djembe music and dance to investigate the cross-modal interaction and multimodal integration of rhythm performance and perception: DjembeDance