In my PhD project (1997–2004), I worked on the anthropology of jembe music. In particular, I studied how the performance practice of jembe dance-drumming has changed in the city of Bamako. I looked into the urbanization, commodification, nationalization, and globalization of jembe playing and tried to understand the emergence of an urban repertoire and style in the context of these social processes.
Two post-doc grants (2006–07, 2011–16) have allowed me to approach music theoretical questions with methods from empirical musicology. In
particular, I examined the relationship between performance timings and metric functions of uneven ("non-isochronous") beat subdivision (asymmetric or "swing-based" meter) in dance drumming repertoires from Mali.
My ongoing research focuses on rhythm performance and perception from a cross-cultural perspective. For project descriptions, see my profile at Max-Planck-Institute for Empirical Aesthetics.