Richie Hawtin unveils winning PhD Scholarship at the University of Huddersfield
Renowned electronic music visionary and techno pioneer, Richie Hawtin, known in the music world as Plastikman, has unveiled an exciting development at the University of Huddersfield: the Richie Hawtin PhD Scholarship in Electronic Music, Cultures, and Production. This scholarship marks a significant step in Hawtin’s commitment to music education and his ongoing dedication to nurturing the electronic music scene.
The recipient of this prestigious scholarship is Pierre Griscelli, a 37-year-old native of France. Griscelli has been awarded a full three-year tuition fee waiver for his full-time PhD program, commencing this September. Titled “The Richie Hawtin PhD Scholarship in Electronic Music, Cultures, and Production,” this program will provide Griscelli with guidance and support from the internationally renowned faculty at the University of Huddersfield, including valuable tutorials led by Richie Hawtin himself.
This announcement also brings to light an exciting event: “Richie Hawtin, In Conversation,” scheduled for October 17th at the University of Huddersfield’s Oastler Building. During this event, Richie Hawtin will engage in a live onstage discussion with the scholarship’s recipient, Pierre Griscelli, moderated by Professor Rupert Till, the university’s Professor of Music and Head of the Department of Music and Design Arts. Tickets for this event are free but require advance reservation.
Pierre Griscelli secured the scholarship with his research proposal titled “Techno Hardware-centric, Real-time, Improvisation, Performance, and Production Solution.” His research aims to explore the creative and technical advantages and challenges of employing hardware synthesizers in techno music production, as well as the unique intersection of music production and performance.
This area of research aligns closely with Richie Hawtin’s own celebrated career in electronic music, and Griscelli’s work is poised to contribute valuable insights and recommendations to the field of music production, particularly in real-time composition, improvisation, and creativity.
Griscelli shared his thoughts on the scholarship: “It is an honor to have been entrusted with this research in electronic music. Beyond the gratifying acknowledgment of being selected, I recognize the substantial responsibility that comes with it. It involves striking a harmonious balance between art, technology, social dynamics, and academia, guided by the mentorship of Richie Hawtin. These facets are interconnected and require careful navigation that I am proud to explore in my research titled THRiPPS: Techno Hardware-centric, Real-time, Improvisation, Performance, and Production Solution.”
The application process for this scholarship opened in early 2023, inviting individuals engaged in research related to electronic music cultures or production to apply. It saw an unprecedented number of applicants, all of whom were required to submit proposals outlining their projects, samples of written work, and examples of relevant creative production.
Starting this September, Pierre Griscelli, who has also enjoyed a successful 10-year career in sound design for video games, working on titles such as Rainbow Six: Siege, Batman Arkham Knight, Kinect Sports, and Assassin’s Creed, will join the Popular Music Studies Research Group (PMSRG) within the Centre for Research in Music and its Technologies (CRMT). PMSRG is a hub for diverse research in popular music, including practice-based, practice-led, and text-based studies, having hosted notable international research events.
The University of Huddersfield has a long-standing connection with Richie Hawtin, dating back to when he was the subject of a PhD around a decade ago. Since receiving an honorary doctorate, Hawtin has returned to offer masterclasses and one-on-one sessions with students, providing invaluable advice on their music projects.
Richie Hawtin expressed his enthusiasm for the PhD Scholarship program and the winning applicant: “I’m honored to continue my relationship with the University of Huddersfield and participate in their PhD Scholarship program. My hope is to offer my experience and insight into the many areas of Techno culture which I’ve been involved in over the past thirty years. To assist in a student’s exploration of the past and inner workings of our industry and help them offer new critical analysis from a contemporary perspective.”
The University of Huddersfield boasts more than 20 state-of-the-art recording and production studios equipped with top-tier hardware, software, and plugins, along with an impressive collection of industry-leading microphones and recording equipment. The university’s music department is highly regarded, ranking fifth in the UK for music research and 25th in the QS World University Subject Rankings. Register to attend here.
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