I am a Senior Lecturer in Sound Production and Post Production at the School of Arts and Creative Technologies, where I've been working since 2016.
I have a background in music, sound design and acoustics. My MA dissertation (University of York) focused on exploring the creation of a new format of sonic art entitled ‘audio film’ that may be considered as an alternative to Audio Description for visually impaired audiences. In 2013 I completed my PhD at the University of York on the importance of virtual acoustics to further our understanding of medieval drama.
I am also active in the field of sound design, having worked on a number of film and theatre productions, as well as other creative experiences.
I am the Principal Investigator for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project ‘Enhancing Audio Description II: Implementing accessible, personalised and inclusive film and television experiences for visually impaired audiences.’ I was also the Principal Investigator for Enhancing Audio Description, also funded by the AHRC (2016-2018), and the British Academy funded project ‘The Soundscapes of the York Mystery Plays’. I have also supervised Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships throughout the years, including the project 'Safe and Sound Drive: Design of a serious game for cars to help increase driver skills and lower fuel consumption' by Dr Arne Nykänen and Dr Lidia Álvarez Morales' work on 'Cathedral Acoustics. Sound as intangible heritage: preserving the acoustics of cathedrals in the United Kingdom'. I am currently supervising the project 'Acoustic Atlas: cultivating the capacity to listen' by Dr Cobi van Tonder.
I am currently supervising and have supervised a number of research projects on different topics, including ASMR and wellbeing; Audio Description in television; Audio Description in games; narrative structures and ADHD; interactive installations; sound design for interactive theatre; and gender equality and diversity in relation to the audio and music worlds.
● Daniel Walzer and Mariana López (eds.), Audio Education: Theory, Culture and Practice, Routledge, 2020.
● López, M. ‘Gamifying the Learning Experience: Evaluating teaching methodologies in an introductory module to sound for film and television’ in D. Walzer and M. Lopez (eds.), Audio Education: Theory, Culture and Practice, (Routledge), (2020).
● López, M., ‘Heritage Soundscapes: Contexts and Ethics of Curatorial Expression’ in C. Clarke (ed.), The St Thomas Way and the Medieval March of Wales: Exploring Place, Heritage, Pilgrimage, (Arc Humanities Press), (2020).
● López, M., ‘Sound Installations in Heritage Sites’ in N. Cook, M. Ingalls, D. Trippett and P. Webb (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Music and Digital Culture, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), (2019).
● López, M., ‘The York Mystery Plays: Exploring Sound and Hearing in Medieval Vernacular Drama’ in S. Thomson and M. Bintley (ed.), Sensory Perception in the Medieval West, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy, 34, (Turnhout: Brepols), pp. 53-73, 2016.
● López, M., Kearney, G., Hofstädter, K. (2021). Enhancing Audio Description: Inclusive cinematic experiences through sound design. Journal of Audio-visual Translation, 4: 1, 157-182, DOI: 10.47476/jat.v4i1.2021.154.
● López, M., Kearney, G., Hofstädter, K. and Balla, G. (2020). Enhancing Audio Description: accessible filmmaking, sound design and the importance of educating filmmakers. Journal of Media Practice and Education, 21: 4, 289-304. DOI: 10.1080/25741136.2020.1832830.
● López, M., Kearney, G. and Hofstädter, K. (2020). Seeing films through Sound: Sound design, spatial audio, and accessibility for visually impaired audiences. British Journal of Visual Impairment, 1-28, DOI:10.1177/0264619620935935.
● Álvarez-Morales, L., López, M., Álvarez-Corbacho, A. (2020) ‘The Acoustic Environment of York Minster’s Chapter House’ Acoustics, 2 (1): 13-36. DOI: 10.3390/acoustics2010003.
• López, M., Kearney, G. and Hofstadter, K. (2018) ‘Audio Description in the UK: what works, what doesn’t and understanding the need for personalising access’, British Journal of Visual Impairment, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 274-291.
• López, M. (2015) ‘An acoustical approach to the study of the wagons of the York Mystery Plays: structure and orientation’, Early Theatre Journal, Vol. 18, No. 2, December 2015, pp.11-36.
• López, M. (2015) ‘Using multiple computer models to study the acoustics of a sixteenth-century performance space’, Applied Acoustics, Vol. 94, July 2015, pp. 14-19.
• López, M. (2015) ‘Objective evaluation of a simulation of the acoustics of a medieval urban space used for dramatic performances’, Applied Acoustics, Vol. 88, February 2015, pp. 38-43.
Some of my recent practice-based work includes:
● Sound Designer for 'Monoliths' by Pilot Theatre, funded by XR Stories, 2021-22
● Sound Designer for Waveform (Richard Carter), an audio-visual installation for the Peripheries: Electronic Literature and New Media Art exhibition held at the Glucksman Gallery, Cork, 2019.
● Sound Designer for St. Thomas Way, Swansea-Heresford Heritage Route, 2018.
● Executive Producer for the short film Shelf Life (2018). This film was shortlisted for an AHRC Research in Film Award under the category of Doctoral Award or Early Career Film.