Accessibility statement

Dr James Cave
Lecturer in Culture and Organisation



I joined the School for Business and Society in 2022, having previously worked as a Visiting Lecturer at University of York, Leeds Conservatoire and York St John University. Most of my work is interdisciplinary in nature, with a strong focus on the intersection between performing arts work, creative practice and organisation studies. I’m particularly interested in the ways in which organisational thinking can be used to enhance creative collaborations, the organisational aspects of cross-cultural music projects, and the use of sound design to enhance communication between and within organisations.

I combine academic and teaching work with a busy career as a composer, singer and instrumentalist. As a composer, I’ve had works performed at a wide range of venues in the UK, Italy, Norway, the US and Canada, including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, King’s Place, Wigmore Hall, York Theatre Royal, Hepworth Wakefield, Sage Gateshead, York NCEM, St Paul’s Cathedral, York Minster, Greenbelt Festival, the Banff Centre, Canada, Union Chapel, and Cappella del Barolo, La Morra, Italy. I was Composer-in-Residence at the Banff Centre, Canada, March 2015, and participated in the inaugural Banff World Music Residency in Eastern Traditions. I was the first Composer-in-Residence at the Mahler/LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, August-September 2016, supported by the Anna Mahler Association. My music has been released on
the Regent and Ceretto labels, and is available on Soundcloud ( Projects I’ve been involved in have featured on BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now, BBC Radio 4 and BBC London’s In Spirit programme, BBC1 Look North and BBC Radio Leeds.

Awards and funding include ‘Best Use of Sound’ at the International Community of Auditory Display (2017) and the Terry Holmes Award and Sir Jack Lyons Celebration Awards for Composition, ‘Best Use of Sound’ and the ‘Such Music - Ten Times Sweeter!’ Award from Laurence Sterne Trust. I’ve been the recipient of project funding support from Arts Council England, HCMF, AHRC, Anna Mahler Association, Santander Global Connections Fund, and YuFund.

As a singer, I am a permanent member of York Minster Choir and member of the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, as well as an Artistic Associate of the cross-cultural arts organisation Manasamitra.

I hold a PhD in Music Composition from the University of York (AHRC-funded), as well as an MA in Contemporary Studies(Music) from York, and an MA and MPhil in English from Cambridge University.

I also have substantial experience in the public and voluntary sectors as project coordinator, policy advisor and researcher, having worked with a range of organisations including Age UK and two Inner London boroughs.



My PhD research focused on the relationship between archival and compositional practices, examining the ways in which historical materials and processes can be used as a creative resource. It combined a creative portfolio with extended readings of theorists including Derrida, Ricoeur, Benjamin and Bauman.

Much of my work is interdisciplinary and public-engagement focused, combining peer-reviewed publications with performances, recordings and public engagement activities. Some recent projects and areas of interest include:

  • the use of sound design and sonic data display (sonification) to enhance public understanding of geology, with particular reference to earthquakes and other large-scale phenomena. (This is an interdisciplinary collaboration with researchers from University of York, UCL, and the Geological Survey of Western Australia)
  • organisational challenges relating to the development of contemporary opera. (This project focuses on the development of a new opera, Returns, with practitioners from Opera North, ENO and the Royal Opera House)
  • the use of sound design and sonic data display (sonification) to address inter-agency communication challenges
  • the development of international musical collaborations in online environments. (This project, developed with support from the Mahler Foundation, Gustav Mahler Society (UK), focuses on the creation of an online orchestra, Orchestra Daraja, involving participants from Kenya, Sri Lanka, Chile, Mexico, Canada, and the UK)
  • the application of transformative space theory - developed in a sustainability context - in cultural and performing arts contexts
  • the hauntologies of Jacques Derrida and Mark Fisher


Selected publications

As an interdisciplinary researcher my outputs combine peer-reviewed publications with performances, recordings and public engagement activities. Some recent highlights include:

Research Publications

Cave J. and Eyes, B. (2019). Combining Composition and Sonic Information Design in a New Electroacoustic Work. Ergonomics in Design. 2019; 27(1):20-22.
Cave J. (2018). 'Voodoo Tradition': Composer as Curator. PhD thesis, University of York.
Cave J. and Eyes, B. (2017). Eonsounds: Fiamignano Gorge. Proceedings of ICAD. 2017. p.259

Public Engagement/Creative outputs

Cave, J. and Nagarajan, S. (2021). The Little Train. For brass band. Commissioned by NYMAZ and premiered at BigBrassFest in Helmsley, Nov 2021. Discussed on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live.

Cave, J. (2021). Saga Soundscape. Environmental soundscape to accompany a performance of saga-texts. Premiered at Royal Armouries, Leeds, September 25th 2021.

Cave, J. and Eyes, B. (2021). The Voyages of Harald Hardrarda (2021). Soundtrack (music and sound design) for a short animated film. Premiered in the War Cinema at Royal Armouries, Leeds, September 25th 2021 With support from University of Edinburgh.

Cave, J. The Desert Hills Fan Out Like Playing Cards (2021). Portable sound-installation for piano and field recordings. Commissioned for the Edicola Exhibition, Spoleto, Italy by Jo Melvin/University of the Arts London

Cave, J. Magic (2021). A mini-musical set in a paper theatre. Commissioned by York Theatre Royal with funding from Arts Council England for 'Love Bites'. First performances: May 2021 by James Cave (countertenor and tape) and Elena Skoreyko Wagner (set design/puppetry).

Cave, J. Chapman. D. Teahouses (2019-21). Multimedia project. First performances at Bradford LitFest (July 2019) King’s Place, London (March 2020), and NCEM (June 2021). Supported by PRS Foundation and Arts Council England.

Cave, J. Cantiga de Sor Ines de la Cruz (version for viola and voice) (2019). Duration 4 mins. First live performance by Nick Barr (viola), Cappella del Barolo, La Morra, Italy, September 21st, 2019, as part of Keeping Time: a celebration of Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett.

Cave, J. The Point On The Arch Mid-Way Between The Two Walls (2019). For solo viola and multi tracked violas. Commissioned by Ceretto/Mahler & LeWitt Studios. First live performance by Nick Barr (viola) and the composer, at Cappella del Barolo, La Morra, Italy, September 21st, 2019, as part of Keeping Time: a celebration of Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett. Recording available on Keeping Time (Ceretto, 2019)

Cave, J. Returns (2015-2022). An opera in one act, based on the play by Joshua Casteel. For six singers and ensemble. In development - dir. Rosalind Parker, music director Jon Brigg, designer Anthony Lamble.



  • BA Internationalisation of Modern Management
  • BA Globalisation, Politics and Culture


  • MA in Continuity and Change in Organisations (as module leader)

I also previously taught MA Research Methods for TYMS, and have lectured on a wide range of topics at other institutions ranging from research methodology to Indian music, extended vocal techniques, creative collaboration and hauntology. I have extensive experience of supervising student work from
first year to MA level.

I would be interested in applications from prospective PhD students relating to topics involving any aspect of performing arts practice, creative practice, sound design/sound technology, visual and/or sonic information display, and critical theory.

James Cave

School for Business and Society
University of York
Church Lane Building
York Science Park
York YO10 5ZF

Room: CL/A/147