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Noel Lobley is an ethnomusicologist, sound curator and artist who works across the disciplines of music, anthropology sound art and composition to develop a series of experiential sound events and international curatorial residencies. Through extensive fieldwork in sub-Saharan Africa, much of his creative practice takes ethnographic sound and music recordings out of archives for circulation back among communities. He has collaborated with musicians, sound artists, DJs, choreographers and composers in South Africa, the UK and throughout Europe and the US to develop creative and ethical ways for recordings to be experienced in spaces ranging from art galleries, festivals and museums, to schools, rainforests and township street corners.
Noel previously worked as a sound curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, lecturing in both music and anthropology, and where he continues to serve as a Research Associate. He also has twenty years experience working as a DJ and in radio and the music industry. Noel has served on the committee of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, is an appointed member of the Royal Anthropological Institute's ethnomusicology committee, and was awarded the 2015 Curl Lectureship at the Royal Anthropological Institute.
Noel is curating an ongoing series of touring sound installation and remix projects designed to link major ethnographic collections from across sub-Saharan Africa, developing projects with local artists, communities and institutions, in order to implement collaborative and sustainable methods to curate the possible histories and futures of sonic heritage. He is currently working on Curating Sound, a monograph that explores practical contemporary sound curation.