Dylan van der Schyff

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Dylan van der Schyffphp

Dylan van der Schyff is an improvising percussionist and a researcher in interdisciplinary musicology. He received his PhD from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), and holds master’s degrees in humanities (Simon Fraser University) and music psychology (University of Sheffield).

His postdoctoral work was hosted by the Faculty of Music at the University Oxford, and was funded by a fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Dylan’s scholarship draws on developments in embodied cognitive science, phenomenological philosophy, and musicology to explore questions related to how and why music is meaningful for human beings. Much of this research focuses on developing possibilities for thought and action in practical areas such as improvisation and creativity, performance, and music education. His writing has also explored the relationships between music, emotion, and empathy, the foundations of musical creativity, and the emergence of musicality in human evolution. Dylan’s published work appears in journals that cover a broad spectrum of fields in the sciences and humanities. He has also contributed chapters to edited editions, including Oxford University Press Handbooks. Currently, he is leading a co-authored book project entitled 'Musical Bodies, Musical Minds: Enactive Cognitive Science and the Meaning of Human Musicality' (forthcoming on MIT Press).

As a performer (percussion, electronics) and producer, Dylan has contributed to almost 200 recordings, spanning the fields of jazz, free improvisation, sound art, experimental, electronic, and ‘new music’. He has toured extensively in North America and Europe, performing and recording with artists such as George Lewis, John Butcher, Kenny Werner, Dave Douglas, Achim Kaufmann, Misha Mengelberg, Michael Moore, Rob Mazurek, Marilyn Crispell, Joelle Leandre, Peggy Lee, Evan Parker, and John Zorn among many others. Additionally, he has contributed to numerous cross-disciplinary collaborations involving dance, theatre, film, and spoken word.

Dylan is Senior Lecturer in Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (University of Melbourne) where he coordinates the honours and graduate programs in Jazz and Improvisation. He also lectures in drumming, ensemble practice, and other areas.