Centre for Research in Creative and Performing Arts

Flora Dennis

My research examines the social and cultural meanings of music and sound in Renaissance Italy. I am currently completing a monograph about how an explosion of amateur music making in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries changed the material and visual landscape of the home. Before coming to Sussex, I worked at the V&A and am interested in the display and interpretation of musical instruments in museums. I am in the midst of developing a project that investigates how more contextual presentations of musical instruments in museum collections can 're-animate' them, helping them to engage more actively with broader audiences. The project will bring together academics, curators, conservators, performers, and composers to share and exchange perspectives. As part of this project, I am collaborating with the Sussex Humanities Lab to explore ways in which historic instruments might be modelled digitally, both in terms of their appearance and their sound, as well as how digital models might further our understanding of the spaces in which they were used. I am also working to strengthen ties between Sussex University and the Brighton Early Music Festival, which has an excellent public engagement programme. I hope that the Research Centre and the ACCA will create more space for interdisciplinary creative and performing arts practice and research.