I approach musical experience with phenomenology (defined simply as the study of consciousness) and affect theory. These frameworks help to consider essential questions about existence, time, self, sense, and imagination.
Mastering performance of mugham on the tar has been an important tool to further my understanding of musical experience. Investigating mugham as an ethnomusicologist means making music with local musicians and experiencing it with local audiences. Performance of mugham has been crucial for my work, providing access to the inarticulate and yet most meaningful inner instances that are foundational for our sense of self and the surrounding world; an approach that evades misrepresentation inherent in the biased position of a scholar as an outsider.