Ray first joined Leeds Beckett University 10 years ago when he became a Visiting Professor in Music. Dr Steve Parker - Principal Lecturer in Music Technology and Production and former engineer with the Rolling Stones – was Ray’s engineer in the studio during the early days of their careers, and invited Ray to share his expertise with students.
Ray said: “I loved my time teaching at Leeds Beckett. I found some amazing students - they were so advanced and really great songsmiths.”
It was then that Ray first had the idea of doing a PhD.
He said: “Dr Bob Davis – who was one of my PhD supervisors along with Steve – suggested that I use what I was teaching as the basis for a PhD study.
“What I argue in the PhD is that – although the technology has changed over the last 30 years – the musician still uses everything at their fingertips to create and have a creative outcome to what they do.
“I used an album I was on that from 15 years ago, and a new album, to show that however you record or play things, technology doesn’t have to be your master. I argue that studios are unique spaces which have a transformative effect on those who use them creatively - and that the session musician is an expert practitioner who brings their knowledge, experience and energy to enhance the expressivity and professionalism of an album.