Phil Legard, Senior Lecturer

Phil Legard

Senior Lecturer

Phil Legard is a musician and producer whose work spans classical, folk, electronic, and experimental music. As an academic, Phil studies the relationship between contemporary music and esotericism.

Phil’s background is in experimental music, particularly in the fields of generative and algorithmic composition. As an editor, producer and technologist in the field of contemporary classical music Phil Legard worked for ten years with Nigel Morgan and Tonality Systems Press, the publishing and public-engagement partner to Tonality Systems, developers of the music programming language Symbolic Composer.
His interests in the generative processes underlying both composition and improvisation embrace a wider awareness of the compositional and performative act of music and its relation to our own environment. This has led to a number of solo and collaborative multi-disciplinary works involving sonic art, oral history, folklore and research into the implications of ontology and phenomenology on both place perception and artistic curation.

As a musician, Phil is currently working with his wife, Layla, as the experimental electronic duo Hawthonn. His current academic work and PhD studies concentrate on the relationship between music-making and esoteric thought, looking at how 'occulture' shapes the experiences, interpretations, and compositions of contemporary composers and performers.


Current Teaching

  • Composition Skills
  • Music in Context
  • Creative Audio Technologies
  • Spatial Audio
  • Music Production Project
  • Electroacoustic Composition
  • Audio-Visual Practice (MA)

Research Interests

Phil's current research explores at the intersection of musicianship and 'occulture' through the use of autobiography and analytic autoethnography. It proposes new methodologies for the study of contemporary esotericism, as well as exploring musical creativity in the contexts of the sociological study of religion, discourses of religious experience, and subcultural milieu studies.

Recently Phil has contributed articles on music and musicians to the Brill Dictionary of Contemporary Esotericism (forthcoming, edited by Egil Asprem).

Place, folklore, phenomenology and magic are all elements of Phil's practice and research, which includes contributions to the Alchemical Landscapes symposia hosted by Cambridge University Counterculture Research Group, Interference Journal, and public multi-media projects such as Almias (Harrogate International Festival, 2010).

Phil Legard, Senior Lecturer

Selected Outputs

  • Legard PI (2016) Singing Messengers: Re-considering the Role of 'Poetic Imagination’ in the Creative Process. In: Creativity: A Multidimensional Approach, 16 June 2016, Leeds Beckett University.

  • Legard PI (2015) The Many-Coloued Earth: Visionary Creativity, Imaginal Landscapes and the Hermeneutic Imagination. In: The Alchemical Landscape, 23 March 2015, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

  • Legard P (2013) Devills, Ellevs or Firadrakes: Genius Loci, Magical Technologies and the Occult Philosophy of Landscape. In: RGS-IBG International Conference 2013, 27 August 2013 - 30 August 2013, Imperial College, London.

  • Legard P (2013) Music, Magic, Metaxy: Sounding Psychepoietic Landcapes. In: Uncanny Landscape, 4 March 2013 - 8 March 2013, Royal Holloway.

  • Legard P; Bradley S (2012) An Archaeology of the Voice: Location and Audition. In: Sonic Arts Forum, 7 July 2012, Leeds University.

  • Legard P; Bradley S (2012) Located Memory and the Realisation of Place. In: Spaces of (Dis)Location, 23 May 2012 - 24 May 2012, Glasgow University.

  • Legard P; Morgan N (2007) Re-conceptualizing Performance with 'Active' Notation. In: ICCMR Conference 2006, Plymouth University.

  • Legard P (2013) Stop, Look, Listen & Think: Embodied Sound and Our Environment.

  • Legard P (2021) David Tibet. In: Asprem E ed. Brill Dictionary of Contemporary Esotericism. Brill,

  • Legard P (2021) Michael Jenkins Moynihan. In: Asprem E ed. Brill Dictionary of Contemporary Esotericism. Brill,

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  • Legard P (2021) Post-Industrial Music: Ritual Ambient and Noise. In: Asprem E ed. Brill Dictionary of Contemporary Esotericism. Brill,

    View Repository Record

  • Legard P (2021) Contemporary Classical Music. In: Asprem E ed. Brill Dictionary of Contemporary Esotericism. Leiden: Brill,

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  • Legard PI (2017) Inner-Sense and Experience: Drone Music, Esotericism and the Hieroeidetic Field. In: Coggins O; Harris J ed. Sustain/Decay. Void Front Press,