Maja Palser

PhD Composition


Maja’s compositions are influenced by a fascination with the physiological, psychological, spiritual and communal aspects of experiencing music, in particular the ability of music to trigger physical sensations and to alter our perceptions of time and space. She has a keen interest in early sacred, popular and non-Western classical music and also draws inspiration from a range of extra-musical sources, most notably religious, mythological and spiritual texts such as those of the Sufi poets.

With a background in fine art, she is particularly drawn to interdisciplinary collaborations. She has worked with artists Andrew Bolton on the Newport Empty Shops Project and Bath Fringe Festival in 2010 and 2012, and Vahag Hamalbashyan for HA-SS Fest in Yerevan, Armenia in 2016, as well as with dancer Marega Palser on a six-hour-long immersive performance piece in Newport, South Wales in 2017.

In 2016, she was commissioned by Wales International Piano Festival and HA-SS Fest (Armenia), and in 2018 by Bangor New Music Festival and Uproar Ensemble. She was the first ever Welsh composer to represent her country at ISCM World Music Days in Vancouver, Canada, in autumn 2017.

Her PhD aims to explore the possibilities, both musical and extra-musical, of facilitating immersive and transcendental experiences through compositions and the ways that they are presented and performed.

Maja’s studies are supported by the Sir Jack Lyons Scholarship.

Supervisor: William Brooks