Toby is a composer whose work explores the boundaries between pop music and sonic art. His research looks at the philosophy of creativity, in particular exploring the relationship between aesthetics, culture and the creative mind.
Since studying with Robin Holloway at Cambridge, his music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, Fretwork and Endymion Ensemble, and many choirs including Westminster Abbey, King’s College Cambridge, and the BBC Singers. He also writes for pop music artists including Chase&Status, Ellie Goudling, MOKO, and has recently collaborated with Duran Duran on their new album.
As well as lecturing at Somerville, Toby also holds the Carolyn and Franco Gianturco Junior Research Fellowship at Linacre College. He is a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol (faculty of philosophy) and Visiting Fellow at Cornell University (faculty of music). His DPhil thesis (completed at New College in 2015) looked at how established philosophical notions of the self relate to creativity, and the extent to which contextual analysis can enable us to understand the ‘artistic self’. Toby regularly contributes to TEMPO, Popular Music and Gramophone, specialising in creativity, and the overlap between philosophy and the arts.