Dr Alexander Hunter

PhD (Edinburgh Napier University) 2014, HNC (Colaisde Bheinn na Faoghla) 2007, BA (Northern Illinois University) 2006
Composition Convenor, Honours and Graduate Coursework Convenor, School of Music
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 2 6125 3866

Areas of expertise

  • Music Composition 190406
  • Music Performance 190407
  • Musicology And Ethnomusicology 190409
  • Interactive Media 190205
  • Electronic Media Art 190203
  • Computer Gaming And Animation 190202

Research interests

  • Open/Non-linear Music (especially mobile moment form)
  • Open Music Notation (graphic, prose, game pieces, etc.)
  • Spectralism 
  • Acoustic Ecology
  • Generative, Interactive and Dynamic Music
  • Intersectional Feminism in musical composition and performance
  • Dis/ability and autism in the arts
  • Anarchism in musical composition and performance
  • Improvisation Ensembles
  • nêhiyaw/Métis culture


Dr Alexander Hunter is an autistic and disabled composer with Scottish, German and Red River Métis heritage. He studied composition, double bass, viola da gamba and ethnomusicology at Northern Illinois University, and received a PhD in composition from Edinburgh Napier University. In 2014 he relocated to Canberra to take up a lecturing position at the Australian National University School of Music. Hunter has taught composition, theory and history, and founded the ANU Experimental Music Studio. His work as a composer is based on open works, which encourage a fluid relationship between composer, score and performer.

As a composer Hunter has worked with the following performers/ensembles: Mabel Kwan (Chicago), the Quiet Music Ensemble (Cork), Pesedjet (members of Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente), the Chimera Ensemble (York), the Edinburgh Quartet (Edinburgh), Scottish Voices (Glasgow), ensemble a.pe.ri.od.ic (Chicago) and others.

Hunter’s current performance-led research is based on collaborative multimedia works, most recently with visual artists Mike Parr, Martyn Jolly (Former Head of ANU Photography and Media Arts), Ngaio Fitzpatrick (ANU Climate Change Institute), Andrew Quinn, John Carolan and Janet Meaney; and dancers Jack Riley and Liz Lea.

As a researcher his work has been focused on the music of the New York School; reductionist improvisers and other improvisers and improvisation ensembles; the writings of Rob Haskins and Jonathan D. Kramer; feminism, anarchism and leftist politics in composition and performance; and open musical forms and notation.

Current student projects

  • Nicholas Moynihan (PhD): Electronic Music and Phenomenology (Chair and Primary Supervisor)
  • Lachlan Coventry (PhD): Creative Practice in Jazz Guitar, Composition and Improvisation informed by Visual Arts, Literature and Poetry. (Associate Supervisor)
  • Rachael Thoms (PhD): Merging Pedagogies: A hybrid approach to tertiary jazz and contemporary vocal improvisation training (Associate Supervisor)
  • Llewellyn Osborne (MPhil): jazz violin performance, pedagogy and performance
  • Chloë Hobbs (PhD - out for review):The Use of Orchestration and Structure in the Exploration of Fluid Musical Hierarchies (Chair and Primary Supervisor)
  • Thomas Connell (PhD): Ludomusicology research (Associate Supervisor)
  • Nardi Simpson (PhD): composition research (Associate Supervisor)
  • Elizabeth Sheppard (MPhil): Yoora  Tattoo Music  : a two way approach  to Indigenous  composition (Associate Supervisor)


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  23 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers