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Satinder P. Gill

Satinder P. Gill

CMS Research Affiliate



PhD(Cantab) Experimental Psychology

Posts following PhD - Research Scientist, NTT Basic Research Labs, Japan (1997-1999) (included period as Visiting Researcher with ATR Media Lab, Nara); Dialogue Team Leader, CKIR (Centre for Knowledge and Innovation Research), Finland and CSLI, Stanford University USA (2000-2003); Senior Research Fellow, Middlesex University, London (2004-2009). Affiliate, Synthesis Centre, ASU USA (2018-present).

Research Interests

investigating the pragmatics of rhythm and sense-making in speech, gesture, and music, as a critical lens on the changing nature of presence and tacit engagement in face-to-face and technology mediated communication.

Social Interaction, Social Correlates of Embodiment, Entrainment, Gesture, Tacit Knowing, Art & Science.

Summary of Research

Investigating the processes underlying knowledge transfer and emergence in human interaction
The role of the body in sense-making
The function of rhythm in facilitating human communication and presence
Exploration of the dynamics of technologically-mediated interaction                         Relation between aesthetics and ethics in tacit engagement


(i) SRMs (Salient Rhythmic Moments). An exploration of the pragmatics of rhythm in speech and music (with Tommi Himberg and Marc Thompson);
(ii) touching sound, GISMO (Generic Interfaces for Socio-Musical Orientation), with Richard Hoadley (formerly at ARU), Helen Odell-Miller (ARU), Adam Ockleford of Roehampton University, and Ian Cross in the design of a shared musical interface, requiring collaborative interaction, for therapeutic use;
(iii) investigating the rhythmic body movements that occur when people greet each other, i.e. during ‘phatic’ interaction, or ‘small talk’.

(iv) The exploration of specific modalities of musical co-play in relation to psychopathology. Development of new styles in improvisation and composition, with Katrien Foubert and Jos de Backer (Contextual Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven, Belgium and Music Therapy, LUCA School of Arts, Belgium). 

(v) Silence in Musical Performance: An Exploratory Study of Practice and Perceptions. With Pam Burnard, Education Faculty, University of Cambridge; Nick Sorensen,  Bath Spa University; and Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, Graduate School of Creative Arts Therapies, University of Haifa. 

(vi) Prototyping Social Forms, international collective curated by Sha Xin-Wei (Synthesis Lab ASU) and Gabriele Carroti-Sha (Stanford). 

Associate Editor, AI & Society: Journal of Knowledge, Culture, and Communication. London: Springer


Convening/Curating Events 

(i) Convenor of Conference "Tacit Engagement in the Digital Age, June 26-28" 2019, a collaboration between CRASSH 'Re-' Interdisciplinary Network, the AI & Society Journal, and Polanyi Society, hosted by CRASSH and the Music Faculty. Videos of the talks are on the conference CRASSH page

Blog: Why Thinking about the Tacit is Key in a Digital Age

(ii) Co-convenor of the Cambridge LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendevouz), with Harriet Loffler (Curator of the New Hall Art Collection).

"The Cambridge LASER questions the separation and propagation of art and science as distinct categories of knowing and being. By asking questions such as, What is creativity?  When does a work ‘exist’? What is an experiment? it explores where scientific and artistic attitudes, inquiries and methods overlap, and how they differ and complement each other. Can this understanding shape our technological, urban and environmental futures."

Our Launch (Science Festival) event was postponed (original date- March 17th 2020) due to Covid-19. Online events are currently being planned.

(iii) Co-convening with Derek Matravers, the forthcoming British Aesthetics Society sponsored conference, Aesthetics and Ethics in the Digital Age, 28 May 2021. 


Invited Talks

Invited Speaker at Michael Polanyi and The Post Critical TurnPolanyi Society, Nashota House, Milwaukee, 6-9 June 2018.

Invited Speaker, Mozart & Science: Music for Medicine and Therapy, IMC University of Applied Sciences, Krems, Austria, 11-12 November 2017. 

Keynote speaker at Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music,  Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), Queen’s University Belfast, 24-28 November 2016.

Keynote Speaker at Performing Knowledge, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, 25-26 April 2016.



  • Music
  • Time

Key Publications


Gill, S. P. (2015). Tacit Engagement: Beyond Interaction. London: Springer.

Gill, S.P. (2007) (Ed.) Cognition, Communication, and Interaction: Transdiciplinary Perspectives of Interactive Technology. Human Computer Interaction Series, London: Springer.

Forthcoming Book

Gill, S.P. The Relational Interface: Where Art, Science, and Technology Meet. London: Springer


Foubert, K., Gill, S.P. and De Backer, J. (2020) Musical Improvisation Framework for Shaping Interpersonal Trust. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy

Rabinowitch, T.C. and Gill, S.P. (in press) Musical Interaction, Social Communication and Wellbeing. In Timmers, R., Bailes, F. and Daffern, H. (Eds) Together in Music: Participation, Co-Ordination, and Creativity in Ensembles. Oxford: OUP.

Barnard, P., Sorensen, N., Rabinowitch, T.C. and Gill, SP. (under revision) The Salience of Silence in Musical Performance Expression: An Exploratory Study of Practice and Perception. Musicae Scientiae.

Aaron, S., Barnard, P., Cross, I., Gill, S.P., Himberg, T., Hoadley, R., Odell-Miller, H., Toulson, R. (2013) Touching Sound: Vulnerability and Synchronicity. In Proceedings of the CHI2013 Workshop in Designing for and with Vulnerable People.

Himberg, T., Thompson, M., Gill, S.P. (2013) Rhythmic Entrainment in Communicative Dyadic Improvisation. In Proceedings of International Symposium of Performance Science 2013, Vienna.

Nevejan, C. and Gill, S.P. (2011) Guest Editors. Witnessed Presence. AI & Society, 27 (1).

Gill, S.P. (2011) Rhythmic Synchrony and Mediated Interaction: Towards a Framework of Rhythm in Mediated Interaction. In Special Issue on Witnessed Presence, AI & Society, 27 (1),

Gill, S. P. (2008) Knowledge as embodied performance. Cognition, Communication and Interaction: Human-Computer Interaction Series, Pt I, 3-30.

Gill, S.P. and Tamburrini, G. (2008) Guest Editors. Socio and Techno Ethics of Human Interaction with Communication, Bionic, and Robotic Systems. AI & Society.

Gill, S. P. (2007) Entrainment and musicality in the human system interface. AI and Society, 21 (4), 567-60.

Gill, S. P. (2004) Body moves and tacit knowing. Cognition and technology: co-existence, convergence, and co-evolution (241-266) Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.

Gill, S. P. and Borchers, J. (2004) Knowledge in co-action: social intelligence in collaborative design activity. AI and Society, 17 (3-4), 322-33.

Gill, S. P., Kawamori, M., Katagiri, Y., et al. (2000) ‘Role of Body Moves in dialogue’. International Journal of Language and Communication 12, 89-114.