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Centre for Music and Science






PhD(Cantab) Experimental Psychology (Darwin College)

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).

Managing Editor of AI&Society, Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Communication, Springer. AI&Society was founded in 1987 with a focus on social value, creativity, and purpose of technology in our lives and our environment, exploring design futures. With Editors from each continent the Journal supports culturally and gender diverse perspectives. It is unique in having a Student Forum, run with graduates.

Summary of Research 

Purpose: 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. 

Questions: What are the processes underlying knowledge transfer and emergence in human interaction? What is the role of the body in sense-making? What is the function of rhythm in facilitating human communication and presence? What is the relation between aesthetics and ethics in tacit engagement and why does this matter?

Since her PhD on tacit knowledge in communication, her research has been motivated by three related concerns, the first being, how do I know that I have been understood and that I have understood? ;  the second being on ‘certainty’, on why it is that when we engage with the artificial representation of our decision making processes, we lose our capacity to judge with doubt?; and thirdly, with the rapid pace of change of technology and its uptake, can the arts and sciences together create new methods that bring the ephemeral experience and the representational together to grasp the impacts in society and shape interfaces that afford tacit engagement?

Some keywords- Social Interaction,  social correlates of embodiment, emergence, judgement, certainty, entrainment, gesture, tacit, art & science.

Current Projects:

(i) "A human-centred design approach for digitization in nursing education: empathy training for burn-out prevention in health and nursing students" (2022-2024), funded by the Chamber of Labour of Lower Austria. Collaborative project (myself and Ian Cross, CMS) with the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems with Gerhard Tucek (Project Lead), Jessica Jansen, Mario A. Lepera-Fuster  (Institute for Therapeutic and Midwifery Sciences), and Markus Golla, Christine Schweißer (Institute for Nursing Science).

The project draws on findings from music and science on the relation between interpersonal synchrony and empathy, creating exercises (tools) to support empathic resilience of nurses to cope with daily stress at work that is causing many to leave the profession. It is expected that by 2030 there will be a shortage of around 75,500 nursing staff in Austria which combined with an aging society would lead to the collapse of the care system. Even before the pandemic, 74% of long-term care workers in Austria reported they did not wish to stay in the profession until they retire. This situation is not unique to Austria. In 2021 the WHO reported that worldwide, the nursing profession is under collapse due to stress and frustration.

(ii) Touching Sound, GISMO (Generic Interfaces for Socio-Musical Orientation), with Richard Hoadley (formerly at ARU), Adam Ockleford of Roehampton University, Jorg Fachner and Paul Fernie (Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research, ARU), Katrien Foubert (Luca School of Arts, Leuven), and Ian Cross in the design of a shared musical interface, requiring collaborative interaction, for therapeutic use.

(v) Prototyping Social Forms and Process Germ Bank, international collectives curated by Sha Xin-Wei (Synthesis Lab ASU). This investigates alternative ways to engage via interfaces that better support our sociality, processes of learning, and wellbeing. The discussions and interactive performances/experiments draw on theories and practices.

Past Projects:

(i) SRMs (Salient Rhythmic Moments). An exploration of the pragmatics of rhythm in speech and music (with Tommi Himberg and Marc Thompson);
(ii) (iii) Greetings:  investigating the rhythmic body movements that occur when people greet each other, i.e. during ‘phatic’ interaction, or ‘small talk’. 

(iii) 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) Telepresence StageCollaborative Solutions for the Performing Arts: A Telepresence Stage is an AHRC funded project led by the School of Art at University of Brighton in collaboration with LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore and the Third Space Network, Washington DC. Team: Paul Sermon, Steve Dixon, Sita Popat (Consultant), Randall Packer, and Satinder P Gill (Consultant). Contact:

Convening/Curating Events 

(i) Chair of the Cambridge LASER Talks (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendevouz) (CRASSH) with Chrysi Nanou (CMS, Cambridge and CCRMA, Stanford), Prerona Prasad (The Heong Gallery), and Harriet Loffler (Curator of the New Hall Art Collection). The Cambridge LASER is hosted by CRASSH

"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 for us to have an ecologically and socially sustainable life and wellbeing."

Our Launch event took place on October 1st 2020 with leading women artists and scientists, followed by  'The Known World' on March 25th 2021, the first in a series curating how the arts (focusing on music) and sciences perceive, collect, and use data, and infer, imagine, and experience what data means, and how we as publics engage with this. Our LASER on Non/Human Animals on June 17th 2021 brought together Satish Kumar from the Resurgence Trust with immunologist, artists and neuroscientist to explore a one-health system and the impact of our relations to the natural world upon each other. On 19 May 2022 Rhythmicity brought Ian Cross (CMS Cambridge), Chris Chafe (CCSMA Stanford), Jessica Grahn (WO Brain and Mind Institute) and together to explore how our neural and biological oscillations engage us and facilitate our interactions with each other and our environment, their links to mental and physical health, how humans are impacting the rhythms of nature, and how is technology affecting our rhythms of connection? A joint LASER with Los Angeles (UCLA) on Decolonising art ecosystem on 1st June 2023 reflected on the future of art practice and the importance of human gatekeepers.

This gives a taster of the Cambridge LASER and we invite you to check our LASER Cambridge CRASSH page for information about upcoming events. We welcome people to get in touch and co-curate events with us.

(ii) Co-convenor with Derek Matravers, of the British Aesthetics Society sponsored conference, Aesthetics and Ethics in the Digital Age, 6th-8th July 2021. 

(iii) 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.  Conference Blog (CRASSH): Why Thinking about the Tacit is Key in a Digital Age 

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.



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


Burnard, P., Sorensen, N., Gill, S. and Rabinowitch, T-C. (2021). Identifying New Parameters Informing the Relationship Between Silence and Sound in diverse musical performance practices and perception. International Journal of Music Science, Technology and Art (IJMSTA) 3(1): 7-17, Music Academy “Studio Musica”, 2021 ISSN: 2612-2146 (Online).

Rabinowitch, T.C. and Gill, S.P. (2021) 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.

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

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.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Co-Supervised Music Faculty PhD Student, Rachel Stroud (2017-2020). 

CMS Research Affiliate
 Satinder P. Gill

Contact Details

Email address: 
Available for consultancy


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