Board

The current Sound and Music board members are:

John Knell (Chair)

John Knell is one of the UK's leading thinkers on the changing face of work and organisations, and he has an international reputation as a cultural policy consultant.

John has worked with a wide range of corporate clients, including Microsoft, Tesco, Astra Zeneca, Eversheds, Lloyds TSB, Manpower, and Siemens. Current clients include Arts Council England, BFI, Big Society Network, CCA, DCA CityCo, Milton Keynes College, MOSI, The RSA, and the Government of Western Australia.

John’s recent client work has ranged across high-level public policy work particularly in the arts and creative economy sphere, strategic reviews and strategy development, thought leadership development, top team facilitation, executive advice and support, and a wide range of public speaking and event facilitation activities. His latest book, ‘The 80 Minute MBA’ (with Richard Reeves) is now available, published by Headline.

John has authored numerous reports on work, the labour market, organisational change, and arts and cultural policy. He is a frequent public speaker and media commentator on workplace and public policy issues.

John began his career as an academic at the University of Leeds where he undertook his doctoral research, and he retains strong links with leading research centres. He is the Chair of Sound and Music, a Board member of Demos, and a Fellow of the RSA. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two children and has a consuming passion for all kinds of music.

Sasha Afanasieva

Sasha is an On Purpose Associate with a background in technology corporate finance advisory. She has over six years’ investment banking experience, advising numerous companies and entrepreneurs on fundraising and developing innovative business models in the internet and digital media sectors. She has also published research on some of the MOST agile and fastest growing industries, widely cited in the media. Most recently, Sasha left banking to join On Purpose, a programme for high calibre professionals to become the next generation of social/value-driven leaders. As part of the programme, she has advised Shakespeare Schools Festival, the largest youth drama organisation in the UK, in the role of Commercial Manager. She has also worked with Volans, a future-focused consultancy business working at the intersection of innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship movements. Her focus at Volans has been advising corporate clients on integrating social and environmental impact beyond traditional corporate social responsibility strategy, as well as assessing the impact of Volans’ work. She holds a degree in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford and is a native Russian speaker. Sasha is passionate about the arts and music in particular, as an avid pianist from a young age.

Dave Castell

Dave Castell has worked at the forefront of the converging media, digital, content, marketing, advertising and entertainment industries for the last 15 years, regularly engaging with different audiences through music, games, film and consumer technology, and mobile sectors.

A true ‘digital native’, Dave progressed from his first web agency to head up Music, Games, Technology and Mobile for Tiscali from 2002-2007, launching their Showcase, Sessions, Radio and Downloads programmes. Dave lead projects like Tiscali's flagship sponsorship, live Webcast and Sessions from the Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds, plus the programmes with 02 Wireless festival, which crossed over to Channel 4 TV.

Dave then helped to form Tough Cookie – which was acquired by Whizz Kid Entertainment and Ingenious Media – joining to co-run the outfit as Director Of New Media working with all the major terrestrial and digital broadcasters (including BBC TV and Radio, ABC) and brands on 360 degree content creation, multiplatform formats and distribution including AOL, Bebo, MSN and more.

Dave founded Big Briefs in 2009, specialising in digital entertainment consultancy, web build and content production. He consulted to the record breaking U2-YouTube global webcast from LA for Google, U2 and Universal Records, which still boasts the largest live global audience for online music viewing. Other clients included PlayStation, Virgin Media and Skype, and major digital music projects with Samsung.

Dave became Head Of Digital, and then Director Of Digital for Seven (part of the Guardian Media Group) – a leading multiplatform content marketing agency, in charge, latterly, of all group digital strategy, as well as M&A activity for the agency, setting up the agency’s video offering and creating cross-platform content campaigns for consumer brands like Sainsbury’s, McDonalds and Aviva.

In 2013, Dave joined Nokia as Head Of Europe for Nokia Entertainment. Dave then progressed to become Global Head Of Marketing and Brand Partnerships for Entertainment for Microsoft – looking, amongst other things, at how music service MixRadio collaborates with external brand and marketing partners.

Dave is an avid musician, gadget fan and supporter of youth music initiatives. He lives in London with his wife and four kids.

Ed Corn

Ed has over six years’ experience in the media and communications industries, currently working as a Senior Consultant at MTM London, a specialist strategy and research consultancy. Prior to that, he worked as Business Planning manager for YouView TV and as a Consultant at Ingenious Media. Ed is a skilled communicator with extensive experience of working with and presenting to senior management. He understands the key strategic issues in the TMT sector from both an advisory and in-house perspective, and brings expertise in business and regulatory strategy, project management, financial and network modelling, quantitative research and market analysis. He graduated from Cambridge University with a Double First in Music and retains a personal and professional passion for the arts.

Belinda Dee

Belinda Dee is Director of Development at Barts Charity, leading the major gifts team in the generation of income from philanthropists, City organisations and charitable trusts and foundations. For the last 7 years she has developed strategic partnerships across Barts Health, the largest NHS Trust in the country, identifying opportunities for innovation in healthcare for the benefit of a patient population of 6 million across North East London – Europe’s most diverse demographic, spanning the wealthy financial districts and some of the countries most deprived boroughs – and 15,000 hospital staff. Belinda has personally championed projects which harness the therapeutic benefit of art and music in the hospital environment, particularly in the paediatric and elderly wards; from carol singing for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, to lullaby sessions performed live on the neonatal intensive care wards.

Belinda's previous experience includes business development, marketing and strategic brand planning, working in the marketing communications sector for agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and CHI & Partners. She has a degree in Physiological Sciences from Oxford University. Since birth, Belinda has been surrounded by music; one of four siblings who between them play the viola, violin, cello, clarinet, piano, guitar and saxophone, not to mention Christmas carol sessions in four part harmony! Belinda has played in various orchestras and ensembles over the past 30 years, including the National Children’s Orchestra and, more recently, the Water City Orchestra in East London. She is delighted to be a member of the Sound and Music board, enabling her to flex her entrepreneurial and creative muscles whilst adding her strategic insights to evolve the development function.

Greg Davies 

Dr Greg B Davies, Founder, Centapse – Decision Science, Applied.

Dr Greg B Davies is a specialist in applied decision science and behavioural finance, perpetually bridging academia and commerce to turn academic insights into practical applications. In April 2016 he founded Centapse, a firm dedicated to applying sophisticated behavioural insight to design, develop, and deploy solutions across industry to help people (and organisations) make better decisions.
Over the last decade at Barclays, Greg built and led the banking world’s first applied behavioural finance team. He was the architect of Barclays’ behavioural profiling tools and holistic Wealth Philosophy, delivering solutions tailored to both financial and emotional investment needs; and he designed Barclays’ innovative behavioural approach to impact investing and philanthropy.
Greg has a PhD in Behavioural Decision Theory from Cambridge University, is an Associate Fellow at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, and lecturer at Imperial College London. His first book, Behavioral Investment Management, was published in 2012.
Greg’s ‘reality opera’ Open Outcry, which turns the behaviour of a functioning trading floor into a live musical performance, received its première in London in November 2012.

@GregBDavies 

Cliff Fluet

Cliff Fluet is a solicitor at Lewis Silkin, specialising in brands and content in the area of music based entertainment. He has acted for some of the world’s largest names in recorded music, mobile, live music, radio, production and online and also specializes in working with clients who are embracing content-based entertainment for the first time such as FMCG and lifestyle brand owners, advertising agencies, digital agencies and financial institutions.

He has an LLB (Hons) from Warwick University, LPC College of Law, Guildford. Before joining Lewis Silkin he was in-house counsel at Warner Music and then Company Secretary and Director of Group Legal Affairs at Capital Radio plc. Cliff was appointed to the Board of Sound and Music in
December 2010.

Christopher Fox

Christopher Fox (b.1955) is a musician who sometimes writes about music too. He has established an international reputation as one of the most original British composer of his generation, creating music which draws on elements of the experimental, spectral and minimalist traditions. Innately independent, he has chosen to conduct his compositional career at a tangent to the mainstream music industry, basing it instead around close collaborations with a number of performers, most notably the clarinettist Roger Heaton, the Ives Ensemble, Apartment House and their director Anton Lukoszevieze, and, most recently, EXAUDI. He lives in London and is Professor in Music at Brunel University.

Christopher was born in York and studied composition at Liverpool, Southampton and York Universities and was awarded a DPhil in composition from York University in 1984. Between 1984 and 1994 he was a member of the composition staff of the Darmstadt New Music Summer School. In
1994 he joined the Music Department at the University of Huddersfield, eventually becoming Professor in Composition. Since April 2006 he has been
Research Professor in Music at Brunel University. He was appointed to the Board of Sound and Music in June 2010.

Debra King

Debra King is an independent producer, programmer and project development director. She has an extensive knowledge of the arts sector and 15 years’ experience of working in arts management at a senior level. She has worked as the Director of Women in Music London; Music Officer at the Arts Council England, North West; Director of the Greater Manchester Youth Music Action Zone; Creative Producer for the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme and as the Programme Manager for Undergrowth, a two-year programme of Australian Contemporary Arts in the UK. Debra is also the co-director of Fkuk, a partnership that aims to present and produce contemporary international performance, and the co-producer for the Nitin Sawhney project, Aftershock. Debra was one of the founder members of Sound and Music.

Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut

Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut, Head of Business Development at ROLI, is responsible for global partnerships within the music trade, industry, and academia. Jean-Baptiste studied computer science and music composition, and graduated from Queen Mary University with a PhD, writing his thesis on composers' engagement with technology. He has worked at INA-GRM and Centre Pompidou as a software developer, and was Innovation Manager at Focusrite/Novation before joining ROLI. He co-founded the London Music Hackspace in 2011, a hub for artists and engineers passionate about music technology. In 2014, he was appointed a board member of Sound and Music, the leading British organisation for the creation of new music.

Jo Thomas

Jo Thomas is a London-based electronic music composer. Her music captures a combination of refined and raw sonic matter. Jo writes about the world around her, choosing to focus on topics surrounding disability rights, women’s rights and human rights. Underlying themes which are going through her work are intersectionality. She has been commissioned around the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal and France, having performances in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Jo produces music for others; she works on sound design and curates civic music events around London. Recently, she was invited to create the Cessation of Silence, exploring the topic of domestic violence for the Islington Women’s Forum’s Violence Against Women Campaign. For 11 years, she worked in Academia as a senior music lecturer and is now creating her own company. Jo plays an active part in her local community and is the representative for Barnsbury Ward on the Women’s Forum. She has been working with electronic sound since a teenager, coming from a classical background, which has been fused with pop and experimental jazz. Jo had her first composition lessons as a teenager, with composer John Picard. She discovered her love for studio sound from visits to Sian Recording Studio’s North Wales. Jo Thomas did her degree and master’s degree in Bangor North Wales. Jo was awarded a Ph.D from City University, London in Electro Acoustic Composition in 2005. Jo has sat on the steering committee for the British Music Collection, the Pathways Programme and was part of the selection panel for the Pathways Programme.

In 2012, Jo Thomas won the Golden Nica in Prix Ars Electronica Digital Musics and Sound Art Category for her work Crystal Sounds of a Synchrotron. She has been nominated for a quartz award in the new discoveries section. As an artist, she has performed alongside a number of artists including Maria Chavez, Lee Gamble, Phil Nimblock and SquarePusher. Her work has been performed in venues local and worldwide including Café OTO, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Trafalgar Square London, Tate Modern, Salon De Messian and Radio France Paris, Prix Ars Electronica, Kings Place London, New Federation Square Melbourne, MIT Boston and Stanford University. She has been commissioned in studios internationally such as INA GRM Paris, the Djerrasi studios, San Francisco and EMS Stockholm. Her work has been performed in Festivals such as the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Prix Ars Electronica, Elita Festival Milan, Norberg Festival, Radio France, Tempo Reale Italy and Tempora Festival Bulgaria.

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