Dr Courtney N. Reed


Courtney is a semi-professional vocalist and specialist in human computer interaction (HCI) topics surrounding music technology and digital instrument design. Incorporating experiences from her own artistic and pedagogical practices, her research examines the entangled relationships between humans, bodies, instruments, and technology in music interaction.

She is interested in the dynamics between vocalist and voice, as both body and instrument, and has developed an open-source platform for vocal electromyography (VoxEMG) to explore how biosignal feedback changes understanding and perception of the body in vocal performance. Her work also incorporates feminist and post-human theories, exploring the sociopolitical contexts within which arts technology is used, aiming to further design for creativity and acknowledge individual, messy bodies in artistic practice. Courtney is also a passionate educator and especially enjoys leading audio programming and introductory coding courses and workshops to make digital technology accessible to students working in various disciplines, especially the arts.

Courtney received a BMus in Electronic Production and Design from the Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA, USA), where she also studied contemporary voice and Baroque and Romantic opera styles, in 2016. She completed her MSc and PhD in Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London in 2018 and 2023, respectively. After completing postdocs at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (Saarbruecken, DE) and King's College London, she joined Loughborough University London as a Lecturer in November 2023. She remains a visiting research fellow and external researcher at the Max Planck Institute.

Academic background

Courtney's research interests are in digital musical instrument design, digital signal processing (including work with biosignals) for real-time multimodal feedback, vocal embodiment and music cognition, feminist and post-human design theories, and the societal impact of techologies into music and arts disciplines. She also has extensive experience with eTextiles and wearable designs, especially for musicians/performers and is an expert in qualitative research methodologies such as micro-phenomenology and thematic analysis.

Her PhD thesis entitled "Imagining & Sensing: Understanding and Extending the Vocalist-Voice Relationship Through Biosignal Feedback" was awarded the prestigious 2024 ACM SIGCHI Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Professional Experience


Paper Co-Chair, 2024 International Conference on New Interfaces for Music Expression (NIME)

Current research and collaborations

Areas of Research Expertise

  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI): Applied computer science topics examining the use and adoption of technology for specific practices. Courtney is especially involved with HCI in music and arts contexts, researching how technology alters (both negatively and positively) creative practices and communication and collaboration between performers. Her work adopts interdisciplinary and mixed-methods approaches to include quantitative scientific frameworks and qualitative experiential dimensions to evaluating the use of music technology in-context. Above all, Courtney's research aims to honour artistic practice and work with the subjective, individual factors that account for technology's use and incorporation into these practices.
  • Qualitative Methodologies: For querying experiences when interacting with technology, Courtney's research adopts qualitative frameworks to work with users and participants in implementing digital systems. Courtney's expertise in methods such as Thematic Analysis and Micro-phenomenology, along with other ethnographic and interview strategies, examines the multifaceted perception and understanding of technology in interaction.
  • System Design: Courtney's experience with implementing wearables, on-body controllers, and eTextile interfaces examines how digital systems can be integrated in-context. She studies how technology in performance settings contributes to movement and behaviour and how digital systems can become more widespread and integrated through incorporation in wearable-friendly manners to reflect the needs/desires of users and audiences. 

Current Research and Collaborations

Visiting Researcher/External Collaborator, Sensorimotor Interaction Group (senSInt), Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbruecken, DE

Current PhD / research supervisions

Courtney is currently seeking prospective PhD students interested in the design and implementation of digital musical instruments and arts technology.

Interests and activities

Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

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