Oli Wilson

Oli Wilson

Associate Professor and programme leader, Te Rewa O Puanga - the School of Music and Creative Media Production

Dr. Oli Wilson undertakes research in recording and production, ethnomusicology and popular music studies. His main area of research concerns the impact new digital and communication technologies have on music culture in indigenous communities. He has undertaken extensive research on the recording industry in Papua New Guinea, and has published on New Zealand and Australian popular music. He is the current co-editor of the journal Perfect Beat: The Asia Pacific Journal of Contemporary Music and Popular Culture. He also plays keyboards in the iconic New Zealand band The Chills, and regularly performs in New Zealand and overseas.

  • Expertise

    Popular music studies, ethnomusicology, critical music studies, ethnographic research methods, recording and production research, Pacific studies.

    View Dr Oli Wilson's expertise profile. 

  • Technical areas

    Music performance (keyboards), arrangement, production

  • Research Highlights

    Ples and popular music production: A typology of home-based recording studios in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (2014 - sole authored journal article)
    This article was published one of the world's best refereed journals in the field of ethnomusicology. It represents the first extensive study on the recording industry in Papua New Guinea, and is one of only a handful of publications (including from anthropology, sociology, geography etc) to examine urban socialities in the region. This article details the socio-cultural systems that underpin the operations of over 12 recording studios, a significant sized sample, and contributes to a growing trend in studies of indigenous music and culture in which local epistemologies are foregrounded.

    Popular music as local culture: An ethnographic study of the album Matha Wa! by the band Paramana Strangers from Papua New Guinea (2014 - sole authored journal article)
    This peer-reviewed journal article was published in the region's top musicology journal. The article presents a popular music album as a case study through which traditional cultural practices pertaining to music and ownership are exemplified. The work has been cited by leading Melanesian ethnomusicologists, whose new research builds upon and supports these  findings.

    Selling lokal music: A comparison of the content and promotion of two locally recorded and released albums in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (2014 - sole authored journal article)
    The Journal of World Popular Music is a new peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes research and scholarship on recent issues and debates surrounding international popular music. This article is a unique contribution to the field of ethnomusicology, as it traces two albums over several years, from recording through to its release, and provides highly valued insider-perspectives to the operation of the non-Western (Melanesian) recording industry.

  • Qualifications

    Mus B (Otago University)
    PhD (Otago University)

  • Professional Affiliations

    International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)
    International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM)
    Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM)