Delaina Sepko: Freelance Researcher
I grew up in America and moved to the UK in 2002. I worked in the highly regarded Sarm West recording studio in London, England (back when it was on Basing Street) as Assistant Sound Engineer to Grammy Award winning music producer Trevor Horn. I’m pretty proud to say that I was the first female Assistant Engineer in Sarm’s then 25 year history and I was a Music Week Women of the Year 2005 finalist because of it.
I relocated to Overtones in London and made the transition from Assistant to Engineer. This studio was special and my role was special because we supported all artists regardless of their experience and finances. I was proud to provide equal access, to share my knowledge and work with commercially supported musicians, emerging talent and community groups.
In 2010 I decided to become an Archivist and moved to Glasgow, Scotland to do an MSc in Information Management and Preservation at University of Glasgow. This is when I merged my love for music and my geeky technical knowledge about how it’s made with archival practices and theories. Rather than satisfying my curiosity about the long-term preservation of music, the Masters only inflamed it. Thankfully, I was awarded a full Arts and Humanities Research Council grant to carry on my research into music preservation and do a PhD.
I believe I’m one of the rare types who take on a PhD and actually enjoy it. Not only did I have the time and means to delve deep into music preservation and curatorial practices but I also thrived on the research process of asking questions and digging about for answers. To do just that, I was awarded an AHRC-funded fellowship based in the John W Kluge Center at the Library of Congress to conduct qualitative interviews with staff and use the data to support my PhD.
Since finishing my PhD Curating Music Curation in 2015, I’ve put my research skills to work helping others find information and get answers to their questions. Sometimes I work on behalf of authors to support their writing projects, sometimes I contribute historical materials to marketing campaigns (whisky, for example) and sometimes I investigate how to make more music accessible through cultural heritage institutions.