SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Helen Anahita Wilson

BA (Sussex), MMus (SOAS)
  • Research


Helen Anahita Wilson
Helen Anahita Wilson
Email address:
Thesis title:
Indian Rhythm and Life Writing in Cross-Sensory Composition (Practice Research)
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Helen Anahita Wilson is a current doctoral researcher at SOAS and a critically-acclaimed pianist and composer. She is an alumna of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, University of Sussex, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and SOAS. Recent work has included collaborations with Debashish Bhattacharya, the Mysore Brothers, Shahbaz Hussain, Talvin Singh, and visual artist Lisa Creagh. She has performed at venues including London’s Southbank centre and St Paul’s Cathedral (as musician-in-residence), and has toured internationally throughout Europe and India. Wilson has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, receives regular global radio play, and has released two albums on the independent British label Golden Girl Records. Alongside performing her own works, she is a regular commissioner of new music by fellow contemporary composers.

PhD Research

My research examines the creative possibilities of applying Indian rhythmic theory and autopathography to contemporary cross-sensory composition. At an intersection of medical humanities, practice research, and life writing, this project challenges both traditional cancer narratives and classical Indian rhythmic theory through mutually-generative musical processes. While life writing is an expanding field, especially in literature and film, its relationship with music is a nascent one within the academy; the possibilities of life writing beyond words are my focus in the composition of music and sound art. My work closely engages with konnakol, Karnatak music, Tantra, Vāstu-Śāstra, graphic scores, and experiences of cancer treatment.


  • British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE)
  • Royal Musical Association (RMA)


  • Karnatak music
  • Konnakol
  • Tantra
  • Vāstu-Śāstra
  • Life Writing
  • Autopathography
  • Graphic scores
  • Composition