- BA/MA University of London (School of Slavonic and East European Studies, U.K)
- PhD, UCLA
David MacFadyen was trained both at the University of London (SSEES) and UCLA, where he received his PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Since that time, he has been an avid scholar, promoter, and collector of recordings from East Slavic cultures (Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus). The size of that collection is now approximately two million compositions, constituting a substantial and unique database, recently donated to the Wende Museum in Los Angeles. It is undergoing major archival treatment––specifically with the application of blockchain technology––such that rare audio files may be safely lent in so-called trustless environments to both institutions and individuals. The embedding of AI-assisted metadata is also an essential part of the archive’s improvement.
A resulting ability to track the use(s) of music 24/7 then opens up exciting possibilities in Western markets, preserving the IP of far-flung musicians with timely, fair payments––free of any intermediaries and/or their commissions. Not to mention the fact that the blockchain makes false information about financial dealings cryptographically impossible.
With this focus on technology’s benefit for free speech and free enterprise in both Russia and Ukraine, MacFadyen is simultaneously authoring a series of monographs on the history of Russia’s recording industry––a troubled domain that, on occasion, reflects the same civic abuse that has taken such awful shape since 2022.
He also runs a non-profit (Pacific Sound and Vision) that offers free education to young musicians from Eastern Europe, connecting them to SoCal experts in a range of technical, creative, and financial realms. Work continues with decentralized tech to offer creative solutions to Russia’s centralized destruction of democratic and artistic liberties.
Field of InterestEast European and Central Asian Literature/Culture
LanguagesRussian, Polish, OCS, French, German, Italian
- Professor MacFadyen has taught widely across the Slavic, Comparative Literature, and Musicology Departments – classes have ranged all the way from medieval oral narratives to nineteenth-century novels or issues of online piracy and experimental cinema/sound art. He was recently awarded the University of California Distinguished Teaching Award, together with the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching.