Course Schedule

WK 1:

  • MON [JAN 11] –
    Course Overview
    Lecture: Home Studio Basics

Reading 1:
A Brief History of Sound Recording,
Roger Beardsley & Daniel Leech-Wilkinson
Recording Technology History,
Steve Schoenherr for AES

  • WED [JAN 13] –
    Student Introductions
    Reading Discussion

    Project Overview: Exquisite Corpse Audio Experiment

Reading 2:
The Studio as a Compositional Tool, Brian Eno
The Cut-up Method of Brian Gysin, William S. Burroughs

Media 1:
The Magic of Making Sound
The Secret to the Gruesome Sounds in Mortal Kombat is Exploding Vegetables

Creative Project: Exquisite Corpse Audio Experiment Part One
DUE 11:59pm, JAN 15

Creative Project: Exquisite Corpse Audio Experiment Part Two
DUE 11:59pm, JAN 17


WK 2:

  • MON [JAN 18] – NO CLASS
  • WED [JAN 20] –
    Guest: Ao Anderson of Crashing Hotels

    An antidote to anesthesia: Crashing Hotels is comprised of producer, designer, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Ao Anderson and drummer Tony Bednar. The omnipotent vibrancy of the project comes from the isolated life of it’s front-person, producer, and creative aficionado, Ao. Since the age of 12 he has been holding true to an experiment he thought up in his Mom’s bedroom closet: Listen to as little music as possible so that one can see what it’s like to create free of influence. The band’s ability to light up a room with dark sparkle is the reason their art is getting major nods of respect from the likes of Chairlift, Miami Horror, Chris Gehringer from Sterling Sound, Lotus, LA tattoo artist Henry Lewis, and Grammy nominated producer Matthew Dekay, who said Ao was the most original and versatile producer he’s ever shared a stage with.Best described as dark electric dance rock, the duo effortlessly delivers a range of sounds that intrigue and breed a new form of culture via a mix of Rock n’ Roll, Goth, South Side Drill, Rhythm & Blues, and House. Reminiscent of a time when bands were full of energy and had their own distinguishable look/sound, Crashing Hotels is fearless in their approach to self expression via music and haute couture. Their recognizable talents pay homage to emotion and serve as the invitation to a party full of sensation and intrigue.

Reading 3:
The Three Listening Modes, Michel Chion
Open Ears, R. Murray Schafer
The Great Animal Orchestra, Voices from the Land, Bernie Krause

Listening 1:
Ann McMillain: Gateway Summer Sound (1978)
Chris Watson: Mexico DF (Touch) (2011) 
Yannick Dauby: Untitled A (2017)

Creative Project: Exquisite Corpse Audio Experiment Part Three
DUE 11:59pm, JAN 24


WK 3:

  • MON [JAN 25] –
    Lecture: Hearing and Perception
    Reading + Listening Discussion
    Project Overview:
    Sonic Terrain
    Group Listening: Exquisite Corpse Audio Experiment Results

Reading 4:
Software for People, Pauline Oliveros
Meditation Project: A Report, Pauline Oliveros

  • WED [JAN 27] –
    Group Listening: Exquisite Corpse Audio Experiment Results
    Guest: Tysen Dauer & Barbara Nerness on Pauline Oliveros: Sonic Meditation + Phantom Fathom

    Tysen Dauer’s current work investigates the racialized aesthetics of low-level psychological states in the reception of early American minimalism. The project connects music transcription and analysis, auditory neuroscience and music cognition, ethnography, archival work, and critical race theory to make sense of first-person experiences of minimalist compositions. The work entails experimental psychology studies in collaboration with the NeuroMusic lab, the Music Engagement Research Initiative, and the Culture and Emotion lab.

    Barbara Nerness is an artist, composer, and researcher in the PhD program at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Her research intimately combines the scientific and creative aspects of performance. She uses art to explore sociopolitical themes and self-discovery that incorporate multichannel sound, live visuals, and custom musical instruments. Inclusive practices and neurodiversity underpin her approach to design and subject material.

    Her scientific research uses neuroscience to investigate creativity in musical performance, such as improvisation and engagement among multiple performers. She has performed at local venues in the Bay Area and LA, as well as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY, and ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe. She holds an M.A. in Music, Science, and Technology from Stanford and a B.A. in Mathematics from UC Berkeley.

Reading 5:
Noise & Modern Culture, Emily Thompson
The Art of Noise (futurist manifesto, 1913), Luigi Russolo

Listening 2:
Luigi Russolo: Risveglio di una Città (1914)
Halim El-Dabh: Wire Recorder Piece (1944)
The World According to Sound: The Sounds of Music (2016)


WK 4:

  • MON [FEB 1] –
    Project Overview: Voice
    Sound, Music, and Industrialization

Creative Project: Sonic Terrain
DUE 11:59pm, FEB 2

  • WED [FEB 3] –
    Group Listening: Sonic Terrain

Reading 6:
Alvin Lucier Interview: Every Room has its Own Melody, Douglas Simon

Media 2:
The New Sound of Music (1979) BBC Documentary

Listening 3:
Alvin Lucier: I am Sitting in a Room (1980)
Paul DeMarinis: Music as a Second Language (1991)
Pamela Z: Geekspeak (2010)


WK 5:

  • MON [FEB 8] –
    Reading + Listening Discussion
    Lecture: Tape Music and Synthesis

Media 3:
BEND: A Circuit Bending Documentary
Reed Ghazala, the Father of Circuit Bending: Sound Builders

  • WED [FEB 10] –
    Media Discussion
    Guest: Pamela Z

    Pamela Z  is a composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers. Her solo works combine experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and wireless MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. In addition to her solo work, she has been commissioned to compose scores for dance, theatre, film, and chamber ensembles including Kronos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, the Bang on a Can All Stars, Ethel, and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Her interdisciplinary performance works have been presented at venues including The Kitchen (NY), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), REDCAT (LA), and MCA (Chicago), and her installations have been presented at such exhibition spaces as the Whitney (NY), the Diözesanmuseum (Cologne), and the Krannert (IL). Pamela Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. She has performed in numerous festivals including Bang on a Can (New York), Interlink (Japan), Other Minds (San Francisco), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Dak’Art (Sénégal) and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Festival (Wuppertal, Germany). She’s a recipient of numerous awards including the Rome Prize, United States Artists, a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency, the Guggenheim, the Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, Herb Alpert Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention, and the NEA Japan/US Friendship Commission Fellowship. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Listening 4:
Else Marie Pade: Faust (1962)
Jacqueline Nova: Cantos de la Creación de la Tierra (1972)
Suzanne Ciani: Buchla Concerts (1975)

Media 4:
Moog (2004)

Creative Project: Voice
DUE 11:59pm, FEB 14


WK 6:

  • MON [FEB 15] – NO CLASS

  • WED [FEB 17] –
    Project Overview:
    Samples, Sampling, Samples
    Group Listening:

Reading 7:
Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative, John Oswald
Reverse Engineering IP (excerpt), Tonya M. Evans

Media 5:
Scratch (2001)

Listening 5:
Return of the DJ Vol.2 (1997)
Statik Selektah (ft. Big Shug): Punch Out (2007)
Muffin Remix: Rhianna Work (featuring Drake) (2016)


WK 7:

  • MON [FEB 22] –
    Lecture: Copyright and Originality
    Group Listening: Voice
  • WED [FEB 24] –
    Media Discussion
    Guest: Akua Naru on theKEEPERS

    Akua Naru is a Hip Hop artist, organizer, producer, activist, and scholar, whose work centers social justice advocacy and community building. Her music, deeply nuanced, poetic and wise, theorizes the myriad experiences of Black women through rhyme along a sonic spectrum from Jazz to Soul. She is co-founder of the production/management company, The Urban Era, and, to date, has released four albums: “…the journey aflame (2011)”, “Live & Aflame Sessions (2012)”, “The Miner’s Canary (2015)”, and “The Blackest Joy (2018)”–alongside a wide range of additional artistic content.

    Akua has performed hundreds of shows in more than fifty countries across five continents with her 6-piece band. She has been an invited lecturer at Harvard, Oxford, Cornell, Princeton, Brown, Fordham, University of Cologne (Germany), Ahfad University for Women (Sudan), and Pivot Point College (China), among countless others.

    With her social justice work, Akua has collaborated with an array of individuals and organizations globally in order to instigate change.

    Akua Naru was a Nasir Jones Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University (2018-19) and is the current Race & Media Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race & Ethnicity in America at Brown University.

    “We are a global Black womxn-led collective of artists, activists, and scholars. We map, document, archive, and center the vast world of womxn/femme artistry throughout Hip Hop music and culture (& beyond). We do the work and make it available to the public for free.”

Reading 8:
In Defense of the Poor Image, Hito Steyerl
Pitchfork Review: Macintosh Plus, Floral Shoppe, Miles Bowe
“Screw Was Just as Slow as His Music”: Lil Keke Remembers DJ Screw 15 Years After His Death
, Will Hagle

Listening 6:
DJ Screw: In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins) (1994)
DJ Screw: Feel No Pain (feat. Sade) (1996)
Macintosh Plus: Floral Shoppe (2011)

Creative Project: Samples, Sampling, Samples
DUE FEB 28, 11:59pm


WK 8:

  • MON [MAR 1] – 
    Project Overview:
    Dealer’s Choice
    Group Listening: Samples, Sampling, Samples

Media 6:
Vaporwave: A Brief History (2019)
The Report: The Rise of the Chopped and Screwed Sound (2019)

  • WED [MAR 3] –
    Group Listening: Samples, Sampling, Samples

Reading 9:
What is Sound Art?, Chris Reider
What is Sound Art?, Tate Gallery London
The Arts of Sound and Music, Douglas Khan


WK 9:

  • MON [MAR 8] –
    Lecture: Sound and Art
    Guest: (TBD)

Reading 10:
Interview with Paul DeMarinis, interview by Renny Pritiken

  • WED [MAR 10] –
    Guest: Jacqueline Kiyomi Gork

    Jacqueline Kiyomi Gork has been working with the intersection of sound, sculpture and performance since 2002. She studied sound art, photography and new genres at the San Francisco Art Institute and researched the history of communication technologies, acoustics and computer music at Stanford University where she received her MFA.Kiyomi Gork has exhibited at Empty Gallery in Hong Kong, GES-VAC in Moscow, SFMOMA, The Lab and Queens Nails Projects in San Francisco and 356 Mission Rd in Los Angeles. She has done residencies at Skowhegan, EMPAC, Mills Collage and Schloss Solitude in addition to receiving multiple grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Center for Cultural Innovation and Joan Mitchell Foundation.Performances have included multiple collaborations with Laetitia Sonami, the collective 0th and solo projects.Kiyomi Gork identifies as mixed race who’s family came to the US, four generations ago from Okinawa, Japan and Eastern Europe. She was born and raised in Los Angeles.

Creative Project: 4 Unit EP
DUE MAR 14, 11:59pm

Creative Project: Dealer’s Choice
DUE MAR 14, 11:59pm


WK 10: 

  • MON [MAR 15] —
    Group Listening: Dealer’s Choice
  • WED [MAR 17] –
    Group Listening: Dealer’s Choice