January 14th, 2016

Technomusicology Spring16

Do you like sound? Do you like art? How about music and media, and their aesthetics and histories? Would you enjoy telling some stories about music and media through sound art? If you’re tired of dancing about architecture and ready to do some musicking about music — and you’ve got the time and means — I hope you’ll consider joining our collective technomusicological endeavor this spring.


couldn’t resist re-using this amazing flyer

I’m offering Technomusicology through the Harvard Extension School once again this semester. We will meet on Thursday evenings in a computer lab in Harvard Square, and our sessions are also streamed live (along with livechat) — and recorded — for anyone taking the class online or participating more asynchronously. Our first meeting is on Thursday, January 28, two weeks from today.

I will make a few more tweaks to the syllabus before class begins, but the general shape will be the same: over the course of the term, students will produce a total of 7 short pieces (which I call “├ętudes” or studies) in particular media forms. We approach these “media forms” as historical objects: first we discuss how their aesthetics pertain to their techno-cultural circumstances; then we think about how to approach such forms as creative resources. This semester we will produce soundscapes, sample-based beats, mashups, YouTube montages, DJ-style mixes, and podcast-style audio. (I am still making up my mind about the final project.)

As always, I welcome novices as well as experienced media producers, as I believe technomusicology offers substantive conceptual and creative challenges to all comers. We embrace the affordances of music software such as Ableton Live — both powerful/flexible and surprisingly intuitive/usable — in order to produce audiovisual digital art, whether DIY and rough-and-ready or highly polished and refined.

Speaking of refinement, an important dimension of the class is the collective workshopping of our projects. Each ├ętude is submitted as a rough and then a final draft. We spend roughly half our time auditioning and discussing each other’s work, and we aim to cultivate an atmosphere of generosity and constructive criticism in order to get the best out of everyone.

I do think some really wonderful work has come out of this class, and I hope you’ll consider becoming a contributor. You can check out previous semesters’ highlights here and here and here and here and here.

I’ll leave you with this sweet, wry bit of technomusicology. Loop and learn!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gregg Juke  |  February 8th, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Hey Wayne,

    Great site! I am very interested in your spring class (although I’m in Buffalo, NY, and have a pretty busy schedule, so participation may be difficult, but definitely interested!)…

    I was lead to your site by a Google search re: the Zungzung Meme. Wow, that is some of the most intense investigation of a non-Classical/European or jazz contrafact that I have ever scene. Great work! I will definitely be checking-out your blog more often. Peace…

    GJ

  • 2. wayneandwax  |  February 8th, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed the Zunguzung stuff. Years of listening (and asking for friends to lend their ears) went into that one. Here’s hoping some of this semester’s students cook up similar things. We’re already underway this term, but you should know that the course is always open as a distance option. I think about 1/3 of the students enrolled live outside of Cambridge/Boston.

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Wayne&Wax

I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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