Current Blog Posts

How Pavan Vasdev Turned a Final Project into a Music Startup

Learn more about Northwestern Sound Arts and Industries student Pavan Vasdev — his love for music and how his Study in Sound project inspired his music startup.

Date: 07/26/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

Q: Thinking about your life and experience even before undergraduate, when did you first develop an interest in sound or music?

A: I've been interested in music for as long as I can remember. I grew up playing piano, trumpet, and cello. In high school, I grew my hair out and joined a rock band, where I played drums and guitar.

My family is very musical – my mom is a singer and my dad plays tabla. My house was always filled with impromptu jam sessions on anything from...

It’s Electric! Behind Sam Clapp’s Summer Internship

This summer we’re catching up with Northwestern University Sound Arts and Industries students to talk about their summer internships – from how they landed them to what they hope to learn.

Date: 07/12/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

Q: Where is your 2018 summer internship?

A: I am a student intern at Electrical Audio , a studio complex in Chicago.

Q: How did you find the position?

A: My friend Daniel Ruder, who is a recording engineer, musician, and excellent dude in St. Louis, connected me with the company. I believe he interned at the studio when he was in college.

Q: Why did you choose to apply? What was it about the position that appealed to you?

A: I'd been aware...

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Sound Arts and Industries

Student Brendan Monte gives his tips on taking advantage of the time in the one-year master's program

Date: 07/05/2018
By Brendan Monte

I remember in the spring of my senior year of high school I had the idea to make a video for the end of my AP Calculus class. I re-wrote the lyrics of The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea” into “Under the Curve,” which was filled with concepts we used throughout the year. Definitely my finest work. I had this grand vision that my teacher and all my classmates would be able to sing the same way I heard the song play out in my head. Perfection is definitely attainable, right? The result was one day of filming my...

Getting to Know Brendan Monte

We’re getting to know some of Northwestern’s Sound Arts & Industries students – from their motivations, experiences, coursework and post-grad dreams – we’re asking questions and getting answers!

Date: 06/22/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

Q: Can you tell me about your educational history and what motivated you to pursue an advanced degree in sound?

A: I graduated in 2013 with a degree in theater and arts management from Miami (OH) University, and I moved to Chicago post-graduation to act and perform. I fell into stage-managing improv variety shows, and I helped start a theater company in 2015 to produce shows. I took a class in Ableton Live as a challenge to myself to learn music production, and as a result, I started sound designing...

In India, Streaming Offers an Alternative to the Brand Partnership Model

Where the West Sprouted a Thriving Infrastructure of Labels, Distributors, A&R Networks, and an IP Regulatory System, India Relied on an Archaic and Unregulated Model: Artist-Film Partnerships

Date: 06/06/2018
By Pavan Vasdev

Bollywood films weren’t always the colorful song-and-dance musicals with which we associate them today. India was an early adopter of the silent film, and in 1913, entrepreneurs flocked to build a nationwide network of studios, cinemas, and talent agencies. This network was the first to spread a common cultural identity across a fragmented collection of cultures known today as India. When the talkie arrived in 1931, musically inclined entrepreneurs quickly recognized the film industry’s sprawling network as a nationwide publicity platform for artists. And so the Bollywood musical was born, as a partnership between film studios and musicians. Initially, intermediary...

Scoopity Data

How Kanye’s Latest Troll May Have Been a Masterful Move in Collecting Data

Date: 05/24/2018
By Pavan Vasdev

On April 27th, Kanye West tweeted to his 28 million followers: “lift yourself”, followed by a link to his website. There, a playable file titled “LIFT YOURSELF MASTER…” sat available for free streaming. The song? A sample of Amnesty’s 1973 hit Liberty over which Kanye rambles “poopity scoop, scoopity poop…”.

Nice troll, Yeezy.

On the surface, this seems just another rickroll from the champion of controversial marketing himself. But considered in context of the crippling closed-door data sharing policies held by streaming services, Kanye’s troll might just be a mastermind play in gathering valuable information about his listeners....

The Power and Science of Music Therapy

Conference Preview: Music Therapy at the Intersection of Medicine, Society and Our Personal Lives

Date: 05/08/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

Some of the world’s leaders in Music Therapy will gather at Northwestern University on May 11 for a symposium: Music Therapy at the Intersection of Medicine, Society & Our Personal Lives.

“I was thrilled that [all of these experts] agreed to speak at a conference about Music Therapy,” says Nina Kraus , Hugh Knowles Professor of Neurobiology, Communication Sciences and Otolaryngology at Northwestern University. Kraus is also one of the founders of Northwestern’s Sound Arts and Industries Program.

The sold-out symposium will aim to generate awareness and excitement around the...

The Sonic Color Line with Jennifer Stoever

Jennifer Stoever, author of The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening, discusses how sound studies, race and gender intersect.

Date: 04/05/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

Jennifer Stoever is an author and professor. Her latest book, The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening , examines the connection between sound studies, politics and race. We caught up with her after her recent talk at Northwestern University.

Q: After getting your BA in English, what shifted your interests to want to focus on issues of race and ethnicity?

A: I was an English major at UC Riverside, and I actually wrote a paper about how African American writers imbued their texts with speaking voices – sounds that novels and autobiographies were...

A Look Back with Tom Myers

Northwestern Alum Tom Myers reflects on his time as a student and how it shaped his sound career.

Date: 03/23/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

Q: Do you remember the first time you fell in love with film?

A: I was probably 13 or something like that, and I was not interested in sound yet, but there was this TV show on PBS, “The Men Who Made the Movies.” It had interviews with great directors like Alfred Hitchcock, and they would interview them about their careers. In the early 1970s, there were a lot of great movies. It was an exciting time in American cinema, and I was like, “Oh, man. This is what I...

How a Tuba Player Founded a Conference for Game Sound

We get to know Northwestern graduate and GameSoundCon founder Brian Schmidt.

Date: 03/08/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

When Brian Schmidt started his freshman year at Northwestern in 1980, he was going to be a tuba major in the School of Music.

“I wanted to be a tuba player, but I found something new that totally ricocheted me in a different direction,” Schmidt says.

That ‘something new’ was an interest in computer music. Thanks to Northwestern professor Gary Kendall, Schmidt shifted his focus of study, deciding to pursue a degree in music and computer science.

“I got really fortunate my freshman year,” Schmidt says. “[Professor Kendall] got a grant to study 3D hearing, so there...


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