Current Blog Posts

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...

Incubating Creative Entrepreneurs Inside 2112

Students visit Chicago’s largest film, technology and music incubator

Date: 03/01/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

In the third EPICS Sound MA Career Trek of the quarter, Northwestern Sound Arts and Industries students visited 2112 , Chicago’s largest film, technology and music incubator.

“Unless you visit, it can be hard to visualize what an incubator is,” says Katherine Lelek, Assistant Director of the Office of External Programs, Internships and Career Services (EPICS).

The students who attended the Career Trek got a look at 2112’s 160,000-square-foot space, which includes 2112 partner Fort Knox Studios . 2112 has band rehearsal spaces, conference rooms, a warehouse for hosting events and co-working space.

Anyone can become a...

An Artist-Scientist Finds Her Voice in Sound

An interview with Northwestern Sound Arts and Industries student, Malika Gumpangkum

Date: 02/15/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

Malika Gumpangkum is a Tampa, Florida native with a BA in English Literature from Emory University. She is also a student in Northwestern’s Sound Arts and Industries program. Gumpangkum recently shared her interest in sound, her dream job as a film critic and what she hopes for in her future career.

Q: How did you end up choosing to pursue a BA in English literature? Was that an interest of yours from a young age?

A: At first, I was majoring pre-med and English, but had a change of heart and focused solely on English literature. My...

Sounds in the Sky

A Q&A with Stephan Moore about his Lincoln Park Conservatory exhibit

Date: 01/25/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

On display now through March 7 at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Florasonic: Stephan Moore: A Grid Against the Sky is comprised of a set of conjoined metal instruments called the Wall of Metals. The prerecorded sounds from the instruments are slowed down, reversed, mixed, and manipulated in real time to create a series of complex harmonies determining cross-hatched patterns aimed at filling the interior volume of the Fern Room.

Marketing Director for the Experimental Sound Studio Ryan Packard sat down with Moore, a lecturer for the MA in Sound Arts and...

There’s More Than Meets the Ears in this Video Game Exhibit

Interactive video game exhibit goes beyond fun and games.

Date: 01/11/2018
By Sound Arts and Industries

Now through February 25, you can explore the world of video games through “The Ears Have Walls: A Survey of Sound Games,” a collaboration between Northwestern lecturers Stephan Moore and Chaz Evans.

Evans is the co-founder of the Video Game Art Gallery , a pop-up organization dedicated to increasing “cultural appreciation, education of video games and new media through exhibition, study, critique and sale.”

The gallery, located in Logan Square, has been showing exhibitions since 2013. It’s one of two locations hosting “The Ears Have Walls.” The second exhibition space is the Experimental Sound Studio ’s Audible Gallery....

This Year’s Big Winners at the Third Coast Conference

We catch up with Professor Neil Verma to get his take on the winners at the 2017 Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Date: 11/21/2017
By Sound Arts and Industries

The Third Coast International Audio Festival was held in Chicago November 9-11. The weekend came on the heels of two weeks of live, on-stage podcasts in venues across the city. The festival brought together radio producers, podcasters, journalists, documentarians, audio artists and students to listen to each other’s work, share ideas and connect. The 2017 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition winners were also named.

This annual competition looks for the best audio stories produced worldwide, and judges include prominent members of the public radio community. Since 2001, the competition has...

Northwestern to Host ‘The World According to Sound’

An interview with the co-creators and hosts of the 90-second podcast ‘The World According to Sound’ ahead of their live recording at Northwestern on October 17.

Date: 10/17/2017
By Sound Arts and Industries

Bridges. Leaf blowers. Auctioneers. What do these seemingly unrelated things have in common? They’ve all been featured on “The World According to Sound,” the 90-second podcast hosted by Sam Harnett and Chris Hoff. On Tuesday, the duo will record a live show at Northwestern University.

“I think it’s really meaningful to come together with a bunch of people and be quiet, but just be listening and not looking at anything,” says Hoff.

Hoff is a sound engineer at KALW News in San Francisco, where Harnett also works as a reporter....

Noise-Water-Meat Cookout Recap

Get to know the 2017-2018 Sound Arts and Industries students who attended the Noise-Water-Meat event.

Date: 10/12/2017
By Sound Arts and Industries

On September 28, Northwestern hosted its third annual Noise-Water-Meat Cookout, the first social event of the year. The event brought together sound-interested students and faculty across Northwestern, including the second cohort of the MA in Sound Arts and Industries.

The event’s unique name is a reference to Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts , an early classic in the field of sound studies.

“Douglas Kahn is writing about the history of sound in avant-garde art, but we thought his title would also work well for our...


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