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Fall 2017

NEH Grant

In December 2017 Sound Arts and Industries associate director Neil Verma was awarded a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, along with Marit MacArthur of University of California, Davis and Mara Mills of New York University. The grant is to develop a set of digital tools for studying archival recordings of speech, including poetry readings, talking books and radio plays. These tools are designed to track pitch, speaking rate, dynamics and a variety of other measurable elements.

Artist Talk: Gregory Whitehead

Sound artist Gregory Whitehead visited the core “Introduction to Sound Studies” class on November 17, 2017. Whitehead discussed his career working in sound media since the 1980s, and focused on a recent trilogy of works about radio and the war on terror, including a brand-new radio composition “Nothing Like Us Ever Was,” based on the work of Carl Sandburg, which he debuted just that week. Students learned aspects of his process and the philosophy of radiophonic sound that he brings to sound production. Whitehead fielded questions about the future of radio, podcasting and other forms of creative audio, and met one-on-one with students to help them develop their creative process.

“The World According to Sound” Live Tour

Radio producers Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett visited Northwestern on October 17, 2017 as part of “The World According to Sound Live Tour.” During the one-hour event hosted by the MA in Sound Arts and Industries, Hoff and Harnett set up a ring of speakers, passed out eye masks, turned out the lights, and surrounded the audience with sound. Hoff and Harnett are co-creators of the 90-second podcast The World According to Sound, an audio show that airs on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Masterclass: Sonic Branding with Steve Milton

Steve Milton led a collaborative experiential workshop on sonic branding on October 13, 2017, reuniting the MA in Sound Arts and Industries and the MS in Engineering Design Innovation. After a lecture on sonic branding from Milton, students from both programs broke into small groups to create and present their own sonic brands for Northwestern University.

Third Annual Cookout

On September 28, 2017 the MA in Sound Arts and Industries held its third annual Noise-Water-Meat Cookout at the patio outside the Northwestern SoundTank. Students and faculty interacted in a social setting while taking in the beautiful weather and delightful food.

Art Installation Trilogy

Stephan Moore developed live and recorded scores as well as the software programming and interactive design for CAST/STAGE/AUTHOR, an interconnectedtrilogy of installation pieces that premiered in September 2017 at The Chocolate Factory Theater, Abrons Art Center, and The Invisible Dog Art Center in New York City. The pieces were presented by the collective “A Canary Torsi” and directed by Yanira Castro.

Speaker Series: Gary Rydstrom

The MA in Sound Arts and Industries was thrilled to welcome back seven-time Academy Award-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom on September 19, 2017. Rydstrom gave a guest lecture as part of the course “Sound and Vision: Narrative” exploring his own and historical methods for telling stories through the sound design of a film. Rydstrom was previously featured in our podcast episode released on January 29, 2016.