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Noise-Water-Meat Cookout Recap

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 program’s mixer, since we’d have noise (music), water (beverages) and meat (cookout fare),” said Jake Smith, Director, MA in Sound Arts and Industries.

For the second cohort of Northwestern’s Sound Arts and Industries (SAI) program, the event was the first opportunity to bond with other sound-interested students on campus.

“I wanted to spend some quality time getting to know my classmates and SAI faculty better,” says Samantha Andolsen, a Cleveland native and 2013 graduate of Columbia College.

Erin Watt, another student in the 2017-2018 cohort, says she was also excited to spend time with her fellow sound classmates.

“I was really eager to see the rest of my cohort,” Watt says. “We have been introducing ourselves several times during the past few weeks, but this was our chance to really speak to each other socially. We ended up hanging out after the event, which gave us a chance to learn about our interests outside of the program.”

Watt is a producer and aspiring podcaster. She’s currently a series producer for “Teaching While Black”, a web documentary series that explores personal stories of black educators in Chicago’s public schools. Watt says even in her few short weeks at Northwestern, she already feels like she has developed valuable skills she can implement in the sound design and production for the documentary film.

One thing that makes Northwestern’s program unique is the diverse backgrounds and experience of its students. Members of the cohort come to Northwestern at different stages of their careers, with varying degrees of experience. For example, Andolsen currently works as a Production Manager at Lincoln Hall and Schubas Tavern. She says she hopes to supplement her technical knowledge at Northwestern and become a greater asset at the venue.

For both Andolsen and Watt, the Noise-Water-Meat event presented an opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle of school and get know other sound-focused students in a social setting.

“Time is already going by so quickly,” Andolsen remarks. “I have a feeling this year is going to fly by.”

Smith says students can look forward to Noise-Water-Cookies, another social gathering in the spring and a playful revision of the fall event.