John Roach

Dec 012014

(audience)), The School of Media Studies and Parsons Urban present PARALEKTRONOIA a two-day festival of radio which includes a lecture/presentation by German sound artist Felix Kubin; a conversation between Kubin and Albert Glinsky (author of Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage) with a response from art historian Branden Joseph; a sound walk; and a “screening” of selected radio plays by Kubin, Anna Friz and Gregory Whitehead.
Complete Festival Details can be found at the ((audience)) Website

Day One – Perfomative Lecture

Thursday, December 4, 2014
The New School
– John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, Room U100, New York, NY 10003
$5 / FREE for New School students

PARALEKTRONOIA begins with a performative lecture by pioneering German electronic artist Felix Kubin. Musician and “compositional linguist” Chris Mann opens. A reception will follow.


Day Two – Symposium

Saturday, December 6, 2014
The New School – Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003

((audience)) screening
Discussion and Response with Felix Kubin, Albert Gliskey and Branden Joseph

The electro-paranoiac phenomenon has left its mark on the lives of numerous electronic pioneers. Russian-born Léon Theremin not only invented the theremin, but also invented an infamous bugging device for the KGB. And Joe Meek, an eccentric British music producer, locked himself, at times armed, in his studio in order to keep the origin of his sound effects secret. A “paralectronic” artist has a mental radio with hypersensitive antennas.
– Felix Kubin

In order to track down instances of “paralektronoia”, Kubin interviewed inventors and musicians who research the effects of invisible oscillations on the psyche using field recordings and radiophonic experiments. The work includes interviews with artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff on Electronic Voice Phenomena and with scientist Stefan Andriopoulos on media and occultism, as well as excerpts of conversations with Alvin Lucier, Lionel Marchetti, Asmus Tietchens, Mika Vainio, and Dr. Hannes Maier, a physicist and neuro-otologist, among others.

Felix Felix

About Felix Kubin
Felix Kubin is one of electronic music’s most dynamic and versatile performers whose activities include futuristic pop, radio plays, electroacoustic music and works for chamber orchestra.

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Oct 042014

October 9th 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Mannes Concert Hall
150 West 85th Street, NY NY

Free and Open to the Public
Order tickets via Eventbrite:

In this lecture, Sharp will describe his 1972 work with graphic notation and how, in his return to this approach in 2003, he found new pathways to the synesthetic. Sharp will present the scores Seize Seas Seeths Seen, Foliage, and Mare Undarum, and describe graphic techniques used to create them, mirroring processes he might have used to process in real-time the sounds produced by musicians. With Sylva Sylvarum from 2014, the score is now an animated movie whose derivation will be discussed. The event will include the presentation of projected scores and recorded examples from selected realizations.

Elliott Sharp 2014-15 CTM Artist/Fellow
A central figure in the avant-garde music scene in New York City for over thirty years, Elliott Sharp leads the projects Orchestra Carbon, SysOrk, Tectonics and Terraplane, and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction. Winner of the 2015 Berlin Prize in Music  Composition and a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, Sharp has composed for Hilary Hahn, Ensemble Modern, RadioSinfonie Frankfurt, and JACK Quartet. His work has been featured in the Darmstadt (2002) and Donaueschingen (2007) festivals, at the Hessischer Rundfunk Klangbiennale (2007), and the Venice Biennale (2003, 2007, 2012). His wide range of collaborators have included Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Kronos Quartet; Debbie Harry; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; jazz greats Jack Dejohnette, and Sonny Sharrock; turntable innovator Christian Marclay; and Bachir Attar of the Master Musicians Of Jahjouka, Morocco. His work is the subject of the documentary “Doing The Don’t” and he has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.

* * *

In 2013-15, CTM presents a series of lectures, workshops, & performances focusing on the cutting edge present and future of guitar and instrument design. Co-sponsored by Mannes College of Music, functioning as a platform to build cross divisional collaboration at The New School, and opening exclusive external collaborations, this series has brought internationally renowned luthiers, designers, builders, materials innovators, composers, performers, theorists, and sound designers together to explore points of connection between the traditions of musical instrument design and sound production, and new forms of design thinking facilitated by materials science, emergent materials, parametric design, the internet of things, physical computing, networked sound, and the politics of ‘noise’.

Guests have included Ken Parker, Charlie Hunter, Ned Steinberger, Charles Yang, Ola Strandberg, Allan Marcus, Perry Hall, Joe Ravo, Gary Lee, Fred Hand, and Ezio Blasetti.

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Oct 042014

Be a part of the revolution! Soundtrack ‘63 features a host of amazing artists who breathe new life into the sights and sounds that shaped the music of an era. Celebrate the peak of the civil rights movement and re-live musical classics that were popular prior to, during, and following the revoluntary year 1963 with new arrangements. Let the music carry you away as we transport you back in time with a live video installation that will immerse your senses and make you re-think, re-new, and re-mix the power of an era.

About our Partners:

Soul Science Lab (SSL) is a Brooklyn-based music production company with an empowering approach to self-expression. Co-founder Chen Lo is a seasoned artist, educator and creative director. This visionary mind has toured the globe; performing and leading master classes for Jazz at Lincoln Center. Co-founder Asante’ Amin is a gifted multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer. A MetLife Meet the Composeraward winner, Amin is a musical director ahead of his time. SSL’s current projects include: Chen Lo’s album Footprints, Amin’s album The Visitor and Soundtrack ’63, a multi-media, musical retrospective on the civil rights movement.

Led by an all women team, Elektric Breakfast is a visual arts collaborative working in time-based media, live video performance and multi-media installation. Composed of artists and educators, Elektric Breakfast creates visual events that foster critical dialogue on the contemporary mediated experience. Using both documentary and conceptual genres, Elektric Breakfast explores the potential of interactive art experiences through video, animation, sound, installation and storytelling to cultivate political engagement and multiply channels of access for audience collaboration.


Sponsored by Culture and Media at Eugene Lang College, Soundtrack ‘63 (ST63) is a multi-media, live music performance that engages viewers in a cultural and artistic retrospective of the Civil Rights Movement.

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Jan 312014

Screenshot 2014-01-31 12.33.23This video responds to the theme of the exhibition — Earlids. What enables us to focus on listening? And when we DO focus, what do we hear? In this case the act of planting four mute speakers in the snow, a neutral ground, provides an opportunity to capture sound in three ways.

First, this simple gesture focused my own attention as an observer on these objects, connecting my senses to the world of noise around me: the melting snow, the birds, the drone of the exhaust fan from the Thai restaurant. In this case the object is irrelevant, it could have been a hair dryer or a rock, and it would have had the same effect: a narrowing of attention in one perceptual sense that then opened the door for a greater attention in another.

Second, the act of recording opens the senses as well. As Hildegard Westerkamp writes:

The microphone alters listening. The mere comparison between how our ears listen and how the microphone picks up sounds in the environment, brings alerted awareness to the soundscape.

Third, the resulting media — the video, leaves the final act of listening to the viewer/listentener. The questionable nature of the juxtaposition of these speaker-objects and the overlaid soundscape may seem to some unremarkable, it may provoke a series of assumptions about the source of the sound, or it may enliven an interest in a soundscape that was captured at that moment,

John Roach – Focus from John Roach on Vimeo.

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Jan 102014

Reduced Listening Player

The Reduced Listening Player is a sample bank that represents many audio clips collected by the students of the course Sound Matters from 2012 and 2013. After reading the Michel Chion text The Three Listening Modes, each student is asked to record 20 sound samples between 1 and 10 seconds in length that can be experienced in the mode describes as “reduced listening.” As Chion describes:

“Pierre Schaeffer gave the name reduced listening to the listening mode that focuses on the traits of the sound itself, independent of its cause and of its meaning.3 Reduced listening takes the sound—verbal, played on an instrument, noises, or whatever—as itself the object to be observed instead of as a vehicle for something else.”

In Sound Matters, students used these reduced listening clips to build audio compositions, but they were presented in the 2013 exhibition Earlids as an interactive player that visitors could use to mix sounds and blend textures. Here is another variation using an automated Max patch, the Gravitas Phrase Generator, to launch the reduced listening samples.


Artist Bio

Sound Matters is a course led by John Roach, a sound artist and full time faculty at Parsons the new School for Design.

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Jan 092014

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 8.02.37 PM
2013, Digital Prints

She Surrounds Us explores personal geographies. These photographic pieces have been manipulated by resonances of the human voice with a single image processed by projecting sonic waveforms into it. Using time and a continuous stream of yelling, the woman depicted distorts, eventually becoming unrecognizable.

sheSurroundUs1 sheSurroundUs2 sheSurroundUs3 sheSurroundUs4

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Jan 072014


The score of John Cage’s 0’00” (1962) reads:
In a situation provided with maximum amplification, perform a disciplined action.
This realization of 0’00” involves 5 maximally amplified contact microphones, connected to keys on the performer’s laptop.  The return key and the C, A, G, and E keys are amplified (in honor of the tradition, at least as old as J. S. Bach, of using the letters in composers’ names as pitch material or structural limitations in a work).

The “disciplined action” in question is a live transcription of another John Cage piece, the Lecture on Nothing (1949).  As the performer listens to the lecture privately, he publicly presents the artifact of an written transcription.  The obstructive force of the contact microphones, as well as the stenographic limitations of transcribing the spoken word, will lead to a visual artifact shot through with imperfections.  The aural artifact, the sound of the keyboard as transmitted through contact microphones, an exploration in its own right into the rhythmical possibilities of the modern keyboard, remains, perhaps as mere byproduct



About the Artist:

Derek Baron is a percussionist and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a student of composition and performance at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and a student of Philosophy at Eugene Lang the New School for Liberal Arts. Before coming to New York, Derek was active in Chicago, where he grew up.

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Jan 072014


– Super-8mm, 11 minutes, 2012.

A study of three similar but distinct microcultures: the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge. Interrogated through the use of contact microphones, the physical infrastructures of these bridges become audible and reveal their inherent macroacoustics. The film treats the bridge as an anthropological body for discourse, as a physiology of limbs, organs, eyes and ears moving in time.


About the Artist:

Kevin T. Allen is a filmmaker, sound artist, and independent radio producer whose work traverses museums, galleries, festivals, and conferences around the globe. He is increasingly fascinated with the territory that straddles ethnography and the avant-garde, disciplines that are both deeply immersed in “the other” and a thick approach to representation. His recent interest in acoustic archeology urges him to locate culture not only in human forms, but also in physical landscapes and material objects. His current project, “Real West,” uses handmade contact microphones to interrogate the material artifacts of roadside ghost towns in South Dakota. As a Part-Time Faculty member at The New School for Public Engagement, he teaches courses in film form, sound studies, and documentary practice. Samples of his work can be found at

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Jan 072014

Vibrant Materials

Most of us understand sound to exist as forces and flows of pressure bending and moving through resonant substances. This experimental audio portrait seeks to reorient the human listener’s thought for a moment to ponder what it might mean politically for these vibrations and necessary resonant materials to exist in themselves. This project features the Manhattan Bridge, a large man-made object that conjoins with thousands of human lives everyday in aggregated communicative experiences. It intends to displace the human as communicative subject and render communicative modes already preset in the non-

living world perceivable and audible. This piece investigates sound as a medium expressive ‘vital materiality’ flowing through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman,allowing for the recognition of the active participation of nonhuman forces in events and to common public problems concerning space, travel and pollution.


About the Artist:

Brittany Paris is completing her M.A. in the School of Media Studies at the New School. Her research interests include
relationships of sound and new materialisms along with the interstitial areas between philosophy of technology and political economy.

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Sergio Sayeg

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Jan 072014

Walk Down on Broadway

On last April 11th I walked through the whole extension of Broadway Avenue in Manhattan with a field recorder, registering the sounds happening as I passed by the different neighborhoods. This process resulted in an six hours long soundwalk, which I edited down to different sound collages corresponding to different neighborhoods and acoustic climates I encountered. The project is to be framed in an album format both as a CD-R and online. The tracks narrate my trajectory from the starting point on Broadway & 220th Street to the end point in Battery Park. Walking down on Broadway while recording sound was the only guideline, or score, I set for myself in order to arrive at the source material informing my sound collages. In this way, the mundane, or seen as mundane unfolding of quotidian life is the agent of my piece celebrating sounds that are dismissed as noise or non musical.

Excerpt : Upper West Side

The full length of Broadway can be experienced HERE


Artist Bio:

I’m a São Paulo, Brazil born musician living in Brooklyn. My explorations with sound range across diverse fields. I have worked with music for video and advertisement, recording studios, performed and recorded for over six years with São Paulo’s rock group ‘Garotas Suecas’, big record collector, psychedelic music enthusiast, occasional DJ, and developing audio engineering with a growing interest for field recordings and unconventional musical practices.

Daniel Creahan

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Jan 072014

Tetrastudy 2

Utilizing a single sound sample ran through multiple permutations of manipulation, editing and recontextualization, tetrad consists of a series of folds, re-evaluating a sound through its own passage through space, and each minuscule detail of the sound form to drive new, generative sonic processes.

This work is composed entirely from the sound of a single punch, cut and stitched, time-stretched and affected until it takes on a new form, a map exploring the artist’s engagement with environmental sound at a fundamental level.


This submission is a collaborative piece with artist Jules Leano Gay of Glasgow School of Arts, involving a trans- atlantic sound relay established via Skype. By passing a Skype chat signal from cell phone (with speaker active) into a mixing console and effects loop, then into a laptop with a second skype account in the same chat session, the piece effectively turns a consumer-grade web application into the source of a feedback signal between two performers, which they are then able to manipulate via their chosen performance materials. Engaging with the signal from both ends of the system, the performers blend the environmental sounds of their surroundings with their own gestures, and the inherent sonics of the Skype relay, effectively creating a shared environmental space that is maintained between users while remaining constantly in flux.


Artist Bio:

Daniel Creahan is a musician, sound artist, writer and poet, living in Brooklyn, NY. He currently runs the label Prison Art Tapes, and is one half of the band Mind Dynamics.

Jan 072014
An Exhibition Hosted by Sound@Newschool
January 24th through February 5th 2014
Reception and events on January 29th 5:00 – 9:00

5:30 – Earlids Reception
6:30 – Performance 0’00” Derek Baron
7:00 – Talk by Tom Roe of transmission arts organization Wave Farm and artist Sam Sebren
8:00 – Performances Melissa Grey – Appassionata (10min) and 60×60 (2012) New York Minutes Mix (60 minutes)Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries Hallway
66 5th Avenue, New York City

“Come with me now and sit in the grandstand of life. The seats are free and entertainment is continuous. The world orchestra is always playing: we hear it inside and outside, from near and far. There is no silence for the living. We have no ear lids. We are condemned to listen.”     – R. Murray Schafer

We are often reminded that we are a culture of spectacle. If we privilege our eyes, what does it mean to return our attention to our ears and listening? As Schafer and many others have argued, our ears open us to the world. Our species once depended on the openness of the ear to shape understanding; the survival of our earliest forebears may have depended on a keen attention to the snaps, scrapes and echoes that surrounded them as signals of imminent danger. As long as there have been sensate ears to hear it, sound has been leveraged as a tool to create community, to maintain power, to please, and to punish, but have we begun to lose our appreciation for the potency of this sense that sits in the shadow of vision? How can listening and the openness of the ear help us to think through interdisciplinary work in art, philosophy, media and beyond?

In the exhibition Earlids, the research group Sound@Newschool draws attention to some of the many manifestations of sound within our own university including performance, radio documentary, sound and image, interactive installations, community-based podcasting, video, and sound art. Earlids seeks to engage the following questions: How can sound be used as a vehicle to transport meaning across different disciplines? How might a focus on our methods of listening to, generating, and studying sound, provide a feedback mechanism for shared dialogue? How might sound act as a transdisciplinary hub within the New School?

Earlids began with a call for works from students, faculty, alumni and staff, and the works seen/heard here are drawn from those submissions. Artists include:

Kevin T. Allen Lauren Kelly
Derek Baron Christoffer Laursen Hald
Nicholas Campbell Peter McQuillan
Daniel Creahan Diane Moser
Steven Dale Phuong Nguyen
Diane Dwyer Brittany Paris
Benjamin  Fausch Themistoklis Pellas
Dane Filipczak Nerina Penzhorn
Fantastic Futures Ryan Raffa
Alexandra Gilwit Barbara Siegel
Melissa Grey Rory Solomon
Josephine Holtzman Tessie Word
Melissa Grey Sound Matters
Andrea Kannes


The exhibition is accompanied by two online projects that
can be found at

  • The Conversation Sound Showcase
    The works presented here will be available as a permanent online exhibition. We will mount a new showcase annually.
  • The Conversation at 2 West 13th Street
    For this online project Sound@ invited participants from the New School and at large to respond sonically to their choice of 33 images taken within the Sheila Johnson Design Center.

You can also look for QR codes at the 2 west 13th street building
to listen to the playlists created for each specific location.



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Aug 212013

Something from the archives.

Charlie Morrow works with students in the School of Constructed Environments. A video was made to capture the essence of the workshop: sound is an integral element in the design of interiors.

“Charlie Morrow is a conceptualist whose work in music ranges over many styles and forms, including media events, public spaces, commercial sound tracks, new-media productions, museum installations, and programming for broadcast and festivals. Assembling expert project groups, Morrow employs a collaborative style that fuses arts, artists, and environment. Technological expertise is the basis for his work, much of which uses a combination of the new and old technologies. He is the president and creative director of Charles Morrow Productions, a leading developer of 3-D audio applications and museum multimedia.”

And Here’s the lecture Morrow gave as part of the Aftertaste symposium.

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 1.25.38 AM

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Aug 132013
Presentation by Susan Philipsz at part of the Public Art Talks.  Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

Berlin-based artist Susan Philipsz (b. Glasgow, UK, 1965) is best known for her ethereal sound installations featuring songs ranging from folk ballads to pop music, often sung a cappella in the artist’s own voice. Her site-specific works combine references to history, literature, and popular and folk music to create visual, aural, and emotive landscapes. Mediating public spaces with sound that streams from strategically placed speakers, her audio installations layer seemingly nondescript sites such as a train station or parking lot, with the intimacy of the human voice. On the occasion of her recent exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago,Philipsz stated: “against the backdrop of the modernist architecture of the city I see the voice as a means to infiltrate spaces, like a ghost in the machine, and return experience to a human scale.”
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Aug 062013

I am teaching a class this Fall titled Sound Matters. Months ago, as I was preparing the materials for this course, which is an introduction to sound as a tool that can cut across disciplines, I started to despair that there might be no events available to my students that could contend with the incredible experience of A Murder of Crows by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s that coincided with my class last fall.

Thankfully, there are at least three worth noting, and you can read about them in this New York Times article by Blake Gopnik, titled Did You Hear That? It Was Art – Museums Embrace Works Made of Sound.

  1. Janet Cardiff – The Forty Part Motet
    at the Cloisters
    September 10–December 8, 2013

    While we have seen this piece by Cardiff in a variety of NYC contexts from MOMA to PS1 to Lincoln Center, it will be particularly interesting to experience the work in the context of the Cloisters.The Forty Part Motet is most often presented in a neutral gallery setting, but in this case the setting is the Cloisters’ Fuentidueña Chapel, which features the late twelfth-century apse from the church of San Martín at Fuentidueña, near Segovia, Spain, on permanent loan from the Spanish Government. Set within a churchlike gallery space, and with superb acoustics, it has for more than fifty years proved a fine venue for concerts of early music.
    – From the Metropolitan Museum website

  2. Soundings: A Contemporary Score
    The Museum of modern Art
    August 10–November 3, 2013

    Soundings marks the first major exhibition of sound art to be held at MOMA and is the impetus for Gopnik’s article. It will be interesting to see (hear) these works exhibited in relation to each other as many have been created for more site specific or discrete locations like the High Line (Stephen Vitiello), or the Kassel Hauptbahnhof (Susan Phillipz).  I am curious how this exhibition will act as a canonizing agent or at the very least, apply an easy categorization for what “sound art” (a contested term by many who might be labelled sound artists) is. Gopnik mentions this in his article and refers to concerns offered by the theorist/artist Seth Kim Cohen in his blog Voices of Broken Neck.Here’s an extract from the Exhibition page:

    MoMA’s first major exhibition of sound art presents work by 16 of the most innovative contemporary artists working with sound. While these artists approach sound from a variety of disciplinary angles—the visual arts, architecture, performance, computer programming, and music—they share an interest in working with, rather than against or independent of, material realities and environments. These artistic responses range from architectural interventions, to visualizations of otherwise inaudible sound, to an exploration of how sound ricochets within a gallery, to a range of field recordings—including echolocating bats, abandoned buildings in Chernobyl, 59 bells in New York City, and a sugar factory in Taiwan.

    – From the MOMA website

  3. Susan Philipsz – “Day Is Done”
    Governors Island

    While there isn’t much information out there about this yet, Gopnik implies that this installation, Governors Island’s first permanent piece of public art, is due in the Fall. While most of the press, including the page on the Governors Island website, states that she has not yet chosen a location, Gopnik’s article reveals the site she has in mind. “Ms. Philipsz is mounting four old-fashioned “trumpet” speakers — the kind you’d see in an old ballpark — across the facade of a sprawling old barracks, and for an hour every evening, they will broadcast the notes of the bugle call “Taps.” The tones of the ghostly melody will pass from speaker to speaker, fanning out across the island’s open spaces.”While the image above may not be the location chosen by Philipsz, it gives me an opportunity to share a link to these amazing images from the UK Daily Mail website.
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Apr 282013

In this talk, Roger Whitehouse will discuss aspects of working with users to evaluate and develop design solutions. He will focus on his experience working with the senses of touch, hearing, and smell that provide information in the environment along with the visual cues  which are normally thought of as the sole vehicle of graphic design.

Wednesday May 1st.
10:30 – 11:30am
Kellen Auditorium, 66 fifth ave.

Roger Whitehouse, ARIBA, AAdipl, FSEGD
Roger Whitehouse studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London before coming to New York in 1967 to teach architecture at Columbia University. In 1975 he founded Whitehouse & Company, a multi-disciplinary design firm centered around graphic design and architectural graphics. He has been a director and vice president of the AIGA and a director and Fellow of SEGD (Society for Environmental Graphic Design). His work with vision-impaired and blind users of the Lighthouse in New York has won him many awards and international recognition in the field of Universal Design and Accessibility. His wide range of Graphic Design, Identity, Wayfinding and Industrial Design projects have included the Pratt Institute identity, and signage for Subway stations in Times Square, The HIgh Museum in Atalanta, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

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Apr 282013

May 3rd  7.00 pm
66 5th Avenue, room 603
New York, NY

operational diagram urban podcast workshop

Podcasting The Urban event is based on a transdisciplinary workshop series on podcasting and sound design at The New School. Some of the issues that will be addressed at the event are;

How can the process of podcasting accentuate bodily awareness and feeling of presence? What connections can we draw between sense of bodily ownership, feeling of presence and dwelling patterns, through auditory experience and the making of oral histories? Concerning (modern technological audio) prosthetic devises what are the sensorial, neurophysiological, societal implications? How can podcasting be utilized as a place based associative practice?


  • Michael Premo (artist/ cultural activist, Sandy Storyline)
  • Laura Gottesdiener (journalist, Sandy Storyline)
  • Frederique de Vignemont (CNRS researcher, Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris, Visiting professor, CUNY)
  • Mary N. Taylor (urbanist & anthropologist, Parsons, Design & Urban Ecologies)
  • Molefi Mafereka Ndlovu (Centre for Civil Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Workshop instructor: Themistoklis Pellas, urbanist, Parsons The New School for Design
The workshop series has been part of the courses History of World Urbanism and Spaces of Dissent/ Spaces of Control.
Faculty: Dr. Jilly Traganou, Associate Professor, School of Art and Design History and Theory
Info – Urban Podcast Workshop Series 2013:
Audio podcast generally refers to a recorded sound file made available for download through a digital broadcasting medium. Commonly, the podcasting process is approached as a mere technical matter or an information and communication technologies affordance following the co-evolution of the internet, personal computers, portable audio players and Rich Site Summary (RSS) feed. More than this though, the podcasting process crystalizes the contemporary spatio-temporal division of labor and the way the everyday realm of most urbanites is reproduced, from the scale of the body up. Understanding this tendency, the objective of the Urban Podcast Workshop Series 2013 has been to explore how podcasting can be used as a critical urban technique and tool. To achieve this, technical assistance in recording, sound engineering and broadcasting has been combined with inquiries in listening, bodily awareness, qualitative description of sound events and mapping, psychoacoustics, voice qualities, narrative modes, politics. Emphasis has been given on how the process of podcasting can amplify local-relevant urban practices, while providing a sensible understanding on the broader ecological dimensions of places.

In the workshop series podcasting has been approached as a process with three layers and addressed both as a way of knowing & through its produced output. 

  1. Audio thread
  2. Socio-spatial/acoustics framework
  3. Technical prism


  1. Capture – the direct collection/ production of sound facts (field recording and practitioner’s own voice recording) along with the incorporation/ correlation of secondary data (interviews, audio samples)
  2. Edit – the audio processing of the facts
  3. Distribution – the dissemination of the audio work

Drawing from spatial and sensory studies the framework of the workshop builds upon:

  1. Reflexivity & immersion of the practitioner in the site/ situation
    How the material self (non-discursive/ discursive) engages with the (human & non human) agents
  2. Narrative building
    The produced output as a place based storytelling & intervention into the ecology of the site/ situation

The workshop series are exploratory, while keeping a critical stance towards how technical practices are conceived & appropriated, relating more particularly to:

  1. Sensory, neurophysiological, societal implications
  2. -Political economy of hardware, software, information
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Apr 222013


Jim Briggs has been an audio engineer and sound designer for over 15 years.  He began his professional career in music recording at Manhattan’s legendary Hit Factory Recording Studios, and has gone on to mix programs for PRI’s Selected Shorts, PBS’ American Experience, WNYC/PRX’s Here’s The Thing and numerous other series on public radio and television.  His long-running artistic partnership with VIA Dance Collaborative has been showcased on major dance stages such as the Ailey Citigroup Theater and Jacob’s Pillow.  Recently, he and choreographer Adrienne Westwood installed a multi-channel, whole-space sound design for Record at One Arm Red in Brooklyn.

As Regional Director of the 2013 Megapolis Audio Festival, Jim worked to bring innovative radio producers, sound artists and experimental musicians to The New School, including Love+Radio, Mountains, Andrea Seabrook, and The Kitchen Sisters.  Jim is a Part-Time Assistant Professor at SMS and Eugene Lang College, teaching courses in radio, sound for picture, and music technology.

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Apr 212013

Instructor: Sarah Montague and James Briggs
Fall 2013 Undergraduate Studio
Eugene Lang College
CRN 3873
Fridays 12:10 – 2:50
Limit to 14 Students

This course is devoted to the continued development and programming of the online radio station WNSR (  The goal of each class will be to provide students with the tools to create vibrant content and a practical management base for the station as a continuing University-wide enterprise.  Students will learn both basic production techniques and concepts related to the creation of culture and news programming for the station, which operates on the public radio model linking imaginative sound with social awareness.

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Apr 212013

Instructor: Sarah Montague
Fall 2013 Undergraduate Seminar
Eugene Lang College
CRN 7410
Monday and Wednesdays 3:50 – 5:30
Limit to 18 Students

This course will present the theory, aesthetics, and practical applications of radio and audio production.  It will cover the development of recorded sound, early acoustic works and sound art, radio production in the context of the radio broadcast industry and radio/audio production today in various contexts such as commercial and public radio, audio books, and webcasting.  While not an engineering course, students will also learn practical skills related to production concepts and design, and the various formats in which productions are realized: news and cultural features, documentaries, docu-dramas, audio books, and drama.  We will also touch on related fields such as film and theatre sound, and sound art.

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Apr 212013

Instructor: Sarah Montague
Fall 2013 Undergraduate Studio
Eugene Lang College
CRN 7802
Wednesdays 12:10 – 2:50
Limit to 18 Students

Course Description:
The Skybridge Art & Sound Space, which bridges the 11th- and 12th-street college buildings on the third floor, is a vibrant and exciting laboratory for aural concepts and critical thinking. Students will learn the history and practice of audio art—including discussions of works by innovators such as Walter Ruttman; John Cage; Pauline Oliveros—in the context of exhibition conceptualization, the gallery arts, and installation practice.  Students will work towards the creation of at least one, and possibly two, installations in the Space.

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Apr 212013

Sarah Montague, an adjunct faculty member of Eugene Lang College since 2002, has been an independent radio/audio producer for over twenty-five years. At the New School, she teaches courses in radio and audio aesthetics, radio documentary, radio drama, and sound design, and helped found the New School’s online radio station, (WNSR), for which she is one of two faculty advisors.

She is the producer of the National Public Radio-distributed spoken word/drama programs Jazzplay and The Radio Stage, and Public Radio International’s popular short story series Selected Shorts (which she has produced since 1996).  She is the creator of documentary specials on the cultural history of The Titanic, Adrienne Rich, Virginia Woolf, and Sir Tom Stoppard among others.  Her production of Archibald Macleish’s The Fall of the City, and an accompanying documentary, The Fall of the City: Prophetic Classic, won awards from The New York Festivals and The Alliance of Women in Media.   She is also a cultural feature producer, and her work has been heard on Morning Edition, Studio 360, and On the Media.   She has also worked in audio publishing as an adaptor and director/producer.  She is a former board and faculty member of the National Audio Theatre Festivals, and a published critic and essayist.

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Apr 042013

LDavis_vLeigh Davis is an artist and educator.  Her work investigates the relationships between people and the physical spaces in which they live, work, and perform.  Leigh’s subjects span a broad range—from the men of a dying religious order, to women living in a YWCA residence hall, to a variety of performers (tap dancer, Michael Jackson impersonator, a cappella choir, conductor) —and the projects she creates derive from the relationships she develops with those subjects over time.  Gathering visual and aural material around a person or place is how her projects usually begin, but the final products are site-specific installations or situations created from a variety of media, and are deeply informed by their subject matter and the sites in which they are presented.  Davis teaches at Parsons within the School of Design Studies, and the International Center of Photography.  She also teaches high school students in collaboration with The Center for Urban Pedagogy.

You can see some of her work at:

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Apr 042013

Instructor: Shannon Mattern
Fall 2013 Graduate Seminar (advanced undergrads welcome)
CRN 6731
Tuesdays 4 – 5:50pm
2012 Course Website

*While this course is not explicitly about sound, students can tailor their projects to focus on audio archives, music libraries, or other sound-related topics.

“There has been more information produced in the last 30 years than during the previous 5000.” We have all heard some variation on this maxim. As U.S. publishers add 250,000 printed books and close to 300,000 print-on-demand books to our libraries each year; as we find ourselves wading through over 200 million websites; as we continue to add new media – from Tweets to Apps to geo-tagged maps – to our everyday media repertoires, we continually search for new ways to navigate this ever more treacherous sea of information. Throughout human history we have relied on various institutions and politico-intellectual architectures to organize, index, preserve, make sense of, and facilitate or control access to our stores of knowledge, our assemblages of media, our collections of information. This seminar looks at the past, present, and future of the library, the archive, and the database, and considers what logics, priorities, politics, audiences, contents, aesthetics, physical forms, etc., ally and differentiate these forms of data storage and filtering. We will examine what roles the library, archive, and the database play in democracy, in education, in everyday life, and in art. **This class is the first in a two-part series; in Spring 2014, we’ll be consulting with archivists, librarians, and designers to develop a  digital archive for The New School. Students are strongly encourage to enroll in both the Fall and Spring courses.

Image via — Wikimedia Commons

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Apr 042013

Instructor: Shannon Mattern
Fall 2013 Graduate Studio (advanced undergrads welcome)
CRN 4168
Wednesdays 7 – 9:45pm
2012 Course Website

*While this course is not explicitly about sound, students can tailor their projects to focus on sonic media in urban environments — radio, loudspeakers, musical performance, etc.

Today’s city is layered with screens of all shapes and sizes and stitched together with a web of wireless networks, but woven into these modern media spaces are other, older urban media networks and infrastructures – many of which have laid the foundation for our newer media. This project-based course is dedicated to excavating and mapping – both theoretically and practically – the layers of mediation that have shaped urban forms and informed urban experiences through several key epochs in communication history, from the oral culture of ancient Athens to the television age. Each student, alone or in pairs, will conduct an urban media excavation – exploring, for example, how pneumatic tubes facilitated the delivery of mail in late-19th century New York, how the rise of the film industry shaped early 20th-century Los Angeles, or how television cables served as the nervous system of new mid-20th-century suburbs. Rather than presenting this work as atomized individual projects, however, everyone will plot their sites and networks, and post relevant archival media, to a collaboratively designed interactive media map. Part of the class will be devoted to designing the platform by analyzing which presentation format is best suited for effectively displaying these layers of urban mediation and exploring the synergies between individual students’ projects. The class will lay historical and theoretical groundwork for examining media and the urban environment, and also introduce students to the fields of media archaeology and the digital humanities.  While students will participate in the creation of interactive media maps, this hybrid course will have a strong theory component.

Image via — Creative Commons license

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Apr 032013

Eisler Blog

The Austrian Cultural Forum is pleased to present this interdisciplinary evening which will focus on the Nazi propaganda machine and some of its outspoken adversaries.
Event Details here

Shortly after Hitler became German chancellor in January 1933, the Austrian writer Karl Kraus began his work on a documentary essay about the Nazi regime: Third Walpurgis Night. Simon Ganahl, an Erwin Schrödinger Fellow of the Austrian Science Fund, analyzed the media references of Kraus’ text, and discovered insights that in fact anticipate Marshall McLuhan’s famous postulate, “the medium is the message.”

The multimedia lecture will be framed by a live performance of songs by the Austrian composer Hanns Eisler, featuring the singer Theo Bleckmann. New School scholar and composer Barry Salmon has arranged the music for string quartet, which will be performed by:

Joyce Hammann, violin
Mark Feldman, violin
Lois Martin, viola
Jody Redhage, cello

Finally, a discussion on political propaganda, moderated by NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller, will conclude the evening’s program.
Theo Bleckmann sings Hanns Eisler’s “An den kleinen Radioapparat”:

Continue reading »

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Apr 032013

big ears cropInstructor: John Roach
Wednesdays 3:50 – 6:30
CRN: 6136    PSDS 3703
Open to all Undergraduate students at the New School

This course is all about your ears. Starting with a focused attention to the sounds of the city, you will launch into projects that interact with, interrupt, or unmask the sonic world around us.  Sound Matters is an explicitly interdisciplinary studio and offers the opportunity to create projects that might include field recording, sound collage, sound installation, audio intervention, performance, sound sculpture, drawing, or written explorations.  The ultimate goal is to become a careful listener and to enter into a deliberate engagement with sound in your work.
The ear is a powerful and underutilized tool and working with sound can offer another path toward becoming a perceptually sensitive artist, designer, or creative thinker. Points of reference for this course are drawn from fields as diverse as science, experimental music, performance art, and urban planning.
No prior experience working with sound is required, but students will have an opportunity to build their existing experience into their projects.

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Apr 022013

Instructor: Joan Schuman
Limited to 15 students.

Course Description:
While sounds have been explored by both listeners and au(di)teurs for millennia, it is only within the last 130 years that mediated technologies—the phone, the phonograph, popular radio broadcasting—have permitted artists to produce work that leaves an archival, sonic trace. In this course, students gain a foundation of how sound has entered the mediated and artistic landscape by exploring contemporary artists who “ensound” (as one “envisions”) media for presenting audio- based creative work across numerous genres. These include: gallery and site-specific installations; radio artistry via terrestrial and online broadcasting; Web-based performances; international sound-art festivals; darkened cinematic airings; LP/CD anthologizing; and sound walks via new technologies (cell phones, WiFi networks, GPS tracking).

Understanding the historical-contemporary contexts of “sounded” production (Dadaist experimenters; Cagean silence practitioners; Burroughs cut-up artists; tape-art mailers; radio pirates; podcasters; mobile phone artists) allows students to question their relationship to sound as a mode of communication in either creative productions or research-based work.

This is an academic seminar that critically explores both the historical and contemporary sound and media art geographies. Students are also invited to hone rudimentary skills in approaching sonic artistry as practitioners. All students conduct sound walks; deep listening exercises; sound scavenging forays; and numerous eavesdropping expeditions in experiential relationship with their academic research. The class culminates in contributions to sound culture discourse via a curating project.

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Mar 242013

The Third Coast ShortDocs Challenge is back! Here’s your chance to take part in an international audio mega-project, whether you can produce radio in your sleep, or have always hungered to utter the words “Testing, 1, 2, 3. Testing” into a microphone. ShortDocs are for everyone.
The deadline for submitting your ShortDoc is April 30.

introducing all the Cooks in the Kitchen

As always, the ShortDocs Challenge comes with a set of rules inspired by a partner. For 2013 that’s the James Beard Foundation – a great organization that celebrates, nurtures, and preserves diverse culinary heritages through awards, education, and outreach.

Additionally, four Chicago-based “ShortDocs Chefs” will concoct original dishes (!) inspired by the winning ShortDocs stories. Starring: Rick Bayless (Frontera), Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe), and Iliana Regan (Elizabeth Restaurant) and one more, TBA.

More info here:


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Mar 232013

The Velvet Light Trap
Call for Papers
Issue #74: On Sound (New Directions in Sound Studies)


Submission deadline: August 1, 2013

The medium of sound, long placed in a secondary position to the visual within media studies, has experienced a considerable increase in scholarly attention over the past three decades, to the point that “sound studies” is now a distinct field of scholarship. Within media studies, sound-related research today expands well beyond the film and television score or soundtrack to include a broad range of scholarship on radio and popular music. And while sound studies still tends to cohere around media studies departments, an increasing amount of sound media research is interdisciplinary in nature. A “sonic turn” is under way across the humanities and social sciences with sound studies work coming out of philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, science and technology studies, cultural geography, American studies, art history, and cultural studies. Recent issues of differences (2011) and American Quarterly (2011) and anthologies like The Sound Studies Reader (Jonathan Sterne, 2012) are just a few examples of this expanding range of interest.

This issue of The Velvet Light Trap aims to build upon many of the new lines of inquiry that are coming out of this intersection between sound media and various other scholarly perspectives. In that spirit, we are seeking essays for an issue on the research and study of sound in and across a range of media.

Potential areas of inquiry may include, but are by no means limited to: Continue reading »

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Mar 232013

Call for submissions.
Abstract Submissions accepted now – Final Deadline August 1st (read below):

We would like to encourage submissions, which have a practice-based approach to the analysis and discussion of the methodologies, histories, theories and interface-designs of sound art curating / sound curation. We would also like to invite submissions that take into account issues related to sound art’s audiences, reception and experiential contexts.

We solicit and encourage submissions that explore and are linked to issues related to the following areas of interest:
•Curating Interfaces for Sound + Archives
•Methodologies of Sound Art Curating
•Histories of Sound Art Curating
•Theories of Sound Art Curating
Continue reading »

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Mar 212013

chris-mann-ticklanguage is the mechanism whereby you understand what i’m thinking better than i do (where i is defined by those changes for which i is required).

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Mar 212013

andrea_rayAndrea Ray is a Part-Time Faculty member at Parsons in the AMT Fine Arts Department. Working at the intersection of pre-recorded and real-time experience, Ray creates environments with sculpture, light and architecture from which voices are deciphered. Audio narratives are commonly deployed to instill a sense of presence and absence investigating issues of ill-perceived relations and mis-diagnosed limitations between a subject and her environment. Recent work explores issues of subjectivity, agency and community through, for example, proposed forms of alternative living and utopian communities. Ray has taught new genres, sound installation, performance, core studio and thesis writing at Parsons. Ray’s work can be viewed and heard at

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Mar 152013

HearingCall for Proposals: Due date August 31st 2013.

The medium of sound, long placed in a secondary position to the visual within media studies, has experienced a considerable increase in scholarly attention over the past three decades, to the point that “sound studies” is now a distinct field of scholarship. Within media studies, sound-related research today expands well beyond the film and television score or soundtrack to include a broad range of scholarship on radio and popular music. And while sound studies still tends to cohere around media studies departments, an increasing amount of sound media research is interdisciplinary in nature. A “sonic turn” is under way across the humanities and social sciences with sound studies work coming out of philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, science and technology studies, cultural geography, American studies, art history, and cultural studies. Recent issues of differences (2011) and American Quarterly (2011) and anthologies like The Sound Studies Reader (Jonathan Sterne, 2012) are just a few examples of this expanding range of interest.
Read more here
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Mar 052013

The Eyes of the Masters series is a special class where legendary artists share their experiences, knowledge and insights into the world of music both as an art form and as a business.


Andrew Cyrille is perhaps the preeminent free-jazz percussionist of the 1980s and ’90s. Few free-jazz drummers play with a tenth of Cyrille’s grace and authority. His energy is unflagging, his power absolute, tempered only by an ever-present sense of propriety.

Dorothea “Micky” Davidson – dance
Henry Grimes – bass
Adriel Williams* – violin, tap dance

*New School Jazz and Contemporary Music alumnus

See the events page for details

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