What is the course about?
Sonic art is the creative use of sound beyond the traditional boundaries of music. This course is intended as an introduction to some key areas in this broad and exciting field, with a focus on hands-on exploration. The course will inform and develop your enthusiasm for artistic creativity with sound, and enable you to create your own works.
Tutor Charles Matthews’s practice ranges from interactive installations to bespoke instruments designed to break down disabling barriers to music. He has previously studied and taught sonic arts at Middlesex University, and holds a PhD in electronic composition with Javanese gamelan.
What will we cover?
- An introduction to sonic art, and its relationship with music and fine art practice, ranging from the early experimental works of John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen to Susan Philipsz’s Turner Prize-winning sound installations [external websites]
- Developing creative practice: your own approach to making sonic art
- Using handheld recording devices and audio editing software.
- Using technology to create performances, installations, or recorded works.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Discuss sound works, your own projects, and the work of others on the course
- Record and edit sounds using handheld microphones and software
- Create a simple circuit to play sounds from a computer
- Combine these techniques to develop your own pieces, in the form of a recording, performance, or sound installation.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course. No prior musical or technical skills are required, but the course will also cater for students with previous experience.
You will be working on Mac computers in the classroom, and an introduction to sound editing will take place as part of the first session. Some familiarity with computers is useful, and City Lit regularly runs short courses to introduce you to using Apple Mac computers in particular.
You will need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions, and take notes.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through demonstrations, practical work, technical notes, and instruction as a member of a group or individually, as appropriate to the session. Work on your own projects outside the class is optional.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need to bring a notepad, pen, and your own memory stick/storage device for saving work. If you choose to work outside the classes then the tutor can make recommendations for appropriate equipment and software.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may also be interested in:
- exploring your creative side further in Arduino workshops or BBC Radiophonic workshop
- learning how to use software packages such as GarageBand, Logic, Ableton Live, and Max/MSP
- developing your skills through Mixing and music production, Mixing and mastering, Vocal Recording techniques
Click Music Technology and Digital Audio Production to see the full range of courses. For advice email the music office or phone us on (020) 7492 2630
The Music department also offers a wide range of instrumental, singing, ensemble and musicianship courses.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details