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.
Charles Matthews [external website] is a sound artists and audio programmer who practice ranges from interactive installations to bespoke instruments designed to break down disabling barriers to music. He studied sonic arts at Middlesex University, and has a PhD in electronic composition with Javanese gamelan.
What will we cover?
- An introduction to sonic art: its diverse approaches, and its relationship with music and fine art practice. Examples will range from contemporary sound artists such as Christine Sun Kim and Onyx Ashanti through Susan Philipsz’s Turner Prize-winning sound installations to the earlier works of John Cage Delia Derbyshire and Pierre Schaeffer [external websites]
- Developing creative practice: your own approach to making sonic art
- Using technology to create performances, installations, or recorded works
- Using handhled recording devices and audio editing software.
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
- 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.
- Record and edit sounds using handheld microphones and software (please note that this will not be the focus of the course, but an introduction will be provided as appropriate to the group).
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, Hidden sounds: exploring contact microphones, Ableton Live, Max/MSP, or BBC Radiophonic workshop
- learning how to use software packages such as GarageBand and Logic to record and edit your audio
- 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.