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 experimentation, online collaboration, and mindful approaches to sound in times of isolation. The course will inform and develop your enthusiasm for artistic creativity with sound, and enable you to create your own works.
This is a live online face-to-face course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
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 audio editing software and handheld recorders (including your phone).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the soundscape around you, and find words and symbols to describe sounds
- Discuss sound works, your own projects, and the work of others on the course
- 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).
- Combine 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 asked to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions through video calls, and take notes.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
A set of exercises will be available through Google Classroom to access outside class time, including experimental techniques to compose with a computer.
Sound editing examples will take place through Audacity, which is free and available for both Mac and Window; visit Audacity [external website] to download the version for your platform.
Work on your own projects outside the class is optional, but strongly encouraged.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need:
- a Mac or Windows computer
- (optional) a smartphone or handheld recorder
- headphones and/or a quiet space for listening exercises
- paper and pen.pencil.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may also be interested in exploring your creative side further in Composition or Songwriting, or developing your skill in recording and editing audio through other Music technology and digital audio production courses.
For advice, email the Music department .