March 14, 2016

Compositions by TIMARA majors Griffin Jennings and Mitchell Herrmann were selected for the 2016 Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) National Conference, held this year at Georgia Southern University from February 11-13. Founded in 1984, SEAMUS is a non-profit national organization of composers, performers, and teachers of electroacoustic music representing every part of the country and virtually every musical style. The SEAMUS conference is the largest annual gathering of electroacoustic composers in the US. Selection for performance at the conference is highly competitive, and it is rare to be programmed as an undergraduate student.

Mitchell received a further honor at the conference when his piece was chosen as the 2016 winner of the Allen Strange Memorial Award, which celebrates the best undergraduate electroacoustic composition of the year. This is the ninth time the Strange Award has been presented and the fourth time it has gone to a TIMARA major from Oberlin.

TIMARA in Scotland

Christy Rose, Dan Karcher, and Joo Won Park in Scotland

January 15, 2016

Visiting Professor, Joo Won Park, traveled with TIMARA students Christy Rose (TIMARA and Cinema Studies) and Daniel Karcher (Composition and TIMARA) to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland during Winter Term. The three were invited by the music department of the University of Aberdeen for an exchange on the creative use of music technology.

Christy Rose demonstration in Scotland

They spent a week in January in the city of Aberdeen exploring the Scottish culture and technology, from old castles to modern concert halls. They met Scottish composers and music technologists and created new friendships by sharing their music and research. Christy and Dan also presented their recent music technology projects to Sonic Arts students and faculty at the University of Aberdeen.

Christy Rose and Mitchell Herrmann receive accolades

Christy Rose

May 5, 2015

Junior TIMARA major Christy Rose co-wrote, edited, and produced "Last Fall" with cinema studies major Maya Mariner ('16) during their semester abroad at the Prague Film School. The short film, about a relationship from beginning to end, was selected as a finalist for the Trinity Film Festival at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

A still from the film is below, watch the entire film here.

Christy Rose Film

Mitchell Herrmann, also a junior TIMARA major, won the student category of the Klang International Composition Competition with his piece, "Impulse Repulse," and on April 25 he presented his work, "Alchemical," at the Kennedy Center on the Oberlin Conservatory Honors Concert.

Joo Won Park collaborates with Oberlin Dance Co.

Oberlin Dance Company poster

April 29, 2015

The Oberlin Dance Company presents "The Only Way," an evening length dance-theater piece choreographed and directed by Holly Handman-Lopez, whose work has been described as "luscious and edgy." The piece, created in collaboration with the performers and designers, explores the struggle against social injustice by looking at the stories of suffragists in the early 20th century before the 19th amendment was ratified. The piece will feature performers from the Oberlin Percussion Group with new music by composer and TIMARA professor, Joo Won Park.

Holly: Joo Won has been amazing to work with. His music is so exciting and beautiful, and he has woven together numerous pieces; some new, some existing from his previous work, some from other contemporary composers, as well as music from the early 1900s, in addition to the pieces the Oberlin Percussion Group has brought into the process. Joo Won's work is so essential to the success of the piece, not only in terms of his creative contribution, but in terms of his ability to finesse the recorded and live sounds from numerous sources into the same world so that the audience is drawn into the action of the piece and not jarred as we move from one section to the next. I'm really grateful to have him as a collaborator and am tremendously in his debt!

Joo Won: The keyword for the music is contrast. We set beautiful and serene music over visually violent and painful scenes, and energetic, happy music during a disturbing scene. Making music for a dance piece is challenging and fun because I need to be ready to change, edit, or throw away musical ideas whenever there is a change or improvement in the visual element. The resulting piece we have at this point is quite amazing. I look forward to sharing the ODC collaboration with the Oberlin community and beyond. Listen to a sample of the music used in the show here.

Performances are May 1 & 2 at 8 pm in Hall Auditorium, Oberlin, OH.
Tickets are $8 and are available at Central Ticket Service in Hall Auditorium.

Peter Blasser's PlumbRolzer added to the studios


April 24, 2015

TIMARA is the home of a new PlumbRolzer, designed and built by Peter Blasser ('02). Peter's company, ciat-lonbarde, offers an eclectic range of fantastically unique synthesizers and sound-generating life-forms. This particular instrument has a number of modules: The Man with the Red Steam, The Deerhorn, The Gongue, The AVDog, Ultrasound, and Rolz.

If you haven't encountered Peter's work yet, here are a couple articles (including audio/video) to learn more about his visionary creations: rhizome and musical electronics library.

For a deeper look into Peter's world, check out his thesis: master of arts.

Reed Hays donates analog gear


April 17, 2015

TIMARA is the new home for some awesome analog gear. Reed Hays ('90) donated an Analogue Systems TH48 sequencer (16x3), a Milton 16x4 sequencer, and a Buchla Model 258 dual oscillator. These units are wonderful complements to the original Buchla synth (combination of 100 and 200 modules) pictured below. TIMARA alums may be excited to hear that current students are very passionate about analog synthesis. Our collection of early equipment receives a lot of loving attention and regularly appears in student work and even on stage. More news about analog synths will follow soon.

buchla synth Hey there alums, if you uncover old equipment from the back of your garage or bottom of your closet, keep TIMARA in mind. Our students are ravenous for technology and we would be thrilled to add your old gear to our collection!

TIMARA Launches SAW 2015

March 19, 2015

From June 14-21 this summer the TIMARA Department will host its annual Sonic Arts Workshop (SAW). Dedicated to high school students ages 15 years and older, the program provides broad exposure to the world of electroacoustic music and offers a variety of technical and creative resources. Topics will include field recording, real-time techniques, audio processing, and discussion of electronic music repertoire. The program is great for students headed towards conservatory studies, as well as those interested in experimenting with electronic and computer music. You can find more information, including the application, here (financial aid is available).

When I attended as a high-school student the program provided gave me a direction and a passion. I couldn't recommend anything else if you are interested in exploring sound as a medium of creation. - WJ

Playfest: March 13th and 14th

March 12, 2015

What are the ways in which play enters into our everyday lives? To play with can be both joyous and sinister - from which perspective do we enter into the play of games, of music, of art? And, what are the ways in which we play, the ways we begin to change and shift our engagement with the world around us?

Play Festival is an interdisciplinary two day symposium at Oberlin that incorporates film screenings, concerts, gallery events, talks, panels, papers, and audio walks that focus on the tactics and strategies of play. All events are free and open to the public.

Featuring: Brian House, Jordan Bartee, Brenda Hutchinson, and Peter Bussigel

Brian House is a media artist whose work traverses alternative geographies, experimental music, and a critical data practice. He is interested in the contingent qualities of information and how we experience time in network culture. By constructing embodied, participatory systems, he negotiates between algorithms and the rhythms of everyday life. Brian's work has been exhibited in museums and galleries including MoMA (NYC), MOCA (LA), Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, and performed at venues such as Issue Project Room, Monkeytown, The Stone and many more.

Jordan Bartee is an experimental designer, philosopher, and engineer. As founder of Special Stage Systems, he designs and manufactures avant-garde modular electronics. His voltage controlled video game console Ming Mecca has received international attention and been featured in articles by Kotaku, Joystiq, and Engadget. He currently lives and works in Seattle, WA. He will be discussing his work with Ming Mecca and will provide a workshop session where participants can get hands on experience with the console.

Brenda Hutchinson was born in Trenton, New Jersey and is a composer and sound artist whose work is based on the cultivation and encouragement of openness in her own life and in those she works with. Through her work with large-scale experiments in socially based improvisations and encounters, Brenda has developed a body of work based on a perspective about interacting with the public and non-artists through personal, reciprocal engagement with listening and sounding. She will be presenting "What Can You Do?" a celebration and reclamation of public space through direct interaction among strangers.

Peter Bussigel is a composer and artist based in Providence, RI. He makes unpredictable sound systems for concerts, installations, recordings, and video. He also performs on brass instruments and electronics and teaches at Brown University, where he is artist-in-residence at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts.

Also featuring intermedia artists, composers, dancers and more from Oberlin and around the world:
Michael Boyd
Julius Bucsis
Jason Charney
Flandrew Fleisenberg
Lyn Goeringer
Loren Groenendaal
Holly Handman-Lopez
Joshua Harris
Mitchell Herrmann
Sage Jenson
Bonnie Kane
Tom Lopez
Fransesc Marti
Charles Nichols
Joo Won Park
Christiana Rose
Mike Zellers

For the full schedule click here. -GJ

TIMARA with female:pressure

female:pressure photo

March 10, 2015

female:pressure is an international network of over 1300 female artists from 64 countries in the wider fields of electronic music. The blog was inspired by Bjork's Pitchfork article in January 2015 where she notes the lack of photographic documentation of women at work in the studio.

This photo shows (left to right) Lyn Goeringer (faculty) and students Sarah Snider, Margaret McCarthy, and Judy Jackson working in Studio 4 on various analog synths (Buchla Easel, ARP 2600, and Buchla 100/200). Additional female TIMARA majors include Christy Rose, Kaeli Mogg, and Jackie Milestone.

Sam Fisher Composes for Cleveland Public Theater

Sam Fisher

February 12, 2015

I spoke with Samuel Fisher, recent TIMARA grad ('14) who is already making waves in the world of theater through his work with the Cleveland Public Theatre. He composed an original score for the new performance, Fire on the Water, inspired by the infamous 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River. It is the final production in CPT's Elements Cycle, a series devoted to issues of sustainability and environmentalism.

GJ: How did you get involved in composing for theater?

SF: My involvement in theater as a composer and sound designer began within the arts community at Oberlin. Throughout high school and during my transitional year at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music I spent a lot of time writing music in isolation- not just physical isolation but intellectual, creative isolation. I grew up in a quaint Georgia suburb where there were not a lot of established resources or communities for sharing and collaboration in the arts, especially when it came to doing something aesthetically or conceptually challenging. First stepping into the Oberlin's artistic landscape left me reeling. I was surrounded by this community of creative, talented, ambitious, and intelligent visual artists, film makers, musicians of all stripes, dancers, computer programmers, theater makers and more. I couldn't walk more than ten feet without meeting someone I'd like to have an evening-length conversation with. Seeing the curiosity and artistic awareness that was alive in my peers and teachers made me eager to collaborate. I knew, in some way, that my best growth would come from engaging with the open exchange of content and ideas through a variety of modes of expression that can allow a group of individuals to become a composite thinking, feeling supra-human mechanism. This is the thing that lead me into theater as well as the thing that holds me there. The TIMARA Program did wonders to help me realize this desire to collaborate. The intersection of technology and music, an interdisciplinary study in it's own right, is viewed in TIMARA as a foundational skill-set for exploring how a student's creative input might fit within a variety of contexts. My creative path through school included experimentation with film, installation works, and software design but landed squarely, given time, within the practice of creating auditory worlds for theater and dance pieces.

GJ: How did your relationship with CPT start?

SF: I was introduced to Cleveland Public Theater, not so coincidentally, in a semester long arts intensive built around the study of artistic collaboration. This program, created in part by our own Tom Lopez, was called OASIS. It was designed to give a selected group of students from a variety of artistic disciplines the opportunity to work in a focused, close collaborative environment within Oberlin without the distraction of other classes or extracurricular obligations. Throughout the course of the program we worked with Raymond Bobgan and Chris Seibert from Cleveland Public Theater to develop our creations into material for the devised theater work Water Ways. Water Ways was the first play in Raymond's element series. Fire on The Water, through sheer poetic justice, happens to be the last. During my senior year, one year after closing Water Ways, Raymond put out a call for applications for CPT's inaugural Kulas Composer Fellowships - positions for early career composers to gain experience in the theater. I was eager to apply, seeing this as an ideal continuation of a professional pathway into designing for theater. During the 2013-14 season I was one of three composer fellows, each of whom designed one show. The fellowship I am engaged in this year is a restructured take on this, with only one fellow who effectively absorbs the time commitment and budget of the other two positions. My current fellowship consists of designing original scores for three shows, operating and designing for a big holiday show, producing an album of Raymond's music from previous shows, and creating a installation piece for Pandemonium (CPT's annual party/fundraiser/happening.) It has been a tremendous opportunity to grow in the art-form. The unique challenges of each production have enabled me to grow leaps and bounds as a designer.

GJ: Awesome. What was the process of composing for Fire on the Water like?

SF: Creating Fire on the Water was a fearless and rapid process, full of twists and turns for all involved. I am overjoyed that I was able to bring back the Vaudevillian trio that Rachel Iba, Lisa Yanofsky and I started in OASIS with the addition of Brian Bacon on percussion. Our awkward little ensemble of violin, keyboard, multi-percussion, and vocals aplenty performs an eclectic host of incidental music and a few of own big musical numbers. I began creating the music by watching the many self-contained scenes of the play and rapidly scribbling down the ways that music might interact with the scene. With no script and only a tentative sense of the play's arrangement, there was little room to develop most of the musical material beyond it's outline during the rehearsal process. Once Rachel arrived from Boston we had a triumphant series of band rehearsals full of discovery and invention that fed straight into the first day of tech, when all of the show's music was integrated with the action.

GJ: What is in the works for you next at CPT?

SF: My next design for CPT is a world premiere of a new play called In A Word, directed by Beth Wood. It is a beautiful, clever, and surprising script about coping mechanisms and the constant attempt to repair one's emotional self in the aftermath of a traumatic loss. The sound design, like the play, will offer a challenge to the delineation between objective and imagined reality. It will be an exploration of how naturalistic sounds can give voice to the hidden world of one's deepest emotional self and how the music of this emotional world sometimes chooses to speak through us even when we are not listening.

Fire on the Water is up at the Cleveland Public Theatre until February 14th. Learn more and purchase tickets here. -GJ

Making waves on the air with Paulus Van Horne

Paulus Van Horne

February 3, 2015

I recently talked to Paulus Van Horne ('16) about his radio show, Organized Noise, on WOBC last semester.

GJ: How did you come up with the idea for your show?

PVH: I started planning Organized Noise when I was interning at Q2 Music on the Meet The Composer podcast (part of WQXR/WNYC) with TIMARA alum, Alex Overington ('11). The production and format of that show are heavily indebted to Radiolab and it is no coincidence because both shows are produced on the same floor! I accidentally almost knocked Jad over one time. It was glorious. He does not know who I am am... but no matter! After 2 months worth of long days editing interview tape for MTC, I decided to make my own interview-based music program. I sent out 5-10 emails to composers I admired and received one reply... Since then my ratio has improved as I get in contact with composers through more stable means, like alumni connections or social networks.

GJ: What are you trying to achieve through these interviews?

PVH: The abbreviated description of the show is "a show about hearing, perception and understanding in new and experimental music." I guess that covers a lot of ground but basically I am interested in illuminating how composers of electronic music experience and think about sound. The end goal is to give the uninterested and/or uninitiated ways of approaching these new and often strange soundworlds. As a conservatory student and TIMARA major, I think I often forget my training, that I have had years of music education to condition me to "understand" or "appreciate" (for lack of better words) sounds and soundworlds that may otherwise not be considered worthy of attention or of the definition: "music." So Organized Noise hopefully, through interviews and heavy sound design, makes some of this music more graspable.

GJ: Will you continue the show this semester?

PVH: I think the beauty of WOBC shows are that they allow us all to experiment. I will find something different but equally as rewarding. I have been really inspired by the work of surrealist radio-poet Joe Frank (his show airs on WNYC the hour preceding my show!) and radio drama podcast, The Truth. I think I will do a more story-based program next time around and hope to include more voices from the community and college. Radio is about reflecting and sometimes even creating community, so including residents of Oberlin is really important. ...Ideas are still in the works...

Paulus has featured the following composers on Organized Noise. (*denotes a TIMARA alum)
Paulus Dolden, Christopher DeLaurenti, Peter Swendsen*, Elainie Lillios, Bernie Krause, Maggi Payne, Tom Erbe (author of soundhack), Asha Tamirisa*, Francisco Lopez, Mario Diaz de Leon*

Joo Won Park joins the TIMARA Faculty

JooWon Kim

December 11, 2014

TIMARA proudly welcomes Visiting Professor Joo Won Park to the faculty! Joo Won is an electroacoustic composer who wants to make everyday sound beautiful and strange so that everyday becomes beautiful and strange. He performs live with toys, consumer electronics, kitchenware, vegetables, and other non-musical objects by digitally processing their sounds. He also makes pieces with field recordings, sine waves, and any other sources that he can record or synthesize. Joo Won draws inspirations from Florida swamps, Philadelphia skyscrapers, his two sons, and other soundscapes surrounding him. He has studied at Berklee College of Music and the University of Florida and has taught at the University of Florida, Temple University, and Community College of Philadelphia. - GJ

Check out Joo Won's recent project 100 strange sounds and more of his music on his youtube page and his website!

Mitchell Herrmann ('16) attends Atlantic Center Residency


November 20, 2014

This year, TIMARA student Mitchell Herrmann (back row, second from left) was selected to participate in the Atlantic Center for the Arts' Master Artist in Residence program with composer Jonty Harrison. Mitchell was chosen by Mr. Harrison from a group of artist applicants from around the world, made up of university professors, post-graduate students, and professionals. The other arts were represented by full-time writers, dancers, and painters. During his stay, Mitchell got to work closely with Mr. Harrison every day as well as workshop with the other composers in residence.

"Studying with Jonty was a great experience. We had several excellent conversations about compositional strategies that I feel have really benefitted my music. The other composers in residence were quite helpful as well, and our group listening sessions helped me to hone in on the areas of my music which were in need of improvement." - Mitchell Herrmann

Jonty Harrison is a noted electroacoustic composer currently teaching at the University of Birmingham. In 1982, he founded the Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST), a sound diffusion system with over 100 individual speakers that has toured around the world. His students have included Hans Tutschku (now director of the Harvard electroacoustic music studios), and Natasha Barrett. - GJ

Reed Hays ('90) returns to share successful career

Reed Hays

October 14, 2014

TIMARA would like to thank Reed Hays, (class of '90) who visited the studios to speak with students about scoring music for television, staying financially afloat in today's turbulent music world, and the merits of a liberal arts education.

Reed moved to New York to write music for television after graduating from Oberlin Conservatory with degrees in TIMARA and Cello Performance. In 1994 he joined forces with Phil Garrod to write the NFL on Fox theme which now brands all Fox Sports' broadcast, cable and internet. In 2002 Reed and Mr. Garrod formed OSI Music and created themes for thousands of titles on numerous sports and news networks, reality programs, and commercials, which have earned him several BMI awards and Emmy nominations.

"After the lecture a couple students and I walked up Professor Street to continue the discussion. When I looked down and realized that one of them was barefoot it became clear that not much had changed in 25 years." - Mr. Hays

Lyn Goeringer participates in the Ingenuity Festival

Ingenuity Festival

October 3, 2014

This year, TIMARA professor Lyn Goeringer built an installation that was included in the Cleveland IngenuityFest. In her own words, "the project incorporates 3 large sculptures of trees that have a single fluorescent light on each tree that I use have 'tuned' to make three different pitches. These pitches are then sent into custom built cymetic sound basins, which causes the water to vibrate and illustrate the frequency spectrum of the pitches the lights are making. The sound itself comes from the lightbulb itself, not from the light spectrum it emits.

In addition to the three large tree sculptures, there are six smaller sculptures that are primarily aesthetic. They were placed in the connector hallway, to extend the forest from the primary atrium room within the connector hallway at the Great Lakes Science Center to the STEM school. In addition to the sculptures, four bells were being rung using an automated system that was driven by Arduino micro controllers. These bells took advantage of the highly resonant space of the hallway. In addition to the bells, the hallway featured the hum of two of the smaller fluorescent lights, which were not tuned and represented the default sound signature of a standard fluorescent bulb."

For this project, Lyn worked with a large team of Oberlin students and Alumni, including:
Will Johnson (Apprentice)
John Burnett (Apprentice)
Regina Larre Campuzano (Intern)
Cynthia Taylor (programmer)
Charlie Spears (Installer)
Elise Moltz (build team)
Judith Jackson (build team)
Yu Zheng (build team)

The project was sponsored by Oberlin College and Ingenuity Fest. - GJ

Students Attend Threshold Festival

Threshold Festival

September 26, 2014

This year, the annual Threshold Student Festival of Electronic Music was held at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana on September 19th and 20th. TIMARA students Elise Moltz, Sage Jenson, Devin Frenze, Evan Zierk, Paulus Van Horne, and Mitchell Herrman presented electronic works alongside fellow student composers from Ball State University, Bowling Green State University, and Miami University of Ohio. Accompanying them was TIMARA Visiting Assistant Professor Joo Won Park. - GJ

George Lewis, composer-in-residence, returns

George Lewis

April 30, 2014

Continuing his year long residency, Oberlin is excited to welcome George Lewis to campus for another week, from May 1st to the 7th. As a preeminent composer and improvisor, Lewis has held teaching positions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Mills College, and UC San Diego, received a MacArthur Fellowship and USA Walker Fellow award, and had works 3resented by Ensemble Erik Satie and IRCAM. He currently teaches at Columbia University.

While here, George will give lectures, participate on a panel discussion, lead master classes, work with students privately, and play with OINC - look here for his schedule. Wednesday night, May 7th, Oberlin's Contemporary Music Ensemble will play his piece Anthem, for chamber ensemble and electronics at 8pm in Warner Concert Hall, don't miss it! - WJ

Sam Fisher ('14) premieres sound design at CPT

Sam Fisher

April 17, 2014

Congratulations to TIMARA senior Sam Fisher for winning one of Cleveland Public Theater's inaugural Kulas Composer Fellowships. As a fellow, Sam has created music for "The Drowning Girls," a play directed by Missy Crum. Based on actual events, "Drowning Girls" was written by Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson & Daniela Vlaskalic and premiered in 2008 at Alberta Theater Projects. The script tells the stories of three women who were murdered and the experience they share of the bathtubs in which they died. The Show will run in CPT's storefront studio from April 17th to May 3rd. Tickets can be purchased online at CPT's website. - WJ

TIMARA Launches SAW 2014

March 20, 2014

From June 22-29 this summer the TIMARA Department will host its annual Sonic Arts Workshop (SAW). Dedicated to high school students ages 15 years and older, the program provides great exposure to the world of electroacoustic music and offers a variety of technical and creative resources. Topics will include field recording, real time techniques, audio processing, and discussion of electronic music repertoire. The program is great for students headed towards conservatory studies, as well as those simply interested in experimenting with electronic and computer music. More information, including the application, is avaliable here.

When I attended as a high-school student the program provided gave me a direction and a passion. I couldn't recommend anything else if you are interested in exploring sound as a medium of creation. - WJ

TIMARA welcomes Fred Frith

Fred Frith

February 25, 2014

The TIMARA department is excited to welcome Fred Frith to Oberlin this week! A versatile composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist, Frith is best known for his innovative reinvention of the electric guitar going back to the 1970's. His training primarily comes from playing in rock bands and recording, most notably with Henry Cow. As a professor at Mills College, Fred has mentored several Obies during graduate school, including current professors Peter Swendsen (TIMARA) and Julia Christensen (Art). He will be giving a concert at 8pm Wednesday in Fairchild Chapel (free admission). For more info check out our new music calendar. - WJ

TIMARA majors present at N SEME


February 21, 2014

TIMARA sophomores Mitchell Hermann ('17) and Keenan DuBois ('16) are headed to Statesboro, GA for the third National Student Electronic Music Event. Mitchell will present an eight-channel piece entitled Kettledrum Organ and Keenan will show a live piece, Ucuelet Suite, for Flute and tape. Started by students and for students, this festival displays exclusively student works. Anyone in the area is welcome to attend for free, concerts will be ongoing throughout the day both February 21 and 22 on the campus of Georgia Southern University. For more information see N SEME's website. - WJ

Winter Term at the Banff Centre for the Arts

Banff Centre

February 12, 2014

For three weeks of Oberlin's 2014 Winter Term, seven Composition and TIMARA majors joined TIMARA faculty Lyn Goeringer and Peter Swendsen for a residency at the Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies. While in Banff, the students worked intensively on a wide variety of projects, which they presented to the Banff Centre community at the end of the residency. In addition to personal projects, the students met and collaborated with other resident artists from around the world. Taking part were Sam Fisher ('14), Keenan DuBois ('16), John Burnett ('16), Mitchell Herrmann ('17), Judith Jackson ('17), Eli Stine ('14), and Noah Chevan ('15).

The Banff Centre is the largest arts and creativity incubator on the planet. Its mission is inspiring creativity. Over 8,000 artists, leaders, and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs at The Banff Centre every year. Through its multidisciplinary programming, The Banff Centre provides them with the support they need to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible.

Morton Subotnick, Guest Composer

Morton Subotnick

November 14, 2013

Morton Subotnick, a pioneering developer of electronic music, will present a free lecture in the Kohl Building's Clonick Hall from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, November 15. Subotnick's northeast Ohio visit is made possible by a collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland. MOCA will present a solo concert tonight, at 8pm, see the MOCA website for ticket information.

Stephen Montague, Guest Composer

Stephen Montague

November 5, 2013

The TIMARA department welcomes composer Stephen Montague to campus this Friday. Montague has been commissioned by a wide variety of organizations including the BBC Proms and the International Computer Music Association. He has been a featured composer at both Oxford and Cambridge. In addition to his compositional accolades, Montague helped found the Sonic Arts Network (now known as Sound and Music)and is an actively performing pianist.

While at Oberlin, Montague will be offering a lecture, masterclass, and concert, the details for which are posted on the new music events calendar. The concert, at 8pm in Finney Chapel, will feature the Oberlin Percussion Group, and pieces for toy piano, electronics, and organ! All are free and open to the public. - KD

George Lewis, Composer in Residence

George Lewis

October 7, 2013

Oberlin Conservatory and the Division of Contemporary Music are honored to host renowned composer, George Lewis, for the week of October 3-10. Lewis is currently Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A much-abridged list of past achievements includes a MacArthur Fellowship and USA Walker Fellow award; teaching positions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Mills College, and UC San Diego; and works presented by Ensemble Erik Satie and IRCAM, to name but a few. Lewis has been a constant supporter of new music through his work with the AACM, as well as an active participant in the exploration of new improvisational and compositional techniques.

During his stay on campus, Lewis will hosting a number of events - including seminars, masterclasses, and rehearsals - look here for his schedule. We look forward to a second week with George Lewis in May, 2014, details will be posted closer to his return to campus. - KD

Conrad Cummings and Paul Lansky visit Oberlin


September 29, 2013

Conrad Cummings and Paul Lansky will present their music at Oberlin Conservatory this week. Tonight at 8pm in Warner Concert Hall (free admission) the TIMARA Department will showcase two works by Cummings in addition to pieces by Peter Flint '92 and faculty members Peter Swendsen and Tom Lopez. The diverse program features Tom Rosenkranz '99 performing two works for piano and electronics by Flint and Lopez, amplified harpsichord duet, and Peter Swendsen's work for sax, bassoon, electronics, and video.

On Saturday, October 5, at 8pm in Warner Concert Hall (free admission) please join us for a new piece by Lansky for the Hammer/Klavier ensemble. The performance will be preceded by a lecture by Lansky - don't be late!

Aurie Hsu '97 with belly dancing and robots


September 25, 2013

Aurie Hsu and Steven Kemper will present "Re-imagining Electroacoustic Performance: Integrating Music and Physical Computing." This lecture-demonstration will introduce the Remote electroAcoustic Kinesthetic Sensing (RAKS) system for belly dance and TAPI, the Transportable Automatic Percussion Instrument, a musical robot!

This event will be free and open to the public: 4:00pm on Friday, September 27 in TIMARA Studio 2. Aurie will be on campus to oversee the recording of her new piece, Lullaby for Morning, for an album of works for piano and electronics, featuring Tom Rosenkranz '99 on piano. Special thanks to the Alumni Association for their support of this lecture.

Alex Christie '09 brings explosive sounds back to campus!


September 10, 2013

Alex Christie is a San Francisco Bay Area composer, performer, improviser, and educator working in the worlds of both acoustic and electronic music. His work is the hybridization of hyper-intellectualized contemporary music theory and a childish obsession with explosive sound and bright, flashing lights. Alex holds a BM from the Oberlin Conservatory in Composition and TIMARA (Technology In Music And Related Arts) and an MFA from Mills College in Electronic Music and Recording Media. Alex performs as a laptopist in several veins of music, ranging from experimental improvisatory noise to electronic dance. He performs free jazz and freely improvised music as a saxophonist and is always striving to find new ways in which the world of electronic music and free improvisation intersect. As an educator, Alex currently teaches composition, electronic music, and music theory at Santa Clara University and spends his summers teaching similar material to a group of talented 10-18 year-olds at the Walden School's Young Musicians Program.

Alex will present a talk and performance demo (with Dana Jessen) on electroacoustic improvisation. The lecture is free and open to the public: 3:00pm on Wednesday, September 11 in TIMARA Studio 2. In addition to his lecture, Alex will be on campus to oversee the recording of a new piece for an album of works for piano and electronics, featuring Tom Rosenkranz '99 on piano. Special thanks to the Alumni Association for their support of this lecture.

Michael Klingbeil '96 to record "Vers la courbe"


September 4, 2013

Michael Klingbeil is a composer and software designer/developer. He is a 1996 graduate of Oberlin with degrees in Computer Science and TIMARA, and he currently teaches composition, orchestration, and music technology in the Department of Music at Yale. His compositions and research have been presented throughout the US and Europe. Michael will present a talk called "Spectral Design," which will be an equal mix of topics from computer science and music. He will focus on both music and technical examples using the Scheme programming language and referencing his own software, SPEAR, which is a unique tool for sound-based spectral analysis and editing. The lecture is free and open to the public: 4:30pm on Thursday, September 5 in TIMARA Studio 2. Special thanks to the Alumni Association for their support of this lecture.

In addition to his lecture, Michael will be on campus to oversee the recording of his new piece, "Vers la courbe." Michael's piece is one of eight to be recorded this month for an album of new works for piano and electronics, featuring Tom Rosenkranz '99 on piano.

Eli Stine premiere with the Akropolis Reed Quintet


May 16, 2013

This Friday, May 17, 2013 at 8 PM, the Akropolis Reed Quintet will perform on the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings' Nightnotes Series. Included on the program will be a reed quintet and tape piece composed by TIMARA fourth-year Eli Stine, which features pre-recorded interviews and poems read by Alzheimer's and dementia sufferers.

Eli on the collaboration: "Through an ongoing collaboration between Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and the University of Michigan, I was asked by the Akropolis Quintet to compose a piece for electronics and reed quintet (the first piece with electronics that they have performed) on the theme of "Unraveling." I chose to center the piece around the loss of communication and memory caused by Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. The piece is in 5 movements, each movement roughly corresponding to one of the five stages of grief. The content of the instrumental parts is motivic, and development occurs from these different motives being transformed, lost, suddenly remembered, and, ultimately, forgotten. The electro-acoustic playback portion of the piece is made from dozens of recordings from around 20 people reading the writings of caretakers of people suffering Dementia/Alzheimer's disease, caretakers themselves, and Alzheimer's patients. The title of the piece, "Forget," refers both to the act of actively losing one's memories and also passively, tragically, forgetting a loved one's personality after they are affected by Alzheimer's. The piece is being premiered May 17th in Detroit and will be recorded in June."

Friday's concert will be held at the Hagopian World of Rugs on 850 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, MI 48009. There will be a reception at 7:30, with the concert following shortly after at 8 PM. Learn more about composer Eli Stine. - MC

Arlene Sierra '91 featured on NewMusicBox

May 3, 2013

Filmed, condensed, and edited by Alexandra Gardner Transcribed by Julia Lu.

Sierra grew up studying piano, and later discovered how fulfilling composition was through her involvement in the Technology In Music and Related Arts program (TIMARA) at Oberlin College, where she was a student. "Electronic music was a way of getting ideas down, manipulating musical materials without having to worry about notation," she says. " For someone who studied piano, and didn't study composition, that was really a relief and a wonderful opening to ways of manipulating sound and making new things without all the business of getting the notation right."

Read the rest of Arlene's story on NewMusicBox.

Charlie Abbott: double-degree TIMARA major

Charlie Abbott

April 24, 2013

I was a weird kid in high school. I was known for playing in an experimental noise band, The Big Trucks. Much to the chagrin of my quiet suburban community, my fellow Big Trucks and I prided ourselves on sonic, and occasionally visual, shock value. For example, all of our live sound ran through the speakers inside approximately eight old small television sets. During one of our performances, we played the infamous '90s exercise video masterpiece Buns of Steel through each of the TVs as one person moved magnets over the back of the sets to manipulate the picture and two of us improvised on a theremin and a hacked Nintendo DS. As weird as we were, The Big Trucks attracted a contingent of like-minded local musicians that would go on to build a small fringe musical community in the suburban Boston area...

Read the rest of Charlie's story here.

Peter Swendsen featured on Pulse of the Planet

sonic arts workshop

April 11, 2013

TIMARA Professor Peter Swendsen was recently interviewed by Jim Metzner on the radio series Pulse of the Planet. Each weekday, Pulse of the Planet provides its listeners with a two-minute sound portrait of Planet Earth, tracking the rhythms of nature, culture and science worldwide and blending interviews and extraordinary natural sound. The series is broadcast over 209 public and commercial stations around the world and on the Voice of America and the Armed Forces Radio Network, reaching over 415,000 listeners daily. The series is presented by the National Science Foundation. Peter has conducted research on soundscape composition and ecoacoustics throughout his career, and has been published by SEAMUS, ICMC, NIME, EMS, and others. You can listen to Peter's interview online, and hear wintry sounds of Oberlin featured on this award-winning radio show. - MC

sonic arts workshop

Summer Program for High School Students

March 29, 2013

This summer, from June 23-30, TIMARA professors Tom Lopez and Peter Swendsen will co-direct Oberlin's annual Sonic Arts Workshop (SAW), a summer program that focuses on the composition of electroacoustic music and is geared toward high school students interested in expanding their technical and creative resources. Topics will include field recording, digital audio editing and manipulation, real-time computer music performance techniques, and discussion of pieces from the field's growing repertoire. The program will cover issues of interest to young composers heading toward conservatory studies, and also non-musicians who are interested in experimenting with electronic and computer music.

Workshops will primarily focus on students' original creative work, and faculty and participants will regularly listen to student works in progress to share reactions, suggestions, and feedback. The workshop will conclude with an informal concert to present final works to the public. To apply for this exciting opportunity, please submit an application by April 10, 2013.

paulus van horne

Paulus Van Horne with Verb Ballet at Cleveland Public Theater

March 19, 2013

First-year TIMARA major Paulus Van Horne has been selected as one of four composers for the 2013 Young & Emerging Electronic Music performance with Verb Ballet and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. Young composers and students throughout Ohio submitted original electronic works to be considered for inclusion in this unique production. Once the four compositions were selected, Verb Ballet choreographers were assigned to the different works, crafting companion dance pieces to the accepted electronic music submissions. Paulus' piece started out merely as an experiment with FM synthesis, but once he started time stretching and manipulating shifting polyrhythms, the experiment turned into a fully-realized composition with changing, varying speeds – allowing freedom and flexibility in tempo rates for the dancers and choreographers to follow.

The performances will be on March 21, 22, and 23 at Cleveland's Public Theater (CPT) at 7pm, in the James Levin Theatre (6415 Detroit Ave. Cleveland, OH 44102). Single tickets are available by calling the CPT Box Office at 216-631-2727 x501, or for purchase online. This event will serve as a precursor to a large CCS New Music Festival planned for the spring of 2014. Come show your support for the local arts, and join us in congratulating Paulus on this exciting opportunity! - MC

tom lopez

Tom Lopez performance of Curvatures this weekend

March 11, 2013

If you are in the Detroit / Ann Arbor vicinity this weekend, consider attending "All Strings Considered" at the Kirk in the Hills Refectory. This concert, hosted by the Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, will feature "Curvatures" for string quartet and live electronics by Tom Lopez.

"Curvatures" was composed in 2001 and originally featured the Oberlin Zeta String Quartet and choreography / dance by Nusha Martynuk. It's been performed over 25 times since then in various configurations: acoustic quartet, amplified quartet, and amplified quartet with electronics. Tom Lopez will attend the concert and perform the live electronics. The event will take place at 1340 West Long Lake Road in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Student tickets are $10, $22 for seniors, and the regular prices is $25. For tickets and additional information, follow this link.

allison swaim

Allison Swaim wins Third Coast Competition

March 5, 2013

Watson Fellowship winner Allison Swaim (OC '10), a former TIMARA and CAST (Comparative American Studies) student, has won the Best New Artist Award in the 2012 Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Her documentary, Big Ship Diary, was produced with editor Cecilia Vaisman for WBEZ Chicago's series Front and Center. Swaim circumnavigated the world for twelve months by cargo ship to investigate how trade routes shape narratives of people and places. She built a network of industry contacts and worked to get one ride at a time, slowly making her way east and stopping at port cities en route. Her trip included stops in Canada, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, France, Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Cyprus, and South Korea. She documented her journey and the stories she encountered by recording sound, photo and video. In January, Swaim led an on-campus, full credit Winter Term class, where she invited students of all fields to help collaborate on the production phase of her "Trade Route Stories" project. Read Allison's full story on Oberlin College's website. - MC


Dan Tacke, Eric Wubbels, Lyn Goeringer, Tom Lopez, Peter Swendsen, and Josh Levine (left to right)

February 22, 2013

The Faculty Composers concert will be held Friday, February 22, 2013 at 8 PM in Warner Concert Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. The concert will be comprised of original works by professors in the TIMARA and Composition Departments, including Tom Lopez, Peter Swendsen, Lyn Goeringer, Josh Levine, Daniel Tacke, and Eric Wubbels.

This concert will feature professional performers, including Dr. Susan Nelson (bassoon), Matthew Younglove (alto saxophone), and Joshua Modney (violin), and superb student performers as well. The night will include a large scope of media, from video work and live-processing to strictly acoustic instrumentation, and is not an event to be missed. - MC

peter swendsen

Peter Swendsen Premiere this Weekend

February 15, 2013

This weekend, February 15th (Friday) and 16th (Saturday), TIMARA professor Peter Swendsen will premiere a new piece in collaboration with GroundWorks Artistic Director and choreographer David Shimotakahara.

These performances will take place at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts, located at 2008 W. 30th Street (on St. Ignatius Campus), Cleveland, OH 44113, and will last from 7:30 PM until 9:30 PM. Students with valid student ID's can purchase tickets for only $10.00. General admission costs $20.00 per person, and preferred seating is available for $25.00 per person. Tickets can be purchased online.

Shimotakahara's newest work 'LUNA' was created in collaboration with composer Peter V. Swendsen, who has worked previously with GroundWorks Artistic Associate Amy Miller on a number of projects including, 'Valence' and 'Running To Earth.' His compositions and research are focused on soundscape composition, interdisciplinary performance practice, and interactive technologies. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to see the world premiere of LUNA, featuring music and sounds from our very own Peter Swendsen! - MC


TIMARA Students Collaborate on the OASIS Project: Water Ways

February 12, 2013

Last semester, Oberlin collaborated with the Cleveland Public Theater to offer students the chance to enroll in the Oasis Program. The OASIS Program was an arts-intensive semester of interdisciplinary study, followed by a full-time, collaborative Winter Term project, which culminated in 8 performances of original work by Oberlin faculty and students at the Cleveland Public Theater.

The faculty members involved were Tom Lopez of the TIMARA Department, Carter McAdams and Nusha Martynuk of the Dance Department, and Rian Brown and Geoff Pingree of the Cinema Studies Department. Guest artists and lecturers from the Cleveland Public Theater were also involved with teaching the classes. Several TIMARA students enrolled, including Charles Glanders, Sam Fisher, Kaeli Mogg, and Noah Chevan, in addition to other students from various arts. The production received rave reviews, including this one from Cleveland's Scene Magazine. - MC

fall forward 2012

TIMARA Students Collaborate on Fall Forward Dance Concert

December 4, 2012

The Oberlin College Dance Department held their annual "Fall Forward" event on November 8, 9, and 10, in the Warner Center Main Spa<br>ce. Eight Oberlin choreographers, with backgrounds ranging from classical ballet, modern dance, acrobatics, martial arts and tricking, amazed audiences last week with the versatility and expressiveness of dance. Breathtaking movement was brought to life by Oberlin dancers, and the event also featured original music by Oberlin students, including the TIMARA Department's very own Sam Fisher and Eastman Presser (both juniors).

Sam Fisher, on his two pieces featured in this year's Fall Forward: "Rift is a solo piece choreographed and danced by Ben George-Hinnant. It is a wild concoction of mixed violent and peaceful gestures drawing from Ben's experience in martial arts and tricking, but grounded in a dance framework. The score we decided to create for it is something of an atmospheric four-part chorale for distorted and reverberant synthesizers. Interia is a group piece choreographed by Elaine Liu, which I composed music for with Adam Himes [a junior Composition student at Oberlin]. Adam's piece was originally scored for an ensemble of instrumentalists, but a performer dropped out and forced him to create a new interpretation of the piece for synthesizers and samples. This is where I came in. It's a really fun and quirky piece of music, probably atypical to even those who came expecting the bizarre."

Eastman Presser, on his original work featured in the event: "Hayley Larson choreographed a solo piece called Hush, and I composed a piece called The Mouth, The Medium. Our collaboration explored the differences between gesture and texture as it related to the interaction between the dance and the sound score. I played with perception of 'synthesized' versus 'organic' and 'physical' versus 'mechanical' sounds." - MC

Michael Bratt

Michael Bratt: Visiting Faculty

November 17, 2012

The TIMARA Department has the pleasure of working with Michael Bratt this semester. He is teaching TECH 101 in addition to other courses for Conservatory Studies. Bratt is a Cleveland-based composer who writes for a diverse array of instrumentation, including orchestra, chamber groups, solo instruments, and electronic media. His work has been premiered throughout the U.S. and internationally as well, and has won him numerous honors, including Composer/Fellow for the Canton Symphony Orchestra in 2008-2009.
Mr. Bratt is also the co-founder and board president of FiveOne, a Cleveland-based new music ensemble. FiveOne will be performing "Sonic Cinema," a showcase of video art and film shorts with live orchestral accompaniment. This exhibition was created as part of the annual BigBox production series at the Cleveland Public Theatre, and will be held on Saturday, November 17th at 3:30 PM at the Cleveland Public Library, in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium. - MC

third practice

Faculty Performing: 3rd Practice
Electroacoustic Music Festival

October 30, 2012

TIMARA Professors Tom Lopez and Peter Swendsen will be attending the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival November 2-3, 2012 at the University of Richmond. Concerts will be held on Friday at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, and Saturday at 11:00am, 2:30pm, and 7:30pm, at the Modlin Center for the Arts. No tickets are required, and all events are free and open to the public. Now in its twelfth year, the festival presents works for instruments and computer, video, and stereo and multi-channel works for fixed media. This year the festival will present pieces that explore voice and text, the boundary between experimental and popular musical practices, and a range of modes of improvisation with technology. In addition to performances of Lopez's and Swendsen's work, Oberlin alum ensemble Eighth Blackbird will be performing as well. - MC

eli stine

Eli Stine Awarded Berlin Performance

October 22, 2012

TIMARA is proud to announce that Eli Stine's piece "Life" has been chosen for the 60x60 Voice project, which was created for the International Sound Art Festival in Berlin. Eli is a fourth-year TIMARA and Computer Science double-degree student, with a minor in Music Composition. His piece is for stereo fixed-media. The source material consists of a single word, "life," spoken by one person. All of the sounds in the piece are derived from that single recording, and manipulations involve stretching, breaking apart, adding resonance to, and creating instrumental sounds from the original recording. The concert is on October 28, 2012, at the Mitte Museum, in Berlin, Germany. - MC


Ana Knezevic in residence

October 10, 2012

The TIMARA Department will host Ana Knezevic, Serbian-born visual artist and author, for five weeks between October and November 2012. Knezevic works in several mediums, including drawing, painting, and light/sound installations, and public art projects. She seeks to explore the relationships between space, light, and sound, by forging intersections between science, technology, and art. Her work has been exhibited around the world and won numerous awards. She will be working in the TIMARA Studios during her stay at Oberlin College and she is also hoping to collaborate with students and faculty. Visit her website to learn more. Ana's residency is courtesy of ArtsLink, a program enabling artists from 32 overseas countries to participate in communities across the US. Visit our calendar for information about Ana's upcoming appearances in Oberlin (concerts, showings, lectures, etc.) - MC

cahill banner

The Telharmonium:
Thaddeus Cahill
@ Oberlin

October 3, 2012

The town of Oberlin is commemorating the impact of Oberlin student and resident, Thaddeus Cahill (1867-1934), with a banner in his honor displayed on the corner of College and Main. Cahill grew up in Ohio, and studied the physics of music at Oberlin College. He was an early believer that music could be made with electricity. Cahill became a prominent inventor of the early 20th century. In 1897, he invented the Telharmonium, the first electromechanical musical instrument.

The original design of the Telharmonium weighed 7 tons, and the third and final design weighed up to 200 tons. The performer would sit at a control console to play the instrument, which was installed in a concert hall called "Telharmonic Hall" across the street from the Met Opera in NYC. But the instrument's actual mechanism was so huge that it filled an entire room in the basement beneath the hall. Wires from the control console were discreetly fed through holes in the floor and into the lower room. Cahill's Telharmonium was the first musical synthesizer. - MC
telharmonium telharmonium

hron normandeau

Robert Normandeau & Terri Hron
Guest Composers

September 26, 2012

TIMARA and the Oberlin Conservatory are honored to host composers Robert Normandeau and Terri Hron for a concert of live electroacoustic, multi-channel works this Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 8 PM, in Warner Concert Hall.

Normandeau, a native of Quebec, is an influential composer and a brilliant sound diffusionist. He has been a Professor of electroacoustic music composition at Université de Montréal since 1999. He has also won many major prizes and international competitions, including Bourges and the Golden Nica from Ars Electronica. He has received two Prix Opus from the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM) in 1999: "Composer of the Year" and "Record of the Year - Contemporary Music" for Figures (IMED 0944).

Hron, a professional recorder player and composer who hails from Alberta, Canada, is an incredible performer and improviser who has commissioned and released two full albums of music for recorders and live electronics. Many foundations and artist organizations have awarded Terri scholarships, prizes and residencies, including the Banff Centre, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music and Media Technologies, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She is currently touring throughout the US and Europe, promoting her new multi-channel album Flocking Patterns.

For more information: Robert Normandeau & Terri Hron - MC


TIMARA Welcomes
Lyn Goeringer

September 18, 2012

The TIMARA Department welcomes Lyn Goeringer to the TIMARA faculty for two years starting fall 2012. Lyn is an intermedia composer, performer, and sound artist who originally hales from Colorado. In May of 2011, she received her PhD in Computer Music and Multimedia Composition from Brown University, where her research focused on public space, infrastructure and the elements of the everyday. She works in a vast array of artistic fields, including sound, music composition, video, dance/movement, and public art intervention. This semester, she will be giving private lessons and teaching Tech 201: Introduction to Electroacoustic Music and Tech 350: Site and Sound: the location and materiality of place. Please help us welcome Visiting Assistant Professor Goeringer to our new music community! We are thrilled to have her here. For more information and to view her work, here is her website. - MC


A Fond Farewell from Per Bloland

August 13, 2012

Now that summer is in full swing, it is time for me, after 4 fantastic years, to bid farewell to the TIMARA department and to Oberlin. Hard to believe it's been so long, the time has rushed by in such a blur. From teaching the Max class, Advanced Digital Signal Processing, or the seminar on composition and literature, it's been a blast! And of course OINC… I am truly amazed at what you all created out of our weekly gatherings. I can't tell you all how grateful I am for all of your enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, hard work, and of course all the weird interests and crazy side projects you all get into. You kept me busy just trying to keep up, and fueled my imagination in so many ways.

It seems appropriate to reminisce a bit more about OINC, since in many ways that was my signature contribution to the Oberlin culture, and was so pivotal in my own development. It's amazing to me how much the ensemble changed over its 4 years of existence. There was, of course, the size - it grew much larger than any self-respecting improvising ensemble has a right to be. But we made it work, and the challenge of doing so turned out to be a fascinating problem to be tackled anew every semester. The tenor of our work changed as well, as we became so ever more invested in examining what makes for good improvisation when the rules are not specifically defined. And of course there was CarnivOINC – what an incredible ride that was! I was extremely proud of how you all handled yourselves while working with the visiting ensembles, and I know they were all impressed with you!

As many of you already know, this fall I will be joining the faculty at Miami University (it's in Ohio, not to be confused with the one in a much warmer clime!). I am very excited about the new position, and look forward to being part of a thriving music department not so far from here. Strangely enough I will be on sabbatical during the spring semester to complete a Musical Research Residency at IRCAM in Paris. It is indeed going to be a year filled with exploration and adventure!

Though signing off for now, I will most certainly miss you all and reflect often on the oh so many fond memories of my time in the TIMARA department. I certainly plan to visit whenever I can, and if you are ever in the Cincinnati area, my doors are always open. I look forward to hearing about future activities here at Oberlin, as well as the many adventures you all have ahead!



Sonic Arts Workshop 2012

June 1, 2012

This summer, from June 17th to 24th, Oberlin Conservatory will host the Sonic Arts Workshop for high school students. SAW is a TIMARA summer program geared towards the composition of electroacoustic music. Topics covered include digital audio editing, live performance with computers, and the discussion of electroacoustic music history and theory. TIMARA Professors Tom Lopez and Peter Swendsen run the workshop with the assistance of 3 TIMARA students/graduates: Evan Adams (2009), Eli Stine (2014), and Francis Wilson (2012). - ES

TIMARA Professor Presenting Concert in NYC

May 9, 2012

concert pr
TIMARA Professor Peter Swendsen will showcase a number of recent works, including two new pieces and the US premiere of "Allusions to Seasons and Weather". The concert will take place at 7:00PM on May 31st at the Scandinavia House in NYC. Performers include Sarah Biber ('cello), Terri Hron (recorders), Dana Jessen (bassoon), Amy Miller (dance), Ryan Nestor (percussion), and Michael Straus (saxophones). "Allusions to Seasons and Weather" was first performed last May in Oslo, Norway

Improvisational Music Carnival hosted by OINC

April 24, 2012

From March 13th to 17th, Oberlin Conservatory hosted a carnival of improvisational guest artists from near and far: Mike Bullock, Seth Cluett, the Ear Duo (Michael Strauss and Dana Jessen), Tim Feeney, Vic Rawlings, Aaron Dilloway, and WAM! (Women in Art Music). Featured guests were involved in numerous events (full schedule), including masterclasses with members of the Oberlin Improvisation and New Music Collective (OINC), public lectures, and concerts.

Composer Hildegard Westerkamp in Residence

March 19, 2012

Renowned composer, educator, and sound ecologist Hildegard Westerkamp will be in residence this week for classes, soundwalks, and concerts. Westerkamp is known for compositions that reveal and investigate various aspects of the acoustic environment, and for her contributions to the field of acoustic ecology. On Tuesday March 20th, Westerkamp will host a soundwalk leaving at 1:00PM from the Andrew J. Lewis Center, room 102. On Wednesday at 9:00PM, she will present a short concert in Warner Main Space, including "Moments of Laughter" with singer Sara Perez . On Thursday at 8:00PM, a full concert of her work will be presented in Warner Concert Hall in the Conservatory. In addition to octophonic pieces, the concert will feature Eugene Kim, piano; Valerie Sly, horn; and David Wasilko, cello. All events are free and open to the public.

TIMARA Faculty and Students at SEAMUS 2012

March 8, 2012


All three TIMARA faculty (Per Bloland, Tom Lopez, and Peter Swendsen) and three TIMARA students (David Bird, Eli Stine, and Francis Wilson) participated in this year's annual Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) conference held in Appleton, Wisconsin at Lawrence University from February 9th to 11th. This year's festival featured four concerts a day, papers, and panel discussions encompassing topics related to electro-acoustic music, analysis, technology, performance, and pedagogy. Visiting assistant professor Per Bloland was recently added as Member At Large for the SEAMUS board of directors. Three out of the five Allen Strange Memorial Awards (given each year to one undergraduate composer) have gone to TIMARA students.


March 1, 2012

WOBC WOBC is Oberlin community's own freeform radio station, broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with over 200 members (staff and DJs). All staff and the majority of the DJs are college students. In addition to delivering a huge variety of alternative radio, WOBC also broadcasts special events like Jackfest. WOBC hosts an annual block party, getting the greater Oberlin community involved through outdoor DJ sets, live bands and performers, and food. Check out to listen to the live internet stream, browse the archives, and follow WOBC's twitter account (updated by the on-air DJ) @WOBC. Will Floyd is the current student manager and a 5th-year student with a Comparative American Studies major in the college and a TIMARA major in the Conservatory. Contact Will Floyd for more information and to get involved.

Modern Music Guild

February 16, 2012

Modern Music Guild

Oberlin's Modern Music Guild (MMG) is a student-run organization that receives funding from the Student Finance Committee to bring musicians to perform on campus. Ensembles and artists tend toward experimental music focusing on improvisation, noise, and electro-acoustic composition. Recent guests include Toshimaru Nakamura & English, Tatsuya Nakatani with Nakatani Gong Orchestra and Oberlin student performers, Joseph Hammer, and Aaron Dilloway. For more information, check out MMG's website and facebook page. Chris Pierce, current director, is a fifth-year double-degree student with a Physics major in the College and a TIMARA major in the Conservatory.

Joel Corelitz '02 Creating Music and Sound for Moving Image

November 28, 2011

Joel Corelitz Joel Corelitz '02 is a Chicago-based composer/sound designer. His personal brand, Waveplant, provides original music for television, film & media, as well as bleeding-edge musical sound design for motion graphics. He has scored commercials broadcast during the Super Bowl and has work featured in Stash, Motionographer, OneDotZero, and Smilefaucet. He has also been written about in both Keyboard and Future Music magazines for his production work. A recent project, Loom, features his sound design and won Best in Show at Siggraph 2010.

Cory Arcangel '00 Explores Computer Programming and Appropriation in Exhibitions

November 14, 2011

Cory Arcangel Oberlin alumnus Cory Arcangel is a computer programmer, composer, and artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Recent exhibitions include "Pro Tools" at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011), "Beat the Champ" at the Barbican, London (2011), and "Here Comes Everybody" at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010-11). Arcangel gives the TIMARA department credit for his robust knowledge of FM synthesis, states his favorite TIMARA gear was the Media 100 editing suite, and fondly remembers hearing the Deep Listening Band perform at the Cat in the Cream. Find out more about Arcangel at his website.

21st Century Renaissance Man Jaron Lanier to Visit Campus

November 6, 2011

Jaron Lanier Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author, popularizing the term "virtual reality" and actively engaging in the worlds of visual art, music, punditry, and scientific research and development. He will be visiting Oberlin on November 9th to host the convocation "An Evening with Jaron Lanier" at 7:30PM in Finney Chapel. He will also visit the TIMARA Department's studio class from 3:30PM to 4:30PM in TIMARA Studio 2. More information about Lanier's work can be found on his website.

Oberlin Watson Fellows Travel the World to Document Global Trade and to Research Electronic Art

October 11, 2011

While Lisa Kori Chung '09 finishes up her yearlong voyage around the world, Allison Swaim '10 is just beginning hers. Both are Oberlin Watson fellows granted a year to passionately research individual projects, all the while amassing information and documentation, and creating as they travel.

Lisa Kori Chung
Chung's project involves researching the world of electronic art in order to better understand technologies and the people who are actively shaping her experience and perception of them. Countries that Chung has traveled to include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Spain. Photos from her voyage can be seen here. Learn more about what she saw, heard, and created at her blog.

Allison Swaim Swaim's project involves traveling trade routes by cargo ship (which move 90% of the world's freight) to document the lives of modern-day sailors in order to put a human face to the global trade industry. During August she traveled across the Atlantic in a bulker with 25,000 tons of wheat and 21 Polish sailors and is currently in Sweden. She is planning on heading east next, possibly to China. Her Transom blog, will be updated shortly with documentation of her voyage thus far.

Composer and performer Dan Trueman to Visit, have works performed

September 29, 2011

Dan Trueman Next month, Dan Trueman, composer, fiddler, and laptop player, will have his peice, "Counterfeit Curio" performed by the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble on it's October 7th, 8:00PM concert in Warner Concert Hall. Ensembles he is involved with include QQQ, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk, which he co-founded and directs), Trollstilt, Sideband and interface. He has worked with numerous other ensembles, including the Crash Ensemble, So Percussion, the Brentano and Daedelus string quartets, and the American Composers Orchestra. As a fiddler, he has performed at folk festivals across the US as well as in Norway and Ireland. To learn more about Dan visit his website.

Bret Battey '89 Composer and Visual Artist, to Visit

September 27, 2011

Bret Battey Bret Battey creates electronic, acoustic, and multimedia concert works and installations. He pursues research in algorithmic music, digital signal processing, image and sound relationship, and expressive sound synthesis. His sound and image composition have achieved widespread international attention and recognition, with over 70 screenings since 2004 and many prizes and honors, Along with Oberlin he studied composition and electronic music at the University of Washington, and is currently a Senior Lecturer with the Music, Technology, and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. A concert of Bret's works will be at 8:00PM on September 28th in Warner Concert Hall, and a public master class will be at 3:00PM on September 29th in TIMARA Studio 2. You can find out more about Bret at his website.

Clay Chaplin '95 to Visit

September 18, 2011

Clay Chaplin Clay Chaplin, currently the Director of the Computer Music and Experimental Media studios at the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts, is a composer, improviser, curator, and audio engineer from Los Angeles who explores the realms of audio-visual improvisation, sound synthesis, field recording, electronics, and computer processing for creative sonic expression. He will be visiting the TIMARA department this coming Wednesday, September 21st to conduct a studio class with students and to talk about his own work and experience, including his pieces Aquacoustica, One Minute Los Angeles, and SideEffects. More information about Clay and his past and present work can be obtained at his website.

Assistant Professor Peter Swendsen '99 has Full Performance Schedule

August 20, 2011

For Peter Swendsen, Assistant Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts in the TIMARA Department, 2011 has already been a busy and auspicious year. His compositions have been presented in the UK, Amsterdam, San Diego, Kansas City, Boston, Norway, New York City, Belgium, Italy, and Ohio. More information about the specifics of Swendsen's packed past year can be found at this link. Swendsen's most recent endeavor is last weekend's premiere of a new collaboration with New York-based choreographer Amy Miller and GroundWorks DanceTheater of Cleveland, "Running to Earth". David Bird, '12 also collaborated with GroundWorks' Artistic Director David Shimotakahara on a piece presented on the same concerts. More information about the dates and times of the concerts and GroundWorks can be found at this link.

Thomas Arsenault '08 Recently Profiled in NYT Blog

April 20, 2011

Tom Arsenault Thomas Arsenault '08 was recently profiled in a New York Times blog about Culture written by Johnny Misheff. Arsenault, a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory's TIMARA program, has produced albums for a variety of artists in New York. Misheff describes Arsenault's own music and video work as "lush and emotive, filled with subtle nuances that somehow jerk the audience into deep self-reflexive awareness."

TIMARA Student Eli Stine '13 Wins Composition Prize

March 8, 2011

Eli Stine Eli Stine '13 was awarded a national prize for "Best Composition by an Undergraduate Student" at the 2011 national conference of the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the US (SEAMUS). This is the fourth time the prize has been awarded, and three of the past recipients have been Oberlin students. Stine's winning piece, "Moments," is described in its program notes as "a grouping of diverse textures, held together by their similarities and differences, each contributing to the overall trajectory of their collective form. Pitch develops from noise and the sound of the human voice evolves as these auditory moments circulate against one another." Stine's interests include electronic instrument creation, electronic and acoustic composition for concert and dance, and film sound design. He currently studies with Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts Tom Lopez in the TIMARA department, and will be studying with Professor of Composition Lewis Nielson as a Composition minor. More information and works by Stine can be found on his website: