Electronic Music

Seminar on Sound


Columbia University

Anthropology and American Studies

Spring 2007

Course Requirements

1. Regular attendance and participation at the seminar

2. Two or three class presentations based on papers of approximately 5 pages

3. A term paper of approximately 15-20 pages due on April 24


Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner, eds. Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. NY, 2004

Mark Katz, Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music. Berkeley, 2004 (with CD)

Michel Chion, Audio Vision

Tripping on Wires: The Wireless Body: Who is Improvising?

Critical Studies in Improvisation

"We are in the transhuman age," declares composer Pauline Oliveros, referring to the extension of human capabilities through technology. Oliveros tells how her own early improvisations with tape recording and editing anticipated many current creative uses of sound technology, and asks how further advances will bring new tools to experiment with and new realms to explore.

Interview with Keiko Uenishi (aka o.blaat)

Critical Studies in Improvisation

Miya Masaoka is a third generation Japanese American artist classically trained as a musician and composer. In her compositions and installations, she involves improvisation, interaction, spatialization, sensors, computers, and various media including video and film.

In this interview with fellow Japanese/American sound artist Keiko Uenishi I work outwards from the personal to consider the radical potential of internet-based sound and video improvisation to build community across ethnic and gender lines.

Review—Rhythm Science


Stewart remarks that Paul D. Miller-better known as DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid-has created "a manifesto of sorts for the digital age." Stewart believes that Rhythm Science belongs in the first rank of theories of improvisation, because it views DJ culture in terms of improvisatory musical traditions associated with the African diaspora, and because Miller's writing style itself is improvisatory,"like the improvised freestyle of a hip hop MC."

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