Stephen Vitiello

June 2011

Sound Art Workshop - Field Recording and Electronic Composition

Course Description
This workshop encourages a sonic appreciation for the natural environment and an ear for sound manipulation. We will use the Shakerag campus as our starting point. Participants will take part in listening exercises, outdoor and indoor sound recordings, and audio processing, towards production of a sound work, be it a short electronic composition, an installation, or performance. The workshop will aim to create an environment for both newcomers as well as experienced practitioners.

Supply List
Each participant should bring a portable field recorder with external or built-in microphones and a pair of headphones. There are numerous hard-disc recorders on the market by manufacturers such as Zoom (H4n), Tascam, Sony and Olympus. Older technologies such as a Sony Walkman Pro (cassette) or minidisc are also acceptable.
School to provide –

  1. computer lab with audio software - ideally a multi-channel editing platform such as Pro Tools or Logic or Reaper
  2. Some processing software such as soundhack and forester (both of which are free)
  3. A good set of stereo speakers suitable for listening to sound pieces in-class
  4. A video projector
  5. If it's possible to purchase a bit of equipment, a hydrophone (for example) is an underwater microphone that can be purchased for under $200

Artist's Statement
In my work, I create sound installations as well as photographs, performances, and audio CDs. Many of the projects are site-specific and often involve field recording. Past locations have included the 91st floor of the World Trade Center, the Brazilian Amazon, Marfa, TX, and the Australian Outback. Exhibitions include the 2002 Whitney Biennial and the 2006 Biennial of Sydney. A recent project, "A Bell For Every Minute," is a site-specific sound installation for the High Line in New York City in which recordings of 59 different bells from all over New York are used to mark time throughout the hour. The piece is a loose mapping of the city through sound - sources include bells from churches, temples, and a synagogue as well as boats, sporting arenas, and known spaces such as the New York Stock Exchange.

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