The Rock County Composers Lab is an educational program for 10 high school musicians in my hometown (Janesville, WI) interested in composing/creating original music. I founded the lab in 2020 with the aim of introducing students to a variety of genres, musical cultures and compositional techniques while also supporting the development of their own creative expression and identity. This program combines lectures, group musical exercises, collaborative projects, individual lessons, and mentorship to foster a new generation of composers. The program consists of a weekend intensive in the winter, followed by individual, monthly Skype lessons and concludes with a performance of the participants works in the spring by Lawrence University’s Else/If Else: a piano-bass-percussion trio experienced in classical, jazz, and free-improvisation, committed to supporting diverse voices and new forms of musical expression.
Two common lounge chairs sit back-to-back behind privacy curtains. Each embedded with 8 surface transducers (deconstructed speakers), the chairs emit low- frequency waveforms. A microphone in front of each chair triggers the transducers in the opposite chair. As participants wear headphones playing a drone composition to obfuscate external sounds, they use the microphones to engage in a conversation. The pitch and volume of each voice is tracked, producing vibrating sensations in the opposite chair which are felt as variable, dynamic, and musical. The result champions embodiment and privacy through a dialogue that is felt rather than heard.
The work has been exhibited at:
In collaboration with Maya Livio
Vein Rays is a Madison, WI based music project from Paul Smirl. In March 2016 Vein Rays released a full-length album I'm Going To Regret This Later. I helped record the album and added some sounds. Lots of other friends also contributed. Paul has toured all over the midwest and I join him on electric viola when I can.
An ongoing experiment with Maya Livio aiming to test the possibilities of intentional data and emotional vulnerabilities in the private and public spheres through practice-based research methods.
Interpersonal vulnerability has been recently embraced in both academic¹ and popular culture² contexts as a quality to be valued and as a potential catalyst for positive outcomes such as intimacy. In contrast, among growing privacy concerns on individual,³ corporate,⁴ and state levels,⁵ the vulnerability of information maintains a negative bias, representing weakness, openness to harm, and exploitation. This project seeks to examine the potential outcomes of making both our selves and our data vulnerable.
More info here
View phase 2 of project here
¹e.g. the work of Aron et. al
²e.g. the work of Brown
³e.g. camfecting, the hacking of webcams
⁴e.g. the organizational doxing of Ashley Madison
⁵The most obvious e.g. being the NSA revelations