Tomorrow, January 28, marks the start of a new semester of the course I teach on the role of sound in the media landscape. The course unfolds over 16 weeks — 15 weeks of class plus one week off for spring break — and I think I’ll be summarizing it here each week, not just the lecture topics but the resulting class discussion and, when we have them, the special guests and occasional field trips.
Last semester we had someone from BitTorrent and someone from SoundCloud address the class, and we took a field trip to an anechoic chamber at the local research lab of an audio company. The guest speakers aren’t generally lecturers; I usually interview them in front of the students, who also ask questions. The semester prior both the sound artist Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) and the voice actor Phil LaMarr (Samurai Jack, Static Shock) visited via Skype.
I teach the course to a mix of MFA and BA students at the Academy of Art here in San Francisco. This is the sixth semester in a row that I’ve taught the course. I’m taking off next semester, with the intention of teaching it once a year rather than twice a year from now on, to leave room for lots of other projects.
This first appeared in the January 27, 2015, edition of the free Disquiet email newsletter: tinyletter.com/disquiet.