Experiments in Sound: Summer Workshops

Experiments in Sound

SUMMER WORKSHOPS

Join us this summer for Experiments in Sound, a brand new series of continuing education workshops! Explore the art of listening in new and creative ways. Learn to use professional audio equipment and/or software. Workshops are taught by local sound artists and KI faculty, and many offer the opportunity to share your finished project in a culminating exhibition or performance.

Workshops are open to the public, ages 18 and up (ages 12-17 may participate if accompanied by an adult). Beginners are welcome! Experiments in Sound is presented by VCUarts Kinetic Imaging in conjunction with Sound Arts Richmond and with support from The Anderson at VCUarts and Innovative Media at VCU Libraries.

Workshops span three primary locations on VCU’s Monroe Park campus.
View map of workshop locations.

Workshops will run based on enrollment and will be confirmed 72 hours prior to the start date/time.

Registration policy
Refunds will be issued for workshop cancellations at least 72 hours prior to the start date/time. There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 72 hours in advance of the start date/time. We reserve the right to cancel any workshop with insufficient enrollment. If your workshop is cancelled, you will receive a full refund for the registration fee.

PAST WORKSHOPS

Synthesized Sound: The Art of Beeps, Blips, and Twisting Knobs

Tuesday, May 29  & Thursday, May 31, 6-9pm

Instructor: Josh Rodenberg
Location: VCU Kinetic Imaging, The Depot Annex Room 1013
801 W Marshall St. (Entrance is located in the alley off Gilmer St.)
Registration Fee: $60

Note: A culminating exhibition will take place June 1-3 at The Anderson, 907 1/2 W Franklin St.

Experience the endless possibilities of manipulating digital & analog sounds using computers, phones/tablets and virtual instruments. Explore freeware and software to create unique soundscapes and melodic compositions with the result of at least one finished sound piece.

Related Workshop: Composing Soundscapes with Ableton Live

Josh Rodenberg is a faculty member in the Kinetic Imaging Department at VCUarts. His main focus in recent years has been the manipulation of sound and its integration into his sculptural work. He does live sound and video performances and exhibits artworks in galleries and unconventional spaces. Rodenberg received his Masters of Fine Arts degree from VCU in Crafts/Material Studies.

Build Your Own Contact Mic

Wednesday, May 30, 6-8pm

Instructor: Kelsey Sheaffer
Location: The Workshop, VCU Cabell Library Lower Level, 901 Park Ave.
Registration Fee: FREE

Join us for a free workshop on building your own contact microphone. Rather than amplifying sound in the air around us like most microphones, a contact microphone (also known as a piezo microphone) amplifies mechanical vibrations in solid objects. These recordings expose an infinite and amplified universe of sound that sonically reflects things we cannot see. We’ll teach basic soldering skills and show you how to solder up a piezo-electric pickup and house it sturdily in a recycled bottle-cap. This free workshop is a great chance to make a new tool that you can use in other Experiments in Sound workshops.

Related Workshops: Hidden Sounds & DIY Invisible Speakers

Kelsey Sheaffer is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Richmond, VA. Her work cycles between sound, dance and drawing to explore notation and archives. She works at The Workshop at VCU’s Cabell Library, teaching sound, video and other media through a variety of educational programs.

Sonic Bodies

Saturday, June 2 & Sunday, June 3, 3-6pm

Instructor: Marta Finkelstein
Location: VCU Kinetic Imaging, The Depot Annex Room 1013
801 W Marshall St. (Entrance is located in the alley off Gilmer St.)
Registration Fee: $60

Note: A culminating exhibition will take place June 4-8 at The Anderson, 907 1/2 W Franklin St.

Learn how to create sound art using your most versatile instrument: your body. This two-part workshop will be centered on live performance (sampling & looping) and digital mixing of sounds generated solely by the body. Learn improvisational skills as well as technical knowledge through demonstration and collaboration.

Related Workshop: Improvisation

Marta Finkelstein is an experimental artist working with clay, paint, sound, and moving image. She received her BFA in Ceramics from Indiana University in 2012, and went on to pursue experimental animation at VCU, where she received her MFA in Kinetic Imaging in 2015. Her work has been exhibited across the United States, as well as internationally. She is currently teaching animation at VCU, as well as managing a non-profit studio collective in Richmond, Virginia.

Hidden Sounds

Wednesday, June 6, 5-8pm

Instructor: Payton Baril
Location:  The Anderson, 907 1/2 W Franklin St.
Registration Fee: $30

This workshop will focus on the discovery of unusual or unnoticed sounds made by ordinary everyday objects. Participants will experiment with contact microphones and Zoom microphones in their sound exploration. At the end of the workshop, we will each play our found object “instruments” together for one final recording. Objects will be provided but participants are welcome to bring objects as well.

Related Workshop: Build Your Own Contact Mic

Payton Baril is a sound, video, and installation artist based in Richmond, VA. Their work primarily focuses on connections we make with each other and with technology.

Composing Soundscapes with Ableton Live

Four Tuesdays: June 5, 12, 19 & 26, 6:30-9pm

Instructor: Steve Ashby
Location: VCU Kinetic Imaging, The Depot Annex Room 1013
801 W Marshall St. (Entrance is located in the alley off Gilmer St.)
Registration Fee: $100

Become familiar with field recording, professional microphones, and explore the powerful audio editing software Ableton Live. Discover fun and creative ways to use Ableton Live to transform collected recordings into complex soundscapes. Participants will create a final sound composition to be shared in a culminating exhibition or performance.

Related Workshops: Capturing the Sound: James River Walks & Synthesized Sound

Steve Ashby is a Richmond, VA based musician, composer, and sound artist. Building on his background as a classical guitarist, Ashby builds his work around concrete sources found in the natural, and digital world, discovering the places where they intersect, and amplifying those attributes. Ashby’s work is a combination of field recordings, manipulated sound, and composed elements.

DIY Invisible Speakers

Thursday, June 14, 6-9pm

Instructor: Sara Bouchard
LOCATION CHANGE:  VCU Kinetic Imaging, The Depot Annex Room 1013
801 W Marshall St. (Entrance is located in the alley off Gilmer St.)
Registration Fee: $30 (Includes cost of materials.)

Have you ever wanted to embed sound seamlessly into a space or an artwork? In this workshop we will use exciters – which convey sound through vibration – to turn recycled materials and everyday objects into speakers. Learn about the physics of sound and how to wire up a speaker/exciter with an amplifier. Experiment with using the exciters on different materials and create a small sculpture or structure incorporating the exciter. Participants are encouraged to bring in an ambient track to bring their creation to life; a small library of sounds will also be available. Participants will bring home one exciter and a wireless amp so they can continue their experiments.

Combine with any other Experiments in Sound workshop to create a unique listening environment for your projects!

Sara Bouchard is a multidisciplinary artist and composer who uses sound, installation and performance to interweave American histories and the landscape. She studied painting and computer music composition at Yale University and received her B.A. in studio art in 2003. After exhibiting and performing extensively in New York City and abroad, she relocated to Richmond, VA in 2017 where she is currently an MFA candidate in Kinetic Imaging at VCUarts.

Podcasting 101

Wednesday, June 20, 6-8pm

Instructor: Kelsey Sheaffer
Location: The Workshop, VCU Cabell Library Lower Level, 901 Park Ave.
Registration Fee: FREE

This free, two hour workshop is a crash course on everything you need to know to start a podcast. Audio-based programming known as podcasting has boomed in recent years as a way of communicating stories. This introductory course will show basic recording techniques, teach you do’s and dont’s, how to edit and mix to get the perfect final cut as well as teach you how to publish your podcast and find an audience.

Combine with any other Experiment in Sound workshop and share your projects with the world!

Kelsey Sheaffer is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Richmond, VA. Her work cycles between sound, dance and drawing to explore notation and archives. She works at The Workshop at VCU’s Cabell Library, teaching sound, video and other media through a variety of educational programs.

Improvisation

Friday, June 22, 1-4:30pm (with a break 2:30-3pm) and performance 5:30-7pm

Instructors: Asimina Chremos, Al Margolis and Walter Wright
Location: The Anderson, 907 1/2 W Franklin St.
Registration Fee: $60

This workshop is inclusive and interdisciplinary; open to all – no experience necessary (but visual artists, dancers, musicians and sound artists are especially encouraged).

Traditionally composition precedes performance. The composer communicates his or her vision across time by means of a “score.” The score is interpreted, rehearsed and finally, performed for an audience. Improvisation is composition in real time. In improvisation there is no score in a traditional sense. Composition and performance come together “in the moment.”

This workshop is broken down into two 90-minute parts, followed by an evening performance. The first half will cover tuning to each other and to the space and the second half will cover working with partners, duos, and trios (dancers with musicians). The performance will showcase the practices explored in both parts.

Related Workshop: Sonic Bodies

Asimina Chremos is a dancer, needleworker, artistic collaborator, and writer. She is a dancer who loves colors and a needleworker who loves to flow.

Al Margolis has been an activist in the 1980s American cassette underground through his cassette label Sound of Pig Music; was co-founder of experimental music label Pogus Productions, which he continues to run. Active under the name ‘If, Bwana’ since 1984, making music that has swung between fairly spontaneous studio constructions and more process-oriented composition.

Walter Wright is an interdisciplinary artist; his practice includes computer programming, electro-acoustic music, and video performance. He performs with several groups including ELKA BONG, Egregoros, and ensemble inédit ?!. He plays a Bugbrand Board Weevil, a Flower Electronics Little Blue Boy, contact mics by Crank Sturgeon, drums and percussion. His focus is on “improvisation as a way of being present in the world.”

Capturing the Sound: James River Walks

Three Saturday Sessions: June 16, 23 & 30, 12-5pm
(Sessions can be taken individually or as a series)

Instructor: Vaughn Whitney Garland
Location: June 16 at Pony Pasture; June 23 at Belle Isle; June 30 at Texas Beach
Registration Fee: $45/session or $125 for all three

Learn about environmental soundscape and acoustic ecology through on-site field listening, recording, and evaluation. Collect audio recordings from the unique urban, natural topographies of the James River Park System and record sounds produced in the natural environment to be used for research, exhibition, and/or presentation. Students may take one to three classes and meet at various locations around Richmond’s natural parks. The June 16th session will start at the parking lot at Pony Pasture and feature an introduction to field recording using Zoom Recorders. The June 23rd session will meet at Belle Isle and focus on Hydrophones, microphones for water. The June 30th session will meet at the entrance to Texas Beach and focus on binaural and parabolic recordings.

Related Workshop: Creating Soundscapes with Ableton Live

Vaughn Whitney Garland is a Richmond-based independent curator and sound artist working with community conversations, place-making, and field recordings. Garland received a Ph.D. from VCU’s interdisciplinary Media, Art and Text (MATX) program and an MFA from VCU’s Painting and Printmaking program. He is currently working with a series of sound installations, web archives and online audio tours in and around Richmond.

PAST WORKSHOPS

Synthesized Sound: The Art of Beeps, Blips, and Twisting Knobs
Tuesday, May 29 & Thursday, May 31, 6-9pm

Build Your Own Contact Mic
Wednesday, May 30, 6-8pm

Sonic Bodies
Saturday, June 2 & Sunday, June 3, 3-6pm

Hidden Sounds
Wednesday, June 6, 5-8pm

Composing Soundscapes with Ableton Live
Four Tuesdays: June 5, 12, 19 & 26, 6:30-9pm

DIY Invisible Speakers
Thursday, June 14, 6-9pm

Podcasting 101
Wednesday, June 20, 6-8pm

Improvisation
Friday, June 22, 1-4:30pm and performance 5:30-7pm

Capturing the Sound: James River Walks
June 16, 12-5pm at Pony Pasture
June 23, 12-5pm at Bell Isle
June 30, 12-5pm at Texas Beach