This course explores narrative and interactivity in digital media through trans-media storytelling.
After an introductory exploration of the history of storytelling, we will attend to the diversity of methods and genres used in the development of narrative; the role of visual culture and modes of seeing, visualizing, and interpreting, the role of oral history, the ‘ethnographic ear’ and theories and methods of ‘soundscape research’, collective and digital memory as methods for collecting and retelling others’ stories, and web based storytelling with a focus on MIT’s ‘Fold’ web authoring environment for creating multimedia stories. Course readings, drawn from a wide variety of disciplines, include foundational texts in ‘visual culture,’ and the emerging interdisciplinary fields of ‘digital storytelling’ and ‘sound studies.’ In addition to engaging critically with a range of ideas and debates through discussion, practice, presentation, and writing, students will experience watch and create different forms of narrative including text, film, soundscape, and interactive visual art. By analyzing these forms we will look at various instances of dynamic storytelling in relationship to identity, memory, personal narrative, and social critique. Through this course students will gain introductory media production skills in the areas of photography, sound, and film, and will introduce students to cameras and audio recorders as well as audio and film editing software.
Sound Design For The Stage & Screen
This course provides hands-on experience with sound design for film, theater, and multimedia works.
In this course students design sound for theater, film productions, and installation work and learn how to approach sound design for these diverse media. The course covers topics including Automatic Dialog Replacement (ADR), Foley, post-synchronized sound and musique concrète techniques. Students will learn how to analyze sound design for film and theatrical performance, and will become familiar with the role of sound designer on a collaborative production team. Through the course of five projects, and Reading Response assignments, students will have the opportunity to grapple with texts and core ideas in the arena of sound design, as well as use Pro Tools to create and design soundscapes for a variety of creative projects.
Art & Ethnography
This course will explore the arena of Ethnographic research with a specific focus on digital ethnography, and will combine an exploration in ethnographic research with artistic practice. The course will expose students to a variety of ethnographic methods, and will ask them to create digital media projects based on research collected documenting a community through traditional written methods, as well as digital documentation including photography, audio recording, and video production. This course will grapple with art as a tool for preservation and sustainability of cultural heritage, and will ask students to explore ethnography through the written word as well as a multi-media forms of expression.
Not only do recordings have the ability to capture an indiscriminate snapshot of an environment, they also capture the ways a physical environment interacts with the sounds within it, or another way of saying this is that a recording is a story of the relationship between different elements as told through the way sound reflects and refracts within their environment.
This course will explore sound as a tool in understanding different societies, cultures, religions, and communities. Students will learn practices of Deep Listening, and focus on intentionally contrived sound environments as well as those captured through recordings, in order to further their inquiry and analysis of people and place. They will explore the history of sound as a tool for exploring our natural environment, and the role sound has played in capturing and documenting cultural heritage of communities and place. Students will be required learn the practice of field recording for this class, and to collectively develop an archive to recorded sounds throughout the semester.
Music Technology Fundamentals
This course will facilitate student learning in developing skills in analog and digital audio, microphone basics and placement, signal processing, the recording studio, digital audio workstations, plug-ins and VST’s, MIDI, and location recording. Students will gain an in depth understanding of Logic 7, Ableton Live 8, and Max/MSP, and are encouraged to explore additional music technologies.
This course has three primary objectives: (1) to develop a critical vocabulary for analog and digital audio, including frequency, amplitude, synthesis, and terms related to recording, the music production industry, and software; (2) to gain a beginner level familiarity with recording techniques, equipment, and software; (3) to use this understanding in the development of aural and musical recordings and performance pieces.