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Showing posts from October, 2007

Composing for Multimedia


Composing for multimedia involves a delicate balance between realization of inspiration and logistical actuality. Composers must take into account logistics, orchestration of separate media elements, and proper notation for mixed media scores. At the start of the composition, the artist must unify in the mind the disparate components of the piece. Whereas in the past, orchestration decisions involved choice of instrument and timbre, contemporary multimedia composers also incorporate visual imagery, interactivity, performance art, and a countless number of nonmusical elements in their compositions. Often the artist must compose the parts simultaneously in order for the overall piece to be successful, which may involve writing computer code, orchestrating traditional acoustic elements, producing video, developing dramatics, and writing text. In this way, composing for multimedia elements shares the multip…

Interdisciplinary Digital Media Course Syllabus

Below is the prototype for an interdisciplinary course in digital media and sound. Learning how to create interesting coursework which can apply to a broad range of student groups is an invaluable skill.

Digital Intermedia Design and Creation
Fall 2007
Professor Pena Young, B.M., M.M.
Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-12:15

W-10 Media Lab

Text: Michael Rush "New Media in the Late 20th-Century Art"
Students also will have a variety of Internet resources available during the course.

This course is an intermediate studio course designed for students who have taken Introduction to Media Arts, or its equivalent, and demonstrate a strong working knowledge in video editing and graphic design. Programs that students should be familiar with prior to taking Intermedia Design and Creation include Photoshop and Apple's i-Life suite (or the Windows equivalent). Students should be comfortable navigating within a Mac OSX environment.


Tips for Festival Submissions

This morning I spent time putting together submission materials for the Barlow Commission. I find as a composer, it is easiest to keep my compositions neatly filed in portable plastic containers, my audio clips all ready to go in I-tunes, and my video pieces in a folder on my external hard drive. All the same, it still will take me several hours to get something ready for a festival submission. Here are a few tips:

1) Learn to sift out the good from the bad. If a no-name ensemble is asking for submission at the cost of $50 each, with the caveat that they can decide NOT to use ANY of the works submitted, guaranteed it is a fundraiser (same goes for some art festivals that charge $35 a slide). Many reputable festivals will require joining their organization, but I find that the networking opportunities outweigh the costs.

2) Only send out pieces that fit the guidelines. No reason to waste postage sending a choral work to a festival looking primarily for string quartets. Don't have a s…

Basic Sound Editing with GarageBand Workshop

Below is a basic workshop on audio editing using Apple's Garageband that I have given at Florida International University's Digital Media Department. The workshop is intended for students with little audio background. I will add the images soon.

BASIC SOUND DESIGN:GarageBand Workshop

BASIC TERMS, Layman Style:

Panning - Sound moves from one speaker to another. In a stereo setup, that means it pans from your right ear to your left
Distortion - Volume Levels are too high (in the red)
Clipping - In the digital world, that means you sounds are distorting, causing a slight "click" sound that sometimes is hard to catch, but signals amateur a mile away
Track - Where you place your sound clips
MIDI - the universal computer language instruments use to talk to each other and the computer. MIDI has its own cables. To connect to the computer you need a USB interface, or you can just buy the special "apple" keyboards online. So convenient.
Audio Track - where the live sound, sp…

Literature Review on Women in Multimedia


Researching the topic of new media in regard to composition proved to be a difficult task. Despite the great number of artists involved in the medium in the last decade of the 20th century, little had been written about more than a select few. Much information exists that details the events leading up to the digital revolution, but the literature dwindles in regard to works from the 1980s to present day. Nevertheless, the older publications proved themselves useful. For recent information, however, websites provided the bulk of information. Acknowledging the illegitimacy of online sources, the search was largely limited to artists' homepages and sites run by professional organizations. Though the information gleaned came from a number of resources, a few works proved invaluable to the research. Sources addressed the history of multimedia, the role of women in music technology, and compositional techniques of interdisciplinary works.

Thames & Hudso…