Projects are due Fridays at 5pm, giving every lab a chance to meet the week an assignment is due.

General grading for all the assignments:

  • timely completion and proper formatting

    1. Turn it in on time (late assignments will be marked down without exception and assignments will not be accepted more than two weeks late for any reason)
    2. Be sure that your assignment is in the proper format (If we ask for an mp3 don’t provide a Garage Band or Reaper project, for example),
    3. follow the exact naming convention for submitting files as outlined by your TA. (for example “yourlastname_assignX.mp3”).
    4. Complete all aspects of the assignment: Read the instructions carefully to make sure you are doing all the parts.
    5. When submitting in Collab, add a 100-200 word description of compositional process & techniques.
  • creativity and imaginative composition. Be fiercely creative, daring, and nonconformist. As students of composition and technosonic experimenters it is your job to try new things.
  • evidence of work. composing music takes time and you will need to put thought and work into every assignment. You will need to work on your assignments independently outside of the labs.

Assignment 1: Sound Collage (5%)

Due 9/15 by 5pm

Collage: an assemblage of diverse elements or fragments in unlikely or unexpected juxtaposition.

Make between 10 and 30 short sounds out of found sound samples. You can record sounds from your surroundings or use online resources. Use anything *but* a drum/percussion samples. For example, you might make your short sounds out of birds, cars, voices and a river. Use Reaper to edit your sounds, create new amplitude envelopes, and use panning. Then assemble your sounds into a composition that explores rhythm, texture, and space. You should experiment with possibilities beyond traditional beat-based music. What happens if you abandon pulse? How does panning change the way we hear sound? You may layer, process, and expand this project as desired.

minimum duration: at least 10 sounds less than 1 second each, and a 30 second composition using those sounds

Assignment 2: Timbre (10%)

Due 10/13 by 5pm

In this assignment you will use sound design programs to compose a sonic texture that explores transforming timbre. “Timbre” describes the “color” or “quality” of a sound and is what allows us to distinguish between a trumpet and a flute, a cat and pickup truck, a burp and a ribbet.

Compose an evolving “timbre cloud” that transitions through at least 3 distinct formal sections. These A, B, and C sections should transform or crossfade smoothly so that the sound develops and changes. Think about how you might connect your sections. What sonic qualities do they have in common? How are they different?

Your piece should be between 1 and 2 minutes in duration.

Assignment 3: Process/Pulse Piece (15%)

Two Options:
  • Process Pulse: Use a process (phasing, polyrhythm, algorithm/rules, etc) to gradually develop rhythmic or pulse-based material over 2 minutes. Be sure to end somewhere different from where you began.
  • Transition Pulse: Create a pulse-based piece that contains at least two strong compositional decisions. For example, your piece could transition between two different beats and then abruptly change to a third rhythm. Similar to the second project, think about creating an interesting overall structure through changes in pattern, density, timbre, and other elements.

Final Project

Due 12/08 by 5pm

The final project is an original composition using whatever tools you would like from the class.Your piece should have a title and an idea. Along with your soundfile, submit a short — 1 page — text describing your concept and process. It will be graded on:

  • digital sound art composition technique
  • compositional form, meets duration requirements (at least 2min)
  • imagination, creativity, and risk
  • evidence of care and work put into it.