Tag Archives: colin tucker

[Archive 6.10.15]

The Upstate Soundscape, 6.11.15


1) Colin Tucker, “Silo City Outdoor Field Recording Montage”
2) Colin Tucker, “Grain Elevator Interior Field Recording #1”
3) Colin Tucker, “Grain Elevator Interior Field Recording #2”
4) Shannon Werle, “Filter Index”
5) Shannon Werle, “1620 Wood Surfaces”
6) Nick Hennies, “Expenditures (excerpt)”
7) Christian Kesten, “Untitled 1”
8) Tim Feeney, “Weakness (excerpt)”
9) James Tenney, “Having Never Written for Percussion”
10) Matt Sargent, “Tide (10+1 Basses)”
11) Ian Power, “[relictumne sum]”

[Read: Music 114 – Everyday Sounds and Experimental Music Course at UB]

Looks like University at Buffalo students will actually have an interesting class to take this semester courtesy of Colin Tucker,  composer and PhD student in the UB Music Department. Tucker has designed a course titled, “Music 114: Everyday Sounds and Experimental Music.”

Check out this Course Description from the Syllabus (which you can download in full here):

In this course, we will explore the distinctions and ambiguities between music and everyday sounds. Numerous experimental musicians aim to create sonic experiences that lie in between these two extremes, heightening and playing with the resulting ambiguity. These works provoke questions such as: Are everyday sounds already music, or must they be processed and re-framed in order to become music, and in what ways? We will explore these issues as a way to ask broad questions about what music is and how we listen to it, focusing on experimental and electronic music, as well as on related developments in sound art, installation art, architecture, cultural theory, urban sociology, and mass culture. In addition to lecture and discussion formats, the class will also include in-class listening exercises, demonstrations, and informal performances. No prior musical experience is required.

The reading/listening list is even better:

Unit 1: Introduction to Everyday Sounds

August 30
Readings: R. Murray Schafer, The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World,
“Introduction,” pp. 3-12, and “The Hi-Fi Soundscape,” pp. 43-44
Brandon LaBelle, “Sound as Hinge,” online at

September 4
Readings: François Augoyard and Henri Torgue, eds., Sonic Experience: A Guide to Everyday Sounds,
“Synecdoche,” pp. 123-129

September 6
Readings: Henri Lefebvre, “The Everyday and Everydayness,” Yale French Studies, no. 73 (available
through JSTOR)
Henri Lefebvre, Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time, and Everyday Life, Chapter 3 (“Seen from the Window”)

September 11
Guy Debord, “Theory of the Dérive,” online at http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/theory.html
Unit 2: Sound Walks and Directed Listening

September 13: Theory
Readings: Viktor Shklovsky, “Art as Device,” in Theory of Prose
Robert Smithson, “Some Void Thoughts on Museums,” in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings

September 18: Sound Walks
Readings: Max Neuhaus, “LISTEN,” online at
Revisit Guy Debord, “Theory of the Dérive”

September 20: Directed Listening
Readings: Pauline Oliveros, Deep Listening: A Composer’s Sound Practice, “Introduction” and “Ways of
David Dunn, [Preface], in Purposeful Listening in Complex States of Time
Dan Graham, “Performer/Audience/Mirror,” in Dan Graham: Works and Collected Writings

Unit 3: Sound Alteration through Architecture and Live Electronics

September 25: Introduction to Aural Architecture
Readings: Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter, Spaces Speak, Are you Listening, Chapter 2 (“Auditory
Spatial Awareness”) (focus on pp. 11-37, 51-66)
Steven Connor, “Resonance,” online at http://www.stevenconnor.com/resonance/resonance.pdf
Emily Ann Thompson, “Sound, Modernity, and History,” in Sound (Documents of Contemporary

September 27: Aural Architecture continued, and Introduction to Live Electronic NetworksReadings: Brandon LaBelle, Background Noise, Chapter 6 (“Conceptualizations: Michael Asher and the Subject of Space”) and Chapter 16 (“Interactions: Achim Wollscheid’s Production of the Local”)

October 2: Live Electronics continued
Readings: Seth Kim-Cohen, “The Hole Truth: Seth Kim-Cohen on Doug Aitken’s Sonic Pavillion,”
online at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_3_48/ai_n56162856/
Christoph Cox, “Sound Arguments” (with response by Seth Kim-Cohen), online at

Unit 4: Sound Production as Intervention
October 4: Max Neuhaus Installations
Readings: Revisit Max Neuhaus, “LISTEN”
Max Neuhaus, “Notes on Place and Moment,” online at http://www.maxneuhaus.
LaBelle, Background Noise, Chapter 10 (“Tuning Space: Max Neuhaus and Site-Specific Sound”)

October 9: Background Music
Readings: Jonathan Sterne, “Urban Media and the Politics of Soundspace,” online at
Michael Bull, Sound Moves: iPod Culture and Urban Experience, Introduction
Brian Eno, “Ambient Music,” in Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music

October 11: Sidewalk
Readings: Brandon LaBelle, Acoustic Territories, Chapter 3 (“Sidewalk: Steps, Gait, and Rhythmic
Journey-Forms”) (focus on pp. 87-116, 123-125)
Anthony Giddens, “Trust and Modernity,” in The Consequences of Modernity, pp. 79-83

October 16: Miscellaneous
Readings: Nicolas Bourriaud, “Relational Form,” in Relational Aesthetics, pp. 11-24

October 18: David Dunn
Readings: David Dunn, “Nature, Sound Art, and the Sacred,” online at

Unit 5: Transmission & Networks
October 23: Bill Fontana
Readings: Bill Fontana, “The Relocation of Ambient Sound: Urban Sound Sculpture,” online at
LaBelle, Background Noise, excerpt from Chapter 15 (“Bill Fontana and Networking the
Soundscape”), pp. 230-237

October 25: Maryanne Amacher City Links
Readings: Ludlow 38, “Maryanne Amacher: City Links,” online at
http://www.ludlow38.org/files/mabooklet.pdf (read p. 2 and the sections about City Links #1 and
Monahan, Gordon. “God’s Big Noise: an Interview with Maryanne Amacher,” Musicworks, Vol. 41
Manuel Castells, “An Introduction to the Information Age,” City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory,
policy, action, Vol. 2, Issue 7 (available through Taylor and Francis online) (focus on pp. 6-7, and
numbered points 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, and the conclusion)

October 30: Max Neuhaus Broadcast Works
Readings: Max Neuhaus, “The Broadcast Works and the Adium,” online at http://www.maxneuhaus.

November 1: Internet Sound-Works
Readings: LaBelle, Background Noise, Chapter 17 (“Global Events: Atau Tanaka and Network as
Instrument”) and Chapter 18 (“Live Streams: Apo33 and Multiplying Place”)

Unit 6: Phonography

November 6: Introduction to Phonography
Readings: Peter Ablinger, “Quadraturen,” online at http://ablinger.mur.at/docu11.html (read the
English text only)
Revisit Thompson, “Sound, Modernity, and History”

November 8: Acoustic Ecology
Readings: Michael Pisaro, “Ten framing considerations of the field (working notes for making field
recordings),” online at
LaBelle, Background Noise, pp. 197-200 and Chapter 13 (“Seeking Ursound: Hildegard Westerkamp,
Steve Peters, and the Soundscape”)
Revisit Dunn, “Nature, Sound Art, and the Sacred”

November 13: Musique Concrète & Xenakis
Readings: Pierre Schaeffer, “Acousmatics,” in Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music
LaBelle, Background Noise, Chapter 2 (“Exposing the Sound Object: Musique Concrète’s Sonic

November 15: Complications and Mediations
Readings: LaBelle, Background Noise, excerpt from Chapter 15 (“Bill Fontana and Networking the
Soundscape”), pp. 237-242
Michael Pisaro, “Some thoughts on the ‘fields have ears’ series,” online at

Unit 7: Collage

November 20: John Cage 1
Readings: John Cage, “The Future of Music: Credo,” in Silence
Branden W. Joseph, “The Tower and the Line,” in Sound (Documents of Contemporary Art), focus
on pp. 43-47

November 27: John Cage 2

Readings: Yvonne Rainer, “Looking Myself in the Mouth,” October, vol. 17, focus on pp. 66-70, 73-76 (available through JSTOR)

November 29: Collage in German critical composition
Readings: Peter Niklaus Wilson, “The Element of Risk in Composition: Six Compositions by
Mathias Spahlinger,” liner notes to Mathias Spahlinger LP

December 4: Collage and the City
Readings: Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author,” in Image-Music-Text

Sounds like my type of class.

And also, over the summer Tucker’s fellow UB composer Jacob Gotlib taught a class called “Music 113- Music and Society: Noise.” You can sample that classes syllabus, readings, and assigned sounds here.