Here’s how Blastmaster KRS-One autographs slipmats – not mine, unfortunately, but a friend’s:
I teach a capstone course on language and composition. I usually teach it through a sound studies lens. After a few trial runs, I finally got a chance to build a small site to showcase some of the sound work students created. The semester this work came from, the Larry Nassar scandal came to light on campus, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting took place in Florida. It was one of the heaviest semester I’ve ever experienced. This weight is reflected in the sonic compositions students made. They took the risk. Here’s how one group described their project:
This installation reveals voices that have been forced to be silent for so long. Although this project does not depict all voices that were affected by Larry Nassar and his enablers, it brings light to and focuses on the voices of survivors rather than the surrounding noise. This installation highlights the fact that those affected are survivors and not victims of their experiences. In this installation, you are given the choice to listen to these voices and come to terms with these horrific events in your own way.
Reading: Light reading in the midst of a heavy writing week, but a quick pass through “The New PhD: Momentum grows to rewrite the rules of graduate training” (which I believe is behind a pay wall). I was happy to see two familiar names mentioned in the piece: Nick Sousanis for his dissertation in comics and A.D. Carson for his dissertation as a rap album.
Writing: Some final work on a Whiting Foundation grant to connect sound artists with teachers for community-rooted projects. A colleague of mine talks about “writing through” the ideas. This process applied to the Whiting Fellowship application in the best way. Writing my way through the thick of it, I came to the idea of soundmaking publics:
I conceptualize soundmaking publics as hip-hop and electronic music producers, DJs, and artists who apply the aural humanities in schools, libraries, recreational centers, and other public spaces. Soundmaking publics make the aural tools and methods of the humanities available to young people, not-so-young people, and everyone in between. Soundmaking publics exist as open, community-facing alternatives to the private spaces where sound making typically happens: professional recording studios or private ones in artists’ homes. As the birthplace of techno and home of J. Dilla, Detroit has a rich presence of soundmaking publics.
Listening: Corinne Bailey Rae did a cover of Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover” a while back, and I really need to have it on 12 inch.