What is your course about?
“Music Creation in the Digital Age” is about how digital technology affects and determines the conditions of music creation and music labor. It's all about AI in music production, sampling and beatmaking ethics, streaming services, and the so-called democratization of music access due to digital technology. We will approach these from both practical and theoretical perspectives, and students will gain experience in using several platforms and apps to create their own music.
What inspired your course?
I took a course in Pop Studies last year with musicology professor Charles Hiroshi Garrett in which we discussed music technology, including AI that write songs, holograms that perform, and the use of Autotune. These topics got me interested in Digital Studies more broadly, which led me to pursue the graduate certificate! As a music producer myself, I'm passionate about helping students learn how to create their own music, using whatever technology they may have at their disposal—if you have a laptop, even if you have a smartphone, you can make great music!
What can students expect from a class with you?
Students can expect a discussion-centered class, as well as large chunks of class time devoted to learning music software programs. This class will be hands-on!
What’s the text you’re most excited about on the syllabus?
One of our early readings will be Melissa Avdeeff's article "Artificial Intelligence and Popular Music: SKYGGE, Flow Machines, and the Audio Uncanny Valley." This piece is really fascinating; I think students will love it. We’ll also use it to explore some of the entries to the AI Song Contest and AI features in music creation software like Boomy, BandLab, and Logic.
Is there anything else you’d like students to know about your course?
The final project for this course will be open-ended—students will have a choice between creating a short research paper, a podcast episode, or a musical composition. My hope is that everyone who takes this class, regardless of their musical ability, leaves feeling like they have the ability and tools to make their own music!
What does a typical day online look like for you?
Typically I'm on email first thing in the morning (hate that, but it's true). I'm also interested in TikTok, so I check mine pretty frequently. I've pared down my social network use for my mental health, so I'm on FB and Insta only once or twice a day for a few minutes. Most of my online day looks like schoolwork actually:checking Canvas, doing research, downloading readings, etc. And I'm also a voice teacher, so I teach voice lessons via Zoom a few days a week!