Talk by Lauren Hayes

Sound, Electronics, and Music: A Radical and Hopeful Experiment in Early Music Education

Discussions of pedagogical approaches to computer music are often rooted within the realm of higher education alone. This presentation describes Sound, Electronics, and Music, a large-scale project in which tutelage was provided on various topics related to sound and music technology to around 900 schoolchildren in Scotland in 2014 and 2015. Sixteen schools were involved, including two schools for additional support needs. The project engaged several expert musicians and researchers to deliver the different areas of the course. Topics included collective electroacoustic composition, hardware hacking, field recording, and improvisation. A particular emphasis was placed on providing a form of music education that would engender creative practice that was available to all, regardless of musical ability and background. The findings and outcomes of the project suggest that we should not be restricting to the university level the discussion of how to continue to educate future generations in the practices surrounding computer music. We may be failing to engage an age group that is growing readily familiar with the skills and vocabulary surrounding new technologies.

Lauren's bio:

Lauren Hayes is a musician, improviser, and sound artist who builds and performs with hybrid analogue/digital instruments. She is Assistant Professor of Sound Studies within the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at Arizona State University where she founded the research group Practice and Research in Enactive Sonic Arts (PARIESA). Her research centers around embodied and enactive music cognition, enactive approaches to digital instrument design, interdisciplinary improvisation, and haptic technologies. Her writing has been published in major journals in her field (Contemporary Music Review, Organised Sound, Computer Music Journal) and her work on interdisciplinarity within research fields in collaboration with Adnan Marquez-Borbon recently was awarded the Best Paper at the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. She has been commissioned by major festivals including the London Jazz Festival, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival with a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast as part of its 2017 International Showcase, and Sonica, for which she gave four sold-out performances inside Hamilton Mausoleum, Scotland, famous for once holding the longest echo of any man-made structure. She has performed extensively across Europe and the US and her most recent release Embrace [Superpang] was included in Bandcamp's Best Experimental Music February 2021. She is Director-At-Large of the International Computer Music Association, and a member of the New BBC Radiophonic Workshop, with whom she has been involved in the Oram Awards, responsible for promoting forward-thinking work from women and gender-marginalized artists.