My primary focus is to develop new curriculum for an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Music degree in Composition and New Media. Although it is in development, there exist a number of interesting collaborative opportunities with UML's Art, Digital Media and related departments. UML has a wonderful Sound Recording Technology program with an outstanding reputation. The music program also offers degrees in Music Studies (Education), Music Business and Performance. The Composition and New Media degree integrates modern composition techniques for visual media and some creative pathways for students to explore. Pending design, revision and approval, the program starts in the fall 2016 semester. My sincere hope is the new degree will support current offerings and establish its own creative identity. It's a thrill to be part of something from the very beginning. Here's hoping for a smooth process throughout the next 18 months!
This semester, I co-taught Musicianship and Analysis, which is a four-semester sequence integrating ear training, keyboarding, theory and aural skills. I continue that sequence next semester (Level 1 and Level 4) and will teach a Survey of Music Technology course for Music Business majors. Additionally, I will co-teach an interdisciplinary course called Sound Thinking, which combines computer programming and music concepts. That should be a very rewarding experience. UML seems to embrace the interdisciplinary model. I find that intriguing and inspiring. The University continues to grow and expand, and it's a very exciting time to be on campus. Each day I'm inspired by my colleagues and their collective talents. The students are great and I'm enjoying getting to know each cohort.
I finished an MFA in Music and Sound for Visual Media from Academy of Art University this May. My thesis project involved producing a short documentary on the work of painter Aaron Douglas. I learned a lot through the process and hope to expand on that creative research in the future. The project involved shooting, editing and sequencing interviews and still footage, music scoring and some sound design. I had some assistance in the final mix from my good friend John Freyermuth, an excellent audio engineer and former colleague. He was integral in finalizing the composite soundtrack elements. I started my doctorate at the University of the Cumberlands this spring. My curricular focus is with Educational Leadership. I have some ways to go before completion, but enjoy the coursework and supportive instruction thus far. I take one course each fall and spring, and hope to finish two each summer to complete the degree in the next three or four years.
I presented a paper at the Audio Technologies for Music and Media Conference in Ankara, Turkey back in November. The final paper appears in the conference proceedings to be released in early 2015. I enjoyed the experience and met some very interesting scholars engaging in creative audio research. I hope to collaborate with them this upcoming year. The week prior to the ATMM conference, I presented a shorter version of my paper at the MAPACA conference in Baltimore. I'm grateful that organization for providing new researchers with a platform to grow and refine their ideas. It was my first conference presentation in almost three years. Suffice it to say I was a bit nervous, but am glad I got to work out some of those nerves!
My research path has been somewhat non-traditional. I completed my MFA degree via distance-learning and will do the same with my Ed.D. As such, I'm working hard to grow in all forms of research analysis, formatting and citation, literature review and interpretation. Although exciting, it's been a busy time studying, reading current literature, sending out abstracts, revising article submissions and preparing scores for possible live performance. I'm so thankful though. The work is rewarding, challenging and engaging. I aspire to "catch up" quickly and establish a consistent and solid research path over the next couple of years while contributing positively to my institution. I'm learning that the reward of scholarship is the process itself. I believe the hardest part is waiting.
Generally, I like to have diverse pathways in generating research ideas. The more I read about music technology, audio production, composition, education and interdisciplinary collaboration...the more I want to know. The first semester brought some challenges, but I finished several projects and have several others underway. I do hope to balance out some of the work with some fun. Boston (and New England in general) has some wonderful culture. This spring I plan to explore a lot.
I must say, with the competitiveness academia inspires, I focus on remaining focused, positive and productive. In every position I've had, I've met great people and learned a tremendous amount. Recently, I spent two years as an administrator at a two-year institution in Texas. I met some of the most wonderful colleagues and students. I learned so much about program management and have great respect for those who are successful in that endeavor. I take many fond memories of my experience there and am grateful for the friendships I acquired.
Lastly, should you have ideas for musical or research-based collaboration, I'd love to hear from you. I'm very open to such ideas and if our collective interests overlap, please feel free to say hello. This website is a work in progress. I've attached some links to recent work (both musical and research-based) and plan to add more in the near future. Thank you for reading and best wishes for a great holiday season!