Week 14 Assignment Guide

Digital/Human Music

Since the advent of the personal computer and digital music interfaces, the roles of composer/songwriter, performer, and producer have been deconstructed and hybridized in ways that have drastically changed music. Not only have artists like Radiohead, Björk, Imogen Heap, The Postal Service, and Air created music in new ways, but entire genres have emerged from the possibilities created by digital music creating/production. In this unit, we'll explore some of that music as we look at Björk's album Biophilia, and use digital audio editing software to build our own sonic creations.

We'll also explore and solidify final project ideas.


For Monday (8am)

Listen to Björk's album Biophilia. Choose a song on the album and find out everything you can about the song ― what it means, what inspired it, what instruments are involved, what instruments Björk invented/created/modded for the song, what non-standard singing techniques she uses, the difference between the studio recording and the live performance, ... anything you can find. Share the highlights (with links as appropriate) in the #digital-human-music channel on Slack.

For Tuesday's class

Look over a few of the #digital-human-music posts from your colleagues and reply to at least two of them. Also install Audacity or another audio editing app (such as GarageBand or Logic Pro) and come ready to play around with it in class.

Think about a possible short-form audio project you might create. These should be about 20-40 seconds long, and should incorporate audio from multiple sources. Details can be found below. For previous projects that may get the creative juices flowing, check out the audio projects on my DS106 Inspire page. If you know what you want to do, start collecting some possible audio clips to include.

Come up with a (couple) possible idea(s) for your final project and share it with me on Slack. See the End-of-Semester Guide for details.

Tuesday class meeting

We'll spend most of class discussing Biophilia, sharing project ideas/work-in-progress, and playing with audio editing software.

For Thursday's class

Complete your audio project and post it in #digital-human-music on Slack. Optionally, share it on your domain and/or on social media. Be sure to follow these details carefully:

Audio should be between 20 and 40 seconds long.

Include at least 5 different audio clips in your project. These can be spliced together back-to-back, superimposed on top of each other, or both. These clips can include:

  • audio you record yourself
  • short musical clips
  • scenes from an existing radio broadcast or podcast
  • sounds or loops built into your audio editing program
  • sound effects downloaded from the internet
  • sounds extracted from a YouTube video

Also, finalize your final project idea.

Thursday class meeting

In Thursday's class, we'll show off and discuss finished work, reflect on the process, figure out any last-second tech support that is needed, and kickstart work on final projects.

For Friday (8am)

Finish any necessary work on your audio project. This may involve finishing after getting stuck and receiving help on Thursday, or making any necessary last-second changes.

Be sure to do some work on your domain this week. That could simply be posting your project and linking to it from your main domain, with a little contextual explanation.

Complete your self-assessment for Week 14 and add it to the document you created last week. Be sure to comment on the updates you made to your domain, and include links to project work and at least some of your annotations/replies.

For materials due finals week, see the End-of-Semester Guide.


HCC Resources

  • HCC Equipment Checkout, where you can sign out consumer- and professional-grade audio, video, and photography equipment for your digital art projects
  • HCC Vocal Booth, where you can sign out the soundproof vocal booth for your recording projects