Wild Sound Explorers is an interdisciplinary workshop that explores the intersection between music, technology, and the natural sciences. Students develop an essential understanding of the use of natural sound in art, including its origins, types, manifestations, and aesthetic concerns as they have appeared throughout the Western musical canon and through to our modern era. Working closely with a master composer and field recording artist, students learn to apply relevant practical skills, theoretical knowledge, and philosophical wisdom in the pursuit of meaningful artistic and academic endeavors.

Through a mixture of lectures, field recording sessions, hands-on training, and reading, writing and listening assignments, students gain skills in (1) listening to, understanding, analyzing, and discussing natural sound, (2) field recording – including an introduction to portable recording devices and mobile recording techniques, and (3) compositional techniques. Field sessions take place at nearby locations, ripe with a diverse reservoir of natural sound, including Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Each student should develop a personal approach to the use of natural sound in art, by making original field recordings from which to creatively respond.

© 2020 by Nick Virzi