Wild Sound Explorers is an interdisciplinary workshop which explores the intersection between music & sound art, 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/field recording artist, students learn to apply relevant practical, theoretical, and philosophical knowledge & wisdom in the pursuit of meaningful artistic and academic endeavors, and as a tool for activism.


Through a mixture of lectures, field recording sessions, reading, writing & listening assignments, and hands-on training, students will 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 Lake Lagunita and 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.

© 2019 by Nick Virzi