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ICMC Workshop: Kids and Contact Mics

2010 International Computer Music Conference

Ends Monday, June 7, 2010 at 9:00 PM (EDT)

ICMC Workshop: Kids and Contact Mics

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee Quantity
All Sessions (General Enrollment) 10 Tickets Ended $190.00 $5.74
Session 2 (general enrollment) 10 Tickets Ended $135.00 $4.37
Session 2 (students and conference registrants) 10 Tickets Ended $120.00 $3.99

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Event Details

Notice:  Sessions may be taken independently.  To participate in the concert, students must take at least on of the two offered sessions.

Session 1 - May 30th 12pm-3pm COMPLETED

Session 2 - June 6th 12pm-3pm OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT!

Concert - June 7th 6pm-9pm @ The Tank on June 7th starting 8pm

Instructor:  Joe Mariglio [joe(dot)mariglio(at)gmail(dot)com]

Title:  Kids and Contact Mics

Topics/Keywords: Electroacoustic for Kids, Noise, DIY, Signal Processing, Amplification, Sculptures


Students will participate in a series of interactive workshops that will elaborate on each other until their completion. The first stage establishes a foundation in a few of the technical and creative aspects of sound-making, while the second stage focuses on compositional strategies and collaborative performance. The empowering process of discovery underlies every section of the program, as the young participants establish an active role with the everyday technology that pervades their lives. Rudimentary physics and mathematics will be applied to the cooperative craft of composition and improvisation. All workshops will be replete with examples and live demonstrations to provide a launch pad for the students to explore their everyday environment with new tools of discovery, driven by their imagination.


Covered in Each Session: (May 30th & June 6)

Amplification and Feedback
The first workshop will deal with the topics of piezo-electricity and amplification as a tool for creativity. Students will learn about basic physical properties, such as tension and mass, in the context of hunting for interesting noises produced with everyday objects, using contact microphones to amplify them and speakers to activate them. Special attention will be paid to discussing what each noise ‘sounds like,’ in an attempt to loosely categorize them. At the end of the session, students will choose their favorite sound and demonstrate it to the class. Students will be encouraged to find and bring in potentially interesting sound sources they’d like to amplify or activate.

Listening, Processing, and Playing
The second workshop will begin with demonstrations of analog signal processing techniques. If the students are advanced enough and there is interest, it would be possible to introduce digital signal processing as well. Each student will create an instrument or palette they are especially interested in. The focus will be on allowing each student to find his or her unique voice. After a few listening exercises and discussions, the students will create a ‘dictionary’ for their emergent sound language. There will be a brief consensus about how to represent these sound types with drawings. We will then rehearse structured improvisations, conducted by one or several teachers.

Rehearsal & Final Concert: (June 7th)

Students will perform a collective structured improvisation using their hand-made instruments, loosely guided by the instructors. Depending on the group, this performance should last around fifteen minutes.

Instructor Bio:

My name is Joe, and I’m a sound artist living in Brooklyn.  I’m a recent graduate of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch.  My master’s thesis on notation in experimental art may be found here: .  Since graduating, I have been teaching classes through Harvestworks and on my own, to supplement my freelance programming and electronics work.  About a month ago, I was lucky enough to work on designing and implementing a three-day curriculum for the Unsound Festival with a few fellow ITP alumni, spearheaded by Lori Napoleon.  During these workshops I realized I should be teaching kids.  Since then, I have been looking for opportunities to empower young people to be creative with technology and mathematics.  I am continuing with graduate level work, and would love to get some experience in this area to refine my focus for the dissertation. 

The chance to set preconceptions about the sciences straight is a large part of what inspires me.  I love the idea of showing a young creative person that participating in math and science can –and should—be a creative experience.  Similarly, I seek to shatter the stereotypes so prevalent in music education.  I want to facilitate creating a space for which there is little or no cultural precedent.  Most of all, I seek to share the sense of empowerment that comes with learning to communicate with technology, rather than simply consuming it.  Therefore, my teaching practice and my making practice are really the same.  I seek the collective experience of empowered creativity.

Have questions about ICMC Workshop: Kids and Contact Mics? Contact 2010 International Computer Music Conference
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