Sound artist Derek Holzer will be teaching a two-evening course entitled Learning to Listen at the Marfa Book Company on January 6th and 7th, 2013. Each class begins at 6 pm, will last about two hours, is free and open to people of all ages.
The course includes an introduction to different disciplines of listening, to the world of handmade electronics, and to the basic gear for making field recordings. There will also be listening exercises where students are asked to write, speak and draw responses to a variety of recordings that Derek has chosen.
Here is Derek's description of the classes:
I do what I do because I never learned to play the guitar. Starting with an interest in field recording and environmental sound, I soon moved to teaching myself to build first digital and then analog non-traditional sound instruments as a way out of the problems of "virtuosity" in music. A great deal of my work involves simply listening, whether to natural or electronically generated soundscapes, searching for that beautiful chaos of birds, hailstorms or cicadas that produce the kinds of dense, arrhythmic textures that I enjoy the most.
As my work is so much about learning to listen, this two day artist-talk and workshop will focus on the art of listening. I'll start by introducing my history, my practice and the instruments I create. We'll continue by listening to several field recordings by myself (and possibly others), using these as a springboard to talk about listening from the perspectives of both science (physics, acoustics, psychoacoustics, psychology, etc) and culture (musicology, anthropology, architecture, urban planning, film studies, etc).
There will be opportunities on the second day for workshop participants to play and discuss their own soundscapes, and we will work towards a definition of what "soundscape" actually means. The workshop concludes with an introduction to some of the tools I use to both record natural soundscapes and create my own electronic soundscapes.
This workshop is open to the public and participation is by a donation of your choice. Please bring your own paper and a writing/drawing tool as these will be very important during the workshop!"
Derek Holzer (1972) is an American sound artist based in Berlin, Germany, whose current interests include DIY analog electronics, sound art, field recording and the meeting points of electroacoustic, noise, improv and extreme music. He has played live experimental sound, as well as taught workshops in noise art technology, across Europe, North America, Brazil and New Zealand.
Derek is also one of the founders of the marvelous SOUND TRANSIT, an upload site for field recording artists and enthusiasts from all over the world. At SOUND TRANSIT, you can freely upload or simply listen to sounds based on their geographic origin, as well as a number of other criteria. It's a cool thing.