Interested in sound studies and methods? Join the CUNY Sound Studies and Methods working group, created after the success of the 2017-2018 GCDI Sound Series! Learn more here:


The 2017-2018 GCDI Sound Series #GCDISound includes talks and workshops on topics related to sound analysis, comparison, theory, production, and recording. This series explores a variety of research methods and perspectives on sound, including audio annotation and processing, oral histories and interviews, soundscapes, and DIY audio equipment. We invite scholars from all disciplines to explore ways we can study and use sound in our scholarship and pedagogy.

The breadth of event topics, tools and scopes reflects an interdisciplinary approach to sound studies and methodologies. Events will engage scholars in critical approaches to listening to and theorizing sound, to explore new tools and methodologies for recording, analyzing and producing sound, and to broaden understandings of what constitutes ‘the digital’ in relation to sound.

The GCDI Sound Series is organized by Kelsey Chatlosh, Kristen Hackett, Jojo Karlin, Rachel Rakov and Hannah Aizenman.

Upcoming Events, Spring 2018:

Field-Recording: Beyond Your Ears

Tuesday, February 27th, 6:30-8:30 pm, GC Room C197 (lower level)

In this talk, Zach Poff – New York area media artist, educator, and maker-of-things – will introduce “expanded” recording techniques using D.I.Y transducers to reveal hidden sounds, sonify non-acoustic phenomena, and challenge the assumption of the human listening subject recording “in the field.” We will explore contact mics (which respond to the vibrations of objects), binaural mics (for 3D audio), hydrophones (for underwater listening), synesthetic light-to-sound conversion, VLF radio, and ultrasound. We will listen to examples of sound art, music, and installation works where expanded recordings provoke conversations about subject-hood and “post-human” listening, taking into consideration how the work is diffused into space (via traditional and specialized speaker designs, soundwalks, broadcasting, live-streaming, etc). These techniques are quite accessible for those with more curiosity than money, so I’ll share my resources to help you build transducers for your own work. Bring a sound recorder if you would like to probe CUNY GC’s hidden soundfields. Find more information and register here.

Kentucky Bourbon Tales: Oral History Project, Digital Archive and Documentary

Tuesday, March 6th, 7:00-8:30 pm, GC Room 9204

Kentucky Bourbon Tales Oral History Project, a partnership with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), is a multi-year effort by the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky to document the history of bourbon in the state, and features the stories of the master distillers and bourbon barons from iconic distilleries that participate in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour. The oral history project yielded the documentary “Kentucky Bourbon Tales: Distilling the Family Spirit” which airs on Kentucky Educational Television. Doug Boyd, Executive Producer on the documentary and Director of the Nunn Center, will discuss his role in this oral history project and how it was made into a digital archive and documentary. Find more information and register here.

Doing Digital Oral History Workshop

Wednesday, March 7th, 1:00-3:00 pm, GC Room C202 (lower level)

This workshop will explore the multiple dimensions of the digital oral history process from interview to archive. Workshop instructor Doug Boyd directs the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky and is a national expert on oral history, archives, and digital technologies. Topics included in the workshop will include project design, best practices for recording oral history (audio and video), workflows involving metadata and transcription, affordable opportunities for creating innovative access to oral histories online, as well as exploring issue pertaining to legal and ethical aspects of the oral history process. Find more information and register here.

Sound! Workshop

Tuesday, March 13, 6:30-8:30 pm, GC Room 9207

Does your research involve sound? Would you like to learn more about digital tools for recording, editing and sharing audio files, as well as qualitative coding and transcribing their content? This workshop led by GC Digital Fellow Kelsey Chatlosh will review some hardware, software, techniques and concepts that are useful to scholars working with sound – be it music, voices, soundscapes or otherwise. Learn more about the workshop in her blog post here and register here.

Podcasting Workshop

Tuesday, March 20 6:30-8:30 pm

Are you curious about podcasting? Have you thought about starting one, or being involved in one, but feel unsure about the technology you will need, or the skills required to make it happen? Have you ever wondered if podcasting is a viable medium to integrate into your research, class assignments, public outreach, or departmental projects? This workshop, led by GC Social Media Fellow Naomi Barrettara, will address all of these questions, with a general introduction to the medium and discussion of strategies and opportunities for integrating podcasting into your work as a scholar. We will also talk through the basic technology needed, and what is available to you as a GC student or faculty member to help make your podcast ideas realistically possible. We will end the workshop with a short collaborative demo, designed to demonstrate the process of bringing a podcast episode into existence, from choosing a topic and planning content, through the process of recording, producing, and publishing an episode. No technical skills or prior experience with podcasting or audio editing is required, only an interest in the medium and a desire to learn more about it!  Register here.

Short Documentaries ITP Skills Lab

Thursday, March 22, 4:15-6:15 pm

Led by GC Urban Education PhD Student Sara Vogel through the GC Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program. Workshop description will be announced soon. Find more information and register here.

Audio Annotation with Praat and Python Workshop

Tuesday, March 27th, 6:30-8:30 pm

Praat is best known as a standard tool for doing phonetics with computers, but is also a terrific open-source tool for any type of audio annotation. Quick to download and easy to use, Praat’s TextGrid tool provides users with several options for multiple layers of annotation, allowing the user to be as specific as is needed when annotating audio for any type of research. This workshop led by GC Digital Fellow Rachel Rakov will introduce participants to Praat’s TextGird annotation system, and provide useful information on performing manual audio annotation. This workshop will also introduce TextGridTools (Buschmeier, H. & Włodarczak, M., 2013), an open-source toolkit for Python that allows users to easily import and navigate their TextGrid annotations as Python objects. This toolkit makes analyzing your annotations with Python very straightforward. Combine these two tools is a great way to annotate your audio data and manage it well for analysis. Register here.

More events TBA.

Past Events, Fall 2017:

Sound Workshop

Wednesday, October 11th, 6:30-8:30 pm
Kicking off the GCDI Sound Series: A Workshop on Sound

Music Performance Analysis

Thursday, November 16th, 6:30-8:30 pm, Room 9206

Organizer: Jojo Karlin

GC Digital Initiatives Sound Series continues with Music Performance Analysis. Dr. Johanna Devaney will introduce and teach her open-source software, Automatic Music Performance Analysis and Comparison Toolkit. Join us to learn about developing music software and to try out this toolkit for examining intervals between notes, tempo and relative dynamic level between notes, frequency and vibrato, and other aspects of performed sound.