introduction to sound studies

isaw's introduction to sound studies class meets in the art gallery space at DASH
a simple setup, isaw's introduction to sound studies class, art gallery, DASH

Artistic director, Gustavo Matamoros currently teaches an experimental class at the Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH) as part of isaw’s Educational Outreach. Now on it second year, the Introduction to Sound Studies class is offered to students in the 9th-12th grades as an elective under “Leadership Skills Development and Techniques”

The Sound Studies class promotes awareness of the different modalities of listening, and introduces students to the theory and practice of concepts and techniques relative to sound in design, the arts, architecture, mathematics, language, philosophy and other numerous fields of study. It encourages creativity and collaboration in problem solving through the development and implementation of interdisciplinary group projects involving sound. The curriculum assumes no prior knowledge and aimes to focus its attention in the nourishment and development of the auditory mind.


2007-08 – 21 students, one class period (46 hours total)

2008-09 – 25 students, two class periods (92 hours total)

Sound Files:

NASH (20:00) and SOUND SONG (10:00) were created as the final projects for the sound class of 2008:

NASH: After building their own microphone, each student composed her/his own part by developing their own unique sound list and laying it out on a predetermined time line. The piece resulted from the overlapping of all 21 parts in performance.

SOUND SONG: The members of the 2008 sound class created this choral composition by engaging in a feedback process that begins with listening. After a moment of apparent quiet, performers produce sounds that imitate something heard (an accidental sound, the implied resonance of the space, each other, etc.). Others join impelled to do so by the discovery or experience of something different.