A questionnaire I was requested to complete by the Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Design, less than 200 words, with a three-day turnaround.

 

The answers were printed in the College of Fine Arts and Design Impressions magazine, as part of the “Featured Faculty” series.

 

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  1. What piece of music has had the most impact on you and why?

  2. What is the task of the teacher?

  3. Can you give an example of an assignment that challenged your students to produce their best work?

  4. Tell me about your professional life outside of ACM.

 

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1. One piece of music that reliably works as an instigator to my own writing is “Sæglópur” by Sigur Ros. The aggression of punk music joins with the gentleness of the bell/piano countermelodies; and the coda sounds like aurora borealis captured in sound. 

 

2. In 9th grade, I was given a college poetry text by my English teacher, Mrs. Foster, who noticed my curiosity and drive to read outside the canon of that class a bit. So as a teacher now, myself, I hope to identify my students’ curiosities in learning, encourage them to dig into them, and equip them with specific tools to exploit their curiosities in concrete ways. 

 

3. In our first run of the Advanced Ableton Live class at ACM@UCO, I had the students sample a small portion of air conditioner howl in the room. They were then tasked with creating melodic music, including percussive sounds, from this humble, ambient, and noisy sample. They created fascinating pieces from this that showed their skills in composition, imagination, and technical command of music software.

 

4. Outside of ACM@UCO, I write and perform my own music as Young Weather; work as a session and live drummer; run my own small recording/production studio; am on staff at Frontline Church as audio/creative director; and play keys/synth with Beau Jennings & the Tigers.