Go Deeper A Guide to Megapolis Audio Festival, Pt. 3: Molding Sounds

A Guide to Megapolis Audio Festival, Pt. 3: Molding Sounds

Posted September 13th, 2017

From September 16-17 the fifth Megapolis Audio Festival will descend upon Philadelphia, drawing world class musicians, sound artists, radio producers, and all around audio adepts to join the artistic frenzy that is the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Much like the 2017 Festival’s program, Megapolis’ schedule of events might appear a little daunting at first glance, so to help you navigate it we at the FringeArts Blog are going to break it all down for you into some easily digestible categories. Follow these links to Parts 1 (sound tours), 2 (performances), and 4 (installations and digital works).

For Part 3 we’ll be taking a look at workshops where pass holders can get hands on experience with some complex hardware, learn more about the art of radio storytelling, and more.


Voltage is Sound, Voltage is Drawing
Tim Nohe
Sept 16, 11am @ PhillyCAM
This hands on, all ages workshop encourages participants to experiment with live technological art to create mathematically derived music and drawings. Led by artist, composer, and educator Tim Nohe, the workshop is rooted in expressive drawing, fascinating mathematical discoveries of the 19th century, and the “switched-on” synth music of the 1960s. Participants will experiment with a range of electronic tools from various eras. Compose electronic drawings on an ‘80s era Vectrex game box by controlling a modular synthesizer. Utilize wireless infrared controllers, iPad apps, and touch sensors to shape sounds and draft kinetic drawings.


Blinks, Bleeps, and Bits in the Wild: Breaking the boundaries of littleBits
Ed Bear and Monty Kim
Sept 16, 1pm @ Community College of Philadelphia
littleBits makes technology kits composed of electronic building blocks that empower everyone to create inventions, large and small. To go really large, however, requires some experience, which this workshop will provide. Led by littleBits designers Ed Bear and Monty Kim, participants will be introduced to basic programming, soldering, and design skills. They will learn how to unlock the powerful control, audio synthesis, programming, and connectivity of littleBits to build large multi-channel sound systems, interactive LED sculptures, Bluetooth controlled motors or generators, and whatever else they can invent. No experience necessary.


Makin’ Radio Ravioli
Olivia Bradley-Skill
Sept 16, 1pm @ PhillyCAM
New York based radio producer and sound artist Olivia Bradley-Skill breaks down the nuts and bolts of cut-ups and sound collage and discusses how different sounds marinate together to tickle the ears and echo the extremes of our subconscious. Utilizing sound effects, cut-up speech, and music, nonsense will turn from goofy to maniacal, organic to robotic, and the other way around. At the end participants will build their own collages that create new meanings and flavors.


Multi-Sensory Map Making
Jocelyn Frank, Emily Cohen, and Jay Gregory
Sept 16, 3pm @ PhillyCAM
Award-winning journalist, media consultant, and audio artist Jocelyn Frank; ecological designer Emily Cohen; and geographical information specialist Jay Gregory lead this workshop that pushes the bounds of traditional map making by introducing the concept of multi-sensory maps. Participants explore the limitations of traditional maps before expanding conceptions and imagining the potential for the maps of the future. The workshop concludes with a hands-on production project as participants use creative tools to generate a map of their own.


Tristate Synthesizer Coalition
Tristate Synthesizer Coalition
Sept 16, 3pm @ Community College of Philadelphia
The Tristate Synthesizer Coalition consists of synth enthusiasts from the tristate area. They will be exhibiting their modular instruments and showcasing the sights and sounds of analog electronics. Coalition members will offer advice on getting started with the seemingly daunting hardware and participants will have a chance to get hands-on with the gear. The event culminates with a demo performance by the Coalition.


Politics of Storytelling
Karen Werner
Sept 17, 11:30am @ PhillyCAM
A listening session and discussion hosted by radio producer, sociologist, and professor Karen Werner. Examining profound radio features that illuminate topics such as militarism, the legacy of slavery, and environmental toxicity in a global context, works from producers such as Gregory Whitehead, damali ayo, Jens Jarisch, and Meira Asher will be listened to and discussed. What analysis of power do they present? What are underlying assumptions about the role of a radio documentary as a force for justice—is radio storytelling an intervention, a form of bearing witness?


The Art of Making a Podcast
Jeff Towne
Sept 17, 4pm @ PhillyCAM
This workshop, led by audio engineer and co-producer of the PRI musical soundscape program Echoes, offers burgeoning podcasters tips on gear and techniques for recording, editing, mixing, and distributing audio of all types.