Sonic Arts grew out of the Video Arts program at Alfred University and is
an integral part of the Division of Expanded Media. Sonic Art is a relatively new and rapidly expanding artistic practice. It has been said by many that there is currently a sonic boom taking place in contemporary art; sonic art can be found in museums and galleries around the world. The first question one might ask is “what is Sonic Art?” There are many answers to this question, but the simple and perhaps most useful is
“anything you can do with sound that is not necessarily music. ” This definition, stated so openly, allows artists to consider sound as a material for a whole series of creative investigations rarely considered in the world of the “serious composer. ” Historically, these investigations have included: digital manipulation of sound, sound installation, sound sculpture, electroacoustics, ambient music, loops, noise composition, soundtracks for video, graphic notation, body music, minimalism, structuralism, and silence. Corresponding to the larger philosophy of the division of Expanded Media, the Sonic Arts curriculum focuses on the use of technology in a creative art-making context. The investigation of these various strategies and their applications in an independent and
creative context expands the range of possibilities for sound to be synthesized into the multitude of new hybrid forms.
Students working in sound will experience a wide range of technologies and theories necessitated in the production of sound art. These elements include but are not limited to digital sound processing and post production techniques, digital/analog sound synthesis, digital multi-track editing, electroacoustic sound processing, sound for the web, graphic notation, improvisation, installation works with sound, and signal analysis. These elements are explored within an extremely creative atmosphere where students are encouraged to explore both assignment-based works and independent projects. Projects range from the production of compact discs to multimedia installations to soundtracks for video.