Schedule as of Oct 11, 2022 - subject to change

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Wednesday, October 19 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
A research-enriched pedagogy to democratize audio knowledge

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We have recently carried out four audio workshops whose program and pedagogy were built upon best practices with regards to equity, diversity, and inclusion to enhance access to professional audio training and engage the new generation of sound engineers in a critical dialog on music production cultures and digital audio technologies. These include two events in Western Africa, one at the University Gaston-Berger in Saint-Louis (Senegal) in June 2021, and one at Association Tadiazt in Bamako (Mali) in March 2022; and two events in Canada, namely the 2nd edition of the Audio+ research forum at the University of Victoria (BC) in November 2021, and one within the Women in the Studio Program hosted by Music Publishers Canada (MPC) in Toronto (ON) in September 2022. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), French National Research Agency (ANR), and MPC, these events primarily aim to teach scientific knowledge to sound engineers and music producers who are systemically excluded from or do not have access to formal audio training. Our purpose is also to bridge culture gaps between academia and the industry.

We will introduce the panel with our teaching philosophy. McNally and Pras who both teach in university programs aim to increase the diversity of their student population through the relevance of their curriculum to the current context of music production. They draw upon feminist computer sciences and music education literature to deconstruct audio education’s patriarchal tradition and privileged lineage, and to develop integrated learning methods to democratize the technical knowledge of Tonmeisters, i.e. a title of that both presenters hold in addition to Clemens-Seely, and that designates sound professionals who are trained in elitist music and sound recording programs that require a high level of scientific fluency and conservatory training. Moreover, Oubda and Clemens-Seely who both teach in non-formal audio programs focus on enabling applied, practical learning opportunities, and non-academic apprenticeship. Finally, Olivier and Pras have mentored students as research assistants to examine pop music production practices in Western African recording studios. Their partnership led them to identify a music industry patronage from North to Western Africa for the mixing and mastering stages of renowned Western African musicians’ productions, primarily due to technical knowledge gaps and the near absence of professional audio programs locally.

We will highlight key moments of the workshops illustrated by photos and video excerpts, to inspire the AES audio education community to de-gender and de-colonize their curriculum and pedagogy, in particular when it comes to teaching tacit and experiential knowledge. To show evidence of the teaching effectiveness of our audio education approach, Olivier and our research assistants will report on feedback from workshop attendees who participated in post-event surveys and semi-directed interviews. Furthermore, Olivier will share her perspective on our critical audio education approach as an anthropologist who has conducted fieldwork in Africa for thirty years, and our research assistants will share their perspective on the future of audio education as young professionals in the field who represent a range of social identities.

We will conclude with a Q&A, and a call for joining our team to extend the Audio+ concept to curate research and education events in different countries and audio communities, and to implement solutions to overcome political and social inequalities in access to higher audio education.

avatar for Amandine Pras

Amandine Pras

Lecturer in Sound Recording and Music Production, University of York
Amandine Pras is leading the Master of Art in Music Production and Audio Cultures at the School of Art and Creative Technologies of the University of York, UK. With a background as a sound engineer and music producer in alternative jazz and contemporary musics, she develops funded... Read More →
avatar for Kirk McNally

Kirk McNally

Associate Professor, Music Technology, University of Victoria
Kirk McNally is a recording engineer, music producer and sound artist living in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He received his Master’s of Music in Sound Recording from McGill University. As a recording engineer he has held positions at the Tanglewood Music Centre (Lenox, MA... Read More →
avatar for Emmanuelle Olivier

Emmanuelle Olivier

Senior Research Fellow in ethnomusicology, CNRS
Dr. Emmanuelle Olivier is an Ethnomusicologist, Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Scientific Research, and Lecturer at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris. Emmanuelle has worked in Mali since 2001 on the creative process of popular music... Read More →
avatar for Max McKinnon

Max McKinnon

Research Assistant, University of Lethbridge
Max McKinnon is a 5th year Bachelor of the Digital Audio Arts program in the Music Department at The University of Lethbridge. Since Fall 2020, he has indexed and edited video data collected in West African recording studios as a research assistant for Dr. Amandine Pras’ SSHRC-funded... Read More →
avatar for Leonard Menon

Leonard Menon

Leonard Menon is currently a grad student enrolled in McGill's Masters of Sound Recording program. A second generation Canadian, Menon began his musical journey as a guitar player and performer based in Edmonton, Alberta. He had a fascination with all things music-related and guided... Read More →

Wednesday October 19, 2022 1:30pm - 3:00pm EDT