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MIDI / Synthesis - Private Lesson Studio

What is the Performance Technology studio?

The Performance Technology studio (formerly called the MIDI / Synthesis studio) is part of the Commercial Music & Audio Production program. It focuses on live performance with music technology. The studio is anchored in 4 disciplines: sound design, audio production, computer literacy, and performance. Students do the following in their weekly lessons:

  • Create unique sounds and textures (sound design)
  • Enhance their DAW sessions to sound clearer and more well-balanced (audio production)
  • Configure the computer to enable a smooth performance (computer literacy)
  • Practice performing with music technology (performance)

Piano keyboard performance is part of the weekly lesson regiment. This is because keyboard is a prevailing tool in tech world. Every Performance Technology student must study keyboard performance. However, students are free to explore other instruments in addition to keyboard, such as--but not limited to--analog synthesizer, launchpad, Theremin, turntable, or Arduino. 

Below is a performance given by Performance Tech student Gabe Spivey (class of 2021). This is the kind of work students learn to produce in their private lessons:

Dreamless by Gabe Spivey

Who is the Performance Technology private instructor?

Dr. Justin Leo Kennedy is a composer and sound artist engaged in live electronic music performance and game audio. He's been invited to show his work at various conferences and festivals, including the Spoleto Festival (Italy), ISEA (Hong Kong), SEAMUS (Georgia), MUSLAB (Mexico), and the Game Sound Conference (Los Angeles).

Prior to academia, Justin worked full-time in the commercial market as Creative Director at Baltu Technologies, where he composed music for games, did sound design for VR applications, and programmed interactive media installations. His current research explores control possibilities of audio hardware and analog equipment through the use of face- and eye-tracking software. Here are examples of Dr. Kennedy's live performances:

Performances by Dr. Kennedy

 What kind of music do Performance Technology students make?

1) Alkaline by SALT
2) Life of a Hero by Cody-Lee Keener

Every person enrolled in lessons with Dr. Kennedy learns to play jazz and pop standards. However, performances given with music technology may be in any genre. Performance Tech students are also welcome to create their own electronic musical instruments, such as softsynths, sample libraries, or circuit-bends. In addition, they may ask for feedback from Dr. Kennedy on music created outside of class, as long as the required coursework is completed first. To the left are a couple tracks made by Performance Technology students.

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