The Digital Humanities Summer Scholars internship has helped me to expand my interests and given me a whole new set of tools for exploring future research questions.
Having the whole of six weeks to focus on one topic has given me the opportunity to explore other interests I did not even know I had before. Before this internship, I felt that working with online digital tools was a skill just beyond my reach. Once I first began to work with tools like Scalar and TimelineJS, I realized that creating digital content can be a surprisingly intuitive and creative process. Now that I am hooked on digital media in a similar way that I am hooked on music creation, this internship has added many entries to my list of academic interests. I have even registered for an introductory computer science course in digital media and I am looking into the possibility of adding an art class in media art. My main interest in digital media, as my project suggests, is in exploring sound. I think I can gain multiple perspectives on this topic from different disciplines.
As an Anthropology/Sociology and Music double major, I am very familiar with using sound in a musical context, but the most fascinating and revelatory research I completed for this project was in the field of sound studies. The idea that musical and unmusical sound can be studied throughout history in its cultural and technological aspects in an academic setting is new to me. I think that there is a tremendous amount of unexplored potential for using digital tools to portray and explore sound. My work with different synthesizer technologies in the Synth Guide is only the tip of the iceberg for ideas that I have to explore sound in these ways.
The thing that most excites me about my finished project is that is easily accessible to others. Unlike most of my other academic work, the Synth Guide is published online. Beyond the fact that it is open-access, I hope that its interactive aesthetic will welcome the user and its multiple content layers will persuade them to keep exploring the site. The Synth Guide is my first real step into the online world of Digital Humanities. I hope that the site will connect me to likeminded individuals and perhaps serve as a small forum in the larger discussion surrounding the legacy of sound in electronic music synthesis.