Kirk gives presentation at TED-like talk about The Argus Project

Apr 11, 2014

Jonathon Kirk, North Central College assistant professor of music, copresented at a TEDx talk in February at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Kirk presented alongside Dr. Lee Weisert, assistant professor of music at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Their presentation, titled “Subaquatic Sound Art,” showcased and explained the delightful, innovative electronic music they produced from a fusion of technology and nature. Their technique, called The Argus Project, used submersible hydrophones to record unsettling sounds of unknown origin. For instance, underwater microphones detected changes in temperature and light throughout the day and night, giving an evolving performance from under the water.

“In some ways we might be subverting our expected roles as composers … of musical works,” Kirk said during the presentation. “But I don’t think it matters. I think the search for new sounds requiring new compositional methods is inherent. It’s the realization that the music is already there.”

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Kirk has been teaching music at North Central since 2010. He received his B.A. from Augustana College, an M.M. from Eastman School of Music, an M.A. from Brown University and a D.Mus. from Northwestern University.