Random Walk: Acoustic Instrument Design
Thayer School took advantage of Dartmouth’s December break to offer five short, free, non-credit “Winterim” courses. Some students opted for Exploration with Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy, Biotechnology for Beginners, Your Research Identity, and Internet of Things. Others chose Acoustic Instrument Design, in which they built structures that will serve as musical instruments for a new work by composer Molly Herron that was commissioned by Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts. “I wanted to work with students at Thayer creating some kind of musical instrument that I could use as part of this piece,” says Herron, who taught the course with Professors Vicki May and Ulrike Wegst. “These students have been so dedicated, and it’s been so refreshing to be in a space where people are doing such different work but are engaged, creative, open-minded thinkers.” The course was as much about material properties as about music. “This course is a really cool way to explore a lot of different materials and get a sense of them in a way that you normally wouldn’t,” says MacKenzie Kynoch ’19. The Dartmouth community will be able to hear the results May 4 when Herron conducts her composition in GlycoFi Atrium as part of Thayer’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
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