Creative Projects from PMC Students

Popular Music & Culture students who are enroled in the Coursework with Creative Project stream undertake a variety of creative works which focus on things such recording, composing, arranging, and related fields, or any combination of these areas. Below are some examples of creative works from PMC students.

To: Virginia - Hannah Buckley (2019)

"To: Virginia is Hannah Buckley's most recent collection of songs, which marries her interests in traditional popular song form, field recording, and ambient composition. To: Virginia is not partisan to any genre. To: Virginia was composed with nylon string guitar, voice, field recordings collected in Virginia and Ontario, and analogue synthesizers. Written in between places and recorded in London, Ontario during Hannah's second year of graduate school, To: Virginia is a tangled reflection on home that yearns for a sense of place and purpose, while simultaneously asking for a bigger world than one can imagine for herself. In this collection of songs, Hannah inquires what does it mean to grow, and what happens to us if we stay the same? Hannah's candid and polysemous verse illustrates a narrative of frustrated growth that is earnest and unsure in equal measure and that celebrates love as a grounding force. To: Virginia offers fewer answers than questions but is relentlessly honest and urgently hopeful."

Yelp Dust - Lucas Zielke (2018)

"Yelp Dust explores the boundaries of lo-fi audio recording and production practices. Sonic information was collected through transducing acoustic sound to digital signal in a combination of spontaneous field and studio recording settings. The mixing and mastering processes unified these unlikely sounds and simultaneously emphasized the unrefined sound quality. The result of these processes is a 23 track sound collage."

Caves & Emanations - Jeff Donison (2018)

"Caves & Emanations focuses on both analog and digital recording practices through predominantly post-rock and hip-hop compositions. Each track on disc two contains an original guitar or piano sample from disc one, emphasizing lo-fi and ambient sonic traits tailored towards streaming service instrumental playlists. Simultaneously, despite the music industry's heavy reliance on marketing the single through digital platforms, this project repeats various musical textures characteristic of the traditional concept album that is often neglected in contemporary popular music culture."

The Music Is the Message - Jordan Mandel (2012)

"The Music Is the Message is the commercial release of the creative project I completed under the supervision of Jay Hodgson for my MA. Having focused closely on the work of Marshall McLuhan, I believed he had a number of important things to say about our media landscape, and for some reason he was frequently being ignored. I took it upon myself to bring his ideas to life in another medium - a project I believe he'd have appreciated - to serve as a gateway for an important [Canadian] thinker, for folks who might not have an appetite for any of his cryptic tomes. In the end, the album went on to be played on The Strombo Show, and climbed to #5 on !earshot's national electronic charts. "

Biscuits & Logistics, Vol. 0: The Medulla Oblongata - Dan Shore (2011)

"I viewed this creative project as an opportunity to recognize some of the more "experimental" or "underground" hip hop artists whose work remains largely unrecognized by academics to this day. As such, The Medulla Oblongata: Vol. 0 concerned the creative manipulation of 'advanced dynamic processing' within experimental hip hop popularized by some of the most lauded hip hop producers over the past twenty years, namely J Dilla, Madlib, Flying Lotus, Samiyam, etc. My goal was to showcase how these audio processing techniques are exaggerated by hip hop producers for creative effect where the resulting audio processing acts as a musical and rhythmic component of a given track and not solely as a means to improve the audio signal of an initial recording. "Transparent" dynamics processing has become a conventional musical practice in rock. "Experimental" hip hop, on the other hand, tends to be far more tolerant of extroverted dynamics processing. In fact, experimental hip hop recordists have created a vast musical lexicon focused completely on reshaping the dynamic contour of tracks. Perhaps it is this musical focus which so often seems to elude musicologists and traditional music theorists who fail to locate musical value in this genre."