Playable Waterville Map

In this Origins Humanities Lab, students explored the history of noise and its impact on 20th-century Italian music and produced digital soundmaps of the city of Waterville and the Colby campus. The embracing of noise by Avant-Garde and Neo-Avant-Garde musicians marked the origins of a new way of conceiving and writing music, and noise was therefore a gateway to the investigation of the main features and principles that guided modern composers. In a multimedia environment that fostered an atmosphere of creative collaboration and encouraged creative design, students turned from consumers of information into producers of cultural artifacts by generating annotated, playable maps, and disseminating them outside the classroom. Primary sources included music, sound clips, music scores, maps, manifestos, poems, essays, city plans, and historical accounts. Secondary sources comprised scholarly works, online archives as well as other digital humanities projects. The Lab traveled once to Harvard’s Harvard Group for New Music for a conversation with the composers and a concert.

The tangible results of this lab were the students’ projects (soundwalks, remixes, an immersive sonic Virtual Reality experience of Waterville, a 2D laser cut map of Waterville with Arduino components, and a noise intoner) that were showcased at Noisefest!

Find more about the students’ projects.