Radio producers Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett, co-creators of the 90-second NPR radio show, “The World According to Sound,” will be on campus to offer a presentation at 7 p.m., Oct. 25 in the Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium in Klarman Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
In this presentation, Hoff and Harnett will set up a ring of speakers, hand out eye masks, turn off the lights and engulf audience members in sound, forcing them to experience the evening with auditory cues rather than visual ones.
The audience can expect to hear The Golden Gate Bridge, ants, Berlin in the 1940s, gravitational waves and music made by a washing machine, among other sounds. Their showairs on NPR’s All Things Considered and other individual public radio stations.
"We're especially excited to welcome back Chris Hoff, who graduated from Cornell in 2002 with a degree in Classics,” said Jeremy Braddock, associate professor of English. As a part of their visit, Hof and Harnett will be guest teaching two classes in Arts & Sciences: Kim Haines-Eitzen's ‘Sensational Religion," and Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri's "Shaping Sound: An Introduction to Composition and Experimentation in Sound.
“We set out to create a show that is all about sound instead of language and narrative,” said Hoff, “a show where the point isn’t to hook you with a story … but to get deep into a sound and play a long, unnarrated stretch so you can really lose yourself.”
“Cornell has played a leading role in the emergent interdisciplinary field of Sound Studies,” Braddock said. “Sound was the theme at the Society for the Humanities in 2011-12, and Cornell has numerous unique world class sound-related materials to support research and teaching — from the field recordings at the Lab of Ornithology to Olin Library's hip hop, punk, and Moog collections.” Cornell’s Media Studies Initiative is preparing to launch new introductory classes in 2018-19.
Hoff and Harnett are based in San Francisco but have performed in theaters, art galleries and centers for the blind in San Francisco and in the Northeast.
Anna Carmichael ’18 is a communications assistant for the College of Arts & Sciences
Photo Credit: Gundi Vigfusson