With the support of WCU, I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Audio Engineering Society’s annual European Conference, which was held at Aalto University just outside of Helsinki, Finland. I got to meet some really great people, hear some amazing talks and check out new technologies. I am currently deep in research into AI-powered systems that can be used to enhance media scoring and music production workflows, and it was so inspiring to learn about the latest advances in this field from folks at companies, including NeuralDSP and HarmonAI.

Here are some photos from the event:

As a new faculty member at WCU, I was honored to be invited to perform at the 33rd Annual WCU Jazz Festival with the WCU Faculty Jazz Ensemble. At the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, we performed standards and original compositions, including my composition “There and Back” and my arrangement of Jobim’s “O Grande Amor.” 

33rd Annual WCU Jazz Festival: WCU Faculty Concert

The WCU Faculty Jazz Ensemble:

Jonathan Ragonese, Director & Saxophone

John Swana, Trumpet

Dan Cherry, Trombone

Jeremy Jordan, Piano & Keyboard

Devin Arne, Electric Guitar

David Cullen, Acoustic Guitar

Peter Paulsen, Double Bass

Marc Jacoby, Percussion, Vibraphone

Christopher Hanning, Drum Set

This reality show features lifestyle tips from an etiquette expert.

I am thrilled to announce that my music has been featured in the first season of Mind Your Matters on Netflix. My track “Prime Time,” published by Lift Music, can be heard in the Episode Elevate My Life

As described in the Netflix Blog, Tudum, “Sara Jane Ho aims to help her clients create positive change in their lives. In Season 1 of Mind Your Manners, the etiquette expert works with six people from different backgrounds to develop their social skills, build confidence and improve their professional and personal relationships. Drawing on Chinese and Western perspectives, Ho offers a distinctive approach to navigating various social situations and cultivating good habits at home that serves as a foundation for personal growth.” 

Thanks to many herculean efforts made by my colleagues over the last several years, I am thrilled to share that The Wells School of Music at West Chester University now offers a Bachelor of Music in Studio Composition. 

I am honored to be a part of this unique, one-of-a-kind program at WCU. This is high-quality music education at an affordable price and in an ideal location, given West Chester’s proximity to Philadelphia, New York, and Washington D.C. The Bachelor of Music in Studio Composition is perfect for students who want to combine music production, entrepreneurship, and technology alongside composition and performance. At West Chester University, students have access to incredible faculty and facilities, including our Center for Music Technology as well as the opportunity to collaborate with a large and growing student body of musicians.

Check out the feature on the WCU News Page here

Studio Composition

I am thrilled to announce that I have accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Studio Composition at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. This brand new role will serve the recently created Bachelor’s Degree program where students will study music production, film and media scoring, songwriting, and music entrepreneurship. To say I am ecstatic is an understatement. I look forward to this wonderful new chapter filled with music, artistry, mentorship, community, and life in the greater Philadelphia area.

My sound installation Unheard Voices: The Embodied and Networked Intelligence of Plants was recently featured in The State Press, the ASU Student Newspaper.

“Pinecones rattling: Sound installation brings attention to environment” by Anna Campbell with photos by Alex Gould.

Speaker-Equipped Raspberry Pi Microcomputers inside of flower pots. Photo by Alex Gould

More information about Unheard Voices, including project description, video, and audio can be found here.

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear is an exploration of timbre and gesture. I began my composition of the piece by performing and recording the same note (E5) on various guitars, using different articulations, bowed, picked, and fingers. Using GRM tools, iZotope RX, and Logic, the sounds were processed and reimagined. Some remained close to their original form, others transformed to the point of being barely recognizable as a guitar but retaining aspects of the original musical gesture. 

Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World inspired the piece’s title. In his book, Morton uses the phrase which is printed on the rear-view mirror of every car sold in North America as a metaphor for the closeness of hyperobjects such as climate change, and nuclear waste, in the age of the Anthropocene. There is no longer an “over there” or an “away.” We find ourselves close, at times uncomfortably so, with the surrounding world.

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear premiered at the ASU Composition Studio Recital on November 15, 2020.

As part of my research for my dissertation, I have been doing a series of field recordings focusing on the Acoustic Ecology of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My approach in these recordings is to capture a moment of time in the unique habitats of the Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens eco-region, including marshes, pine/oak woodlands, and beaches. Rather than focus on a single sound source, my intention with the recordings capturing the sound of the environment as a whole: birds, insects, plants wind, and water.

I will be adding new recordings weekly on my Sound Cloud to create an online archive of the sounds of Summer and Fall in Cape Cod.