My Summer Experience: Cory Kasprzyk

Worked with New Adventures in Sound Art

My Summer Experience
Cory Kasprzyk
Doctor of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music
Visited New Adventures in Sound Art (Toronto, ON)

Entering my third year in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at Bowling Green State University, post-graduate plans are increasingly something on my mind. Many dream of instantly obtaining a tenure track position at a university and reality promotes the idea of a musician who can wear many, many hats. Thankfully, my degree requires an internship designed to develop additional skills in a nonacademic setting.

I'm a musician, primarily focused as a composer. In this context, I may write music for a chamber orchestra, or fixed media (i.e. music presented in concert on multiple speakers). This summer, my musical interests led me to work with New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA), a Canadian non-profit organization that produces concerts and conferences of electroacoustic and experimental sound art. Run by the wonderful Darren Copeland and Nadene Thériault-Copeland, most would typically expect an organization like this to have a university affiliation. To their credit, NAISA does not; they consistently produce events that showcase composers and artists from around the world.

After making the most of long bus rides to my very off-campus internship in Toronto, I found myself living in a two-story house with a talkative cat named Inspector Coconut. My loaned bike offered plenty of exercise up the long hill to work, as well as exploration of the rest of the city. Despite throwing myself into another country where I didn't know anyone, I had many wonderful experiences. Discussing the politics of plastic bags and graffiti on the CBC (Canada's NPR), or spending time with Rip Esselstyn in our matching "Kale" (not Yale) shirts, made this time a unique part of a demanding but interesting summer.

The reality of no job being too big or small was reinforced in my time at NAISA. At any given moment, I could be carrying heavy-but-expensive speakers, making coffee, editing audio, making coffee, interviewing artists for the radio program I hosted while in residence, and maybe drinking coffee. In the midst of helping with the group's two largest conferences/workshops, I experienced as many facets of production as possible. I also had a chance to put on my composition hat at NAISA, as well as perform on saxophone (at another venue in town).

I met a number of individuals in my field, including Trevor Wishart, a prominent English composer and vocal performer. As featured guest for a number of our events, he was often around, giving me a chance to learn from him in formal and less-formal settings. My admittedly star-struck nerves gradually subsided as I was afforded more opportunities to chat with him about music, or family.

Returning the day prior to classes, I'm thankful for the vast experiences I acquired. My time in Canada included stereotypical late nights writing music, as well as a great variety of other elements that go into concert production. This time abroad was one part of a huge summer, but likely foreshadows much of my future.