Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) is for students who desire careers that combine traditional music skills with exploration of the latest techniques for electroacoustic musical expression. We offer a structured course of study that emphasizes the application of technology as a resource for careers in composition, new media, and performance.

The TIMARA faculty, standing behind a display of analog synths
From left to right: John Talbert, Eli Stine, Abby Aresty, Tom Lopez, Aurie Hsu, and Peter Swendsen pose with TIMARA’s vintage synth collection. Photo Credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones

TIMARA is embedded in a world-class conservatory with a vibrant contemporary music community. The department is an important hub between the Conservatory and Oberlin’s esteemed College of Liberal Arts and is situated on a campus that also houses the Allen Memorial Art Museum, one of the finest on-campus collections in the country, as well as a wide array of performance spaces and interdisciplinary arts studios.

A marching band plays on stage as part of the Kaleidosonic Music Festival.
Musicians perform as part of the Kaleidosonic Music Festival. This celebration of 50 years of TIMARA at Oberlin featured Conservatory and College students and community members performing in countless genres, with technological wizardry provided by TIMARA majors, faculty, staff, and alums. Photo Credit: Michael Hart

TIMARA itself is home to recently renovated professional studios dedicated solely to undergraduate teaching and learning.

The TIMARA control room mixing desk, speakers, and a view into the adjacent recording studio.
The TIMARA control room.

With four world-renowned faculty, a dedicated Technical Director, and direct connections to many faculty and staff in related disciplines, TIMARA boasts a student/faculty ratio within the major that is better than eight-to-one.

TIMARA Faculty Tom Lopez with two students in the Analog Synth studio, standing in front of the ARP 2600.
TIMARA Professor Tom Lopez working with members of Oberlin’s Synthesizer Ensemble using the department’s ARP 2600.

TIMARA’s vibrant creative community is what makes it stand out from the pack. Students collaborate, improvise, and perform with their peers in both informal and formal settings.

Musicians in the pews of Finney Chapel, lit up by wearable blue LED lights.
Members of TIMARA’s Oberlin NewMusic and Improvisation Collective (OINC) performed as part of the Kaleidosonic Music Festival.
Photo Credit: Michael Hart

Starting in their first semester, TIMARA students have their pick of opportunities to showcase creative work. Students can share their music with peers in one of our Electrophonics departmental concerts, contribute to one of many student-organized house shows, or present work in a class concert. The department also regularly hosts special symposia that often feature student contributions.

TIMARA major Drew Smith, with orange hair and a chef's hat, stands with former TIMARA technical director, John Talbert,  in front of their plant-inspired sound sculpture, Topiary, which features a brightly-lit tangle of wires against a dark backdrop.
TIMARA Major Drew Smith and former longtime TIMARA technical director John Talbert with ‘Topiary,’ a light-sensitive “photo” synthesizer shared during the Crafting Sound Symposium’s Sonic Super Buffet. Photo Credit: Oli Bentley

Our graduates enter the next phase of their careers with robust creative portfolios, extensive technical experience, and connections to an expansive network of TIMARA alums who are eager to share their experiences.