Professor Tom Lopez in blue shirt against white backdrop.

Tom Lopez

Department Chair
Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

Tom Lopez teaches at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he is Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts in the TIMARA Department (Technology in Music and Related Arts). He is also a Teaching Artist with Avivo, a community of artists dedicated to cultivating creativity through music. Tom has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Betty Freeman Foundation, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Knight Foundation, the Disney Foundation, ASCAP, and Meet the Composer. He has appeared at festivals and conferences around the world as a guest lecturer and composer. Tom has been a resident artist at the Banff Centre, MacDowell Colony, Copland House, Blue Mountain Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Villa Montalvo, and Djerassi. His compositions have received critical acclaim and peer recognition including CD releases by Hanson Records, Innova, Centaur, Vox Novus, SCI, SEAMUS, and the Oberlin Label. Tom feels grateful to have studied with many influential composition teachers: Gary Nelson, Conrad Cummings, Morton Subotnick, Sal Martirano, Russell Pinkston, and Stephen Montague; and especially proud to have learned from a great many talented students. Read more about Tom Lopez.

Professor Aurie Hsu in white cardigan against white backdrop.

Aurie Hsu

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

With Nashville and Southern California roots, Aurie Hsu is a performer-composer who creates instrumental and electroacoustic music, interactive systems, and collaborates with musical robots.  Integrating music, movement, and technology. Themes in Aurie’s work include hybridized bodies between human and machines and “choreographing sound,” or incorporating the embodied experience of performance in composition.  Aurie performs with the Remote electroAcoustic Kinesthetic Sensing (RAKS) system, a wireless sensor interface for dance developed with composer Steven Kemper.  Her pieces have been presented at NIME, ICMC, MOCO, Art Basel Miami, SEAMUS, SIGCHI, Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, and internationally in Belgium, France, and The Netherlands.  Her research on gesture in sensor-based music, paradigms for mapping movement and timbre, and sonic-cyborg performance has been published in Leonardo Music Journal and in several volumes of conference proceedings including the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI), the International Workshop on Movement and Computing (MOCO), Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology 16th Biennial Symposium, and the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC).  Hsu has received awards from the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology Commission and the International Computer Music Association (ICMA) and appears on Oberlin Records and as a pianist on Ravello Records.  Hsu holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Mills College, and Oberlin Conservatory, and is currently Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts in Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) at the Oberlin Conservatory.

Steven Kemper headshot.

Steven Kemper

Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

Steven Kemper is a music technologist, composer, and instrument designer. As a composer, Steven creates music for acoustic instruments, instruments and computers, musical robots, dance and video. He is a co-founder of Expressive Machines Musical Instruments (EMMI), a collective dedicated to designing, building, and composing original music for robotic instruments. He has received awards from the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, Meet the Composer, the Danish Arts Council, and the International Computer Music Association. Steven received a Ph.D. in Composition and Computer Technologies from the University of Virginia and is Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts at the Oberlin Conservatory. Read more about Steven Kemper.

Francis Wilson sitting in an arm chair wearing a fur coat reading to a taxidermy rabbit.

Francis Wilson

Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

Francis Marion Moseley Wilson is a multidisciplinary artist who works primarily with digital media, live/body art, and taxidermy. She has performed at festivals and institutions internationally, including Chicago’sRapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival (2015); Montreal, arts-interculturels (MAI)’s Prendre Place/Taking Place (2017); and Guerilla Zoo presents: Modern Panic X (2019) in London. She works closely with themes of risk, intimacy, vulnerability, and grief, particularly as it pertains to interspecies, material bodies in the current geopolitical era. Her PhD dissertation Bodies and Boundaries in Performing Taxidermy takes a practice-research approach to exploring taxidermic processes and taxidermic bodies in a live art, body-based performance practice.

She has assisted with TIMARA’s Sonic Arts Workshop for 9 summer sessions and lived in Oberlin for many years between her years of postgraduate academic studies. Prior to her arrival at Oberlin as Media Manager of the Studio Art Department, she worked in the University of Glasgow’s Theatre Studies department, overseeing group performance projects by Year 2 undergraduates and supervising MA students during their individual practice-research projects. Francis returns to TIMARA for the 2023-24 academic year as visiting assistant professor.

Read more about Francis Wilson.

Heather Mease headshot.

Heather Mease

Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

Heather Mease is a composer, electronic musician, and multimedia artist whose work focuses on the appropriation of media and pre-existing forms, recorded materials, and found objects as a means for exploring material culture, waste, and the consequences of nostalgia. Heather performs and releases electronic music as “corncob.” Read more about Heather Mease.

Technical Director Abby Aresty, in black and white top against white background.

Abby Aresty

Technical Director and Lecturer

Abby Aresty is a composer and sound artist who uses technology to facilitate unexpected interactions between people, the built environment, and the natural world. Her projects are playful, meditative listening interventions that seek to provoke audience reflection on habitual listening practices in contemporary sonic environments.

Aresty’s site-specific installations have been featured in local and national news outlets; Paths II: The Music of Trees, a temporary installation in Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum, was featured in an interview with Melissa Block on NPR’s All Things Considered and was hailed as “otherworldly” and “sometimes eerie, sometimes transportingly lovely,” by the Seattle Times.

Aresty has presented her research in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong, in conferences including ICMC, Balance/Unbalance, ISEA, and Sonic Environments. She has held fellowships at the Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, Grinnell College, and the Acoustic Ecology Lab at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts and holds degrees in music composition from Eastman School of Music, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. Read more about Abby Aresty.

Andrew Tripp wearing bright multicolored plaid shirt in front of a gray background.

Andrew Tripp

Director of Audio Services and Studio Recording Instructor

Andrew Tripp is director of Oberlin’s Recording Arts and Production program and director of Conservatory Audio Services.  He earned a bachelor of music from the Hartt School in music production and technology.

Tripp worked at Music@Menlo under Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer Da-Hong Seetoo, as a staff engineer at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and as a freelance engineer in Cincinnati. He has been a member of Oberlin Conservatory’s staff since 2015.

Andrew Garver in blue shirt in front of gray background.

Andrew Garver

Associate Director of Audio Services and Audio Engineering Instructor

Andrew Garver is a Grammy-nominated mastering engineer with over 30 years of experience in the audio industry, working with artists including U2, Chris Cornell, Brad Mehldau, Captain Beefheart, The Doobie Brothers, Rage Against The Machine, Luther Vandross, Madonna, Gordon Lightfoot, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, and Burt Bacharach. Garver has worked on projects with Al Schmitt at Capitol Studios, Ed Cherny at Village Recorders, and Alan Parsons at United Studios. He has also worked as a freelance sound engineer in live television at the NFL Network and assisted on scoring sessions at Warner Bros. Eastwood Scoring Stage. He continues to master, mix, record, and consult with artists and studios around the world.

Garver graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a BS in electrical engineering, then worked as an Application Engineer in the telecommunication division of Teradyne, Inc. in Chicago. There, he designed test equipment interfaces to improve and maintain signal quality for phone systems across the US, Japan, and Argentina. While in the Chicago area, he freelanced as an audio engineer with local bands and venues, helping maintain gear and run shows.

After graduating from the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences, Garver moved to Los Angeles and landed at A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA. He quickly worked his way up to Mastering Engineer, working across formats, cutting lacquers, and working with analog tape and digital archives. A&M Records always maintained a high standard for quality, and Garver was part of the team tasked with evaluating record releases and studio gear in order to ensure the manufacturing excellence for which they were revered. This led to work with JVC’s XRCD development, which refined the mastering and manufacturing process to produce the highest quality audio in the CD format. His vast understanding of both digital and analog systems enabled him to work with producers and engineers looking to strengthen the quality of their music across all formats. Garver also served as Vice President of Operations for G Ride Audio, a manufacturing company specializing in hand-crafted audio electronics with remarkable sound quality.

While working for A&M, Garver began teaching at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. As Assistant Professor of Practice, he developed and taught classes in recording, mixing, mastering, consoles, analog tape, digital audio, acoustics, and speaker design. In 2008, he was honored with the USC Mentoring Award for faculty. His insight, acquired through years of industry experience, coupled with his comprehensive knowledge of audio technology, create an unmatched set of real world experiences for his students. Garver focuses on the new challenges engineers are facing – faster deadlines, smaller budgets, and limited space. He recognizes that although most of his students hope to apply their hands-on education in a professional recording studio, the majority of them are working entirely on their laptops, and thus need guidance managing the difficulties arising from that workflow. He continues to explore new music technology and thoroughly enjoys equipping his students with the scientific and artistic understanding necessary to navigate the challenges of modern music production.

Headshot of Gary Lee Nelson

Gary Lee Nelson

Emeritus Professor of Electronic and Computer Music

Gary Lee Nelson’s personal website

John Talbert in black turtle neck leaning on white railing.

John Talbert

Longtime Lecturer and Studio Engineer

John Talbert’s personal website