The TIMARA department has teamed with Hanson Records to release a vinyl compilation entitled Electroacoustic Music at Oberlin Vol. 2. The LP features the work of eleven composers (nine students and two faculty members) showcasing the department’s musical output in celebration of its 50th anniversary.
TIMARA department chair Tom Lopez oversaw the compilation’s creation. He wrote,
Back in 2001, I produced a CD featuring Oberlin student composers. After four discs over the course of eight years, we switched to a DVD, which allowed us to include some of the really amazing video work TIMARA students were producing. We took a hiatus after that release in 2009, but within a few years we had run out of the discs (we give them to prospective students). By that point, it was clear that students were not engaging with CDs or DVDs. Most music was distributed online…except the resurgent interest in vinyl.
This resurgent interest in vinyl led Lopez to partner with a local authority on the format: Aaron Dilloway, the proprietor of Hanson Records and an experimental musician best known as a founding member of industrial noise group Wolf Eyes. Working with Dilloway, the department released its first vinyl compilation Electroacoustic Music at Oberlin in 2015. Lopez expressed gratitude for Dilloway’s expertise and assistance, noting that the endeavor was “brand new territory for TIMARA and it helped tremendously that we had an invaluable collaborator right here in Oberlin. With Aaron’s contacts and experience working with vinyl, the first disc was a huge success.” After partnering again four years later, Electroacoustic Music at Oberlin Vol. 2 was released last fall in conjunction with a series of concerts celebrating the 50th anniversary of TIMARA’s creation.
The compilation features an eclectic collection of work with pieces that veer outside of the academic electroacoustic approach, including multiple pieces with vocal performances. Piper Hill, a sixth-year TIMARA student, explained his choice to submit the piece Tiny Public Revelations, a
technically simpler composition.
[This piece]… focuses on having the voice sound intimate and small, to make it sound like thoughts someone is having while sitting outside. I focused on layering field recordings and small sounds of paper and pencil to help it sound like the situation and place I was in when I wrote it. Although I often work with heavier processing, I wanted to showcase something that could represent the side of TIMARA that doesn’t rely on those more intense components of electroacoustic music.
Electroacoustic Music at Oberlin Vol. 2 will be given for free to prospective TIMARA students, and is available to the public through Hanson Records.