2016.2.24 – The Geometry of Music

Northeastern Professor Hubert Ho will lead a presentation next Monday on the geometry behind music.  If you ordered a T-shirt, please bring your $5 to this meeting.  As always, pizza will be served.

Featured Speaker:  A native of Louisiana, Dr. Hubert Ho’s compositions have been performed in Carnegie Hall and at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. He has written on embodied cognition, harmony and psychoacoustics, and the music of Edgard Varèse for such organizations as the International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition and the Music / Sound Art Symposium in Karlsruhe, Germany. He has worked as a Fulbright Scholar in the Czech Republic, creating original music and researching the music of Bohuslav Martinů. He received his A.B. in Music and Physics from Harvard College. Dr. Ho is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Music at Northeastern University.

Description: Throughout history, artists and scholars have found some interesting intersections between music and mathematics. Today we’ll focus on some recent discoveries in musical geometry, focusing on structures that can be applied to repertoires as diverse as Chopin, Nirvana, and some film music. We’ll observe some visualizations of music, and you’ll learn how to build a spatial geometric model of music using grapes and cheese!

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MFA Music Exhibit Tour

Next Thursday NUSound will be visiting the musical instruments exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts!  Admission for students is free (just bring your NU ID)!  The tour will be on Thursday (Not Monday) of next week, and we will meet outside our normal location at 6:45pm and walk over to the museum together.  If you can’t make the earlier time, we are aiming to be at the museum at 7pm, so meet us there.  Details of the T-shirt orders will be taken care of at our February 29th meeting.


NEC Faculty Showcase: Dominique Eade

This Monday (2/8) NUSound will be attending a free concert at the New England Conservatory to see a performance in the historic Jordan Hall.  The concert showcases NEC faculty member Dominique Eade, a jazz singer.  We will be meeting briefly at 108 West Village G as usually to have pizza and walk to the conservatory from there.  The concert start at 7:30, so please arrive on time to West G by 7. Also, if you ordered a T-shirt, please bring your money so we can get the order out as soon as possible (there is sitll time to order). There are also two otherfree concerts this week: 
Get out there and see what’s happening down the street!
Featured Speaker(s):

NEC’s Dominique Eade grew up in a musical household and spent much of her childhood moving within the US and in Europe. Beginning her studies as an English major at Vassar, Eade sang for a time with a jazz group, Naima, which also included Poughkeepsie native Joe McPhee. Later Eade transferred briefly to Berklee College of Music, and then finished her degree at New England Conservatory, where pianist Ran Blake became an important mentor and performing colleague. Eade stayed in Boston after graduating and soon after began teaching at NEC.

Exploring the Theremin with Prof. Brian Robison

Come to our first meeting this Monday for a presentation on one of the earliest electronic instruments!  We will also be voting for the club’s T-shirt design, and as always, free pizza will be served.


The theremin is one of the oldest electronic musical instruments, and distinctive in that the performer doesn’t touch the device while playing it. Come learn about the instrument’s history, its strengths and limitations, and try it yourself in a “hands-on” (i.e, hands-off) demonstration.

Featured Speaker(s):

Brian Robison is a composer whose creative work reflects his performing experience in a broad range of musical styles, his upbringing in a family of scientists, and his childhood fascination with non-human primates, especially chimpanzees. As a music theorist and analyst, he has published research on music by Sir Harrison Birtwistle and King Crimson, on applying fuzzy-set theory to music analysis, and on the so-called “Sensitive Female Chord Progression.” Dr. Robison is currently an Assistant Academic Specialist in the Department of Music at Northeastern University.

T-Shirt Contest!

Think you have what it takes to design and create NUSound’s first t-shirt? Want a sweeet prize? Then this is the contest for you!

 – 4 color maximum
 – Must include the text “NUSound”
 – That’s it!
Your choice of one of the following:
The Otamatone (I encourage you to watch this vid):
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The Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth:


How to Submit:
 – Design the shirt on CustomInk: http://www.customink.com/lab?PK=04600
 – Submit the design to boyd.n@husly.neu.edu by December 5.
 – We will all vote on them at our last meeting, and the winner will be decided!
Good luck!

11.16.2015 – Audio Recording 101


Music industry professor James Anderson will lead a live demonstration of audio recording, with performances by none other than… you!  That’s right, if you play an instrument or sing, you could have a chance to be recorded and processed on the spot!  Just bring your instrument (preferably acoustic) or yourself to the meeting.  As always, pizza will be served.

10.26.2015 – Solomon Conducts Himself

Gizmologist and instrument-maker Len Solomon will perform excerpts from his comedy/music show, “Solomon Conducts Himself”, presenting your favorite symphonic compositions arranged for One-Man-Orchestral Ensemble, which includes the Majestic Bellowphone: a masterpiece of Medieval technology.

After the performance, he will present an in depth show-and-tell discussion of the design and building process involved in creating his array of unique musical instruments. Central to the discussion will be the mechanics and variants of the three distinct types of organ pipes: Flue pipes, Beating-Reed pipes, and Free-Reed pipes; all of which are featured in Solomon’s creations.

Leonard Solomon – Len has been performing since the early ’80s, has performed in venues from Jordan Hall, Boston to theaters in Singapore and Japan, and has been featured several times on national TV.

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10.19.2015 – Creepy Sounds in Modern Film feat. Professor Michael Epstein

Sound plays a major role in creating tension, emotion, and fear in scary film. For the Halloween season, we will take a short look at the history of scary sound design and some of the techniques used to generate fear in modern film.

FREE PIZZA, as always.

Michael J. Epstein, Ph.D., is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology with joint appointment in the Center for Communications and Digital Signal Processing (CDSP) at Northeastern University. He is the Director of the Auditory Modeling and Processing Laboratory (AMPLab), which seeks to bridge the understanding of loudness and perceptual processing with objective, non-invasive measures of underlying physiological processes. He has also been writing, recording, and performing music for over 20 years in bands including The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, The Motion Sick, and Neutral Uke Hotel, and has done sound recording and sound design for numerous feature and short films.


11.10.2014 – Loudspeaker Workshop

Have you always wanted to learn how to build loudspeakers? Get some experience with soldering? How about all of the above with the help of Acoustical Engineers from Bose?

We are offering a 2 part workshop on November 10th & December 1st at 7PM in 9 Haydn (the ECE labs in the basement of Haydn Hall). If you sign up for the workshops, you will have to attend both 1 hour sessions. We will let you know when and where to pick up the kits.

We will be building these kits: http://www.parts-express.com/overnight-sensations-mt-speaker-kit-pair–300-706

Detailed instructions will be provided for assembling the kits. There will be some homework for you to do before and in-between the two workshops, part of which is gluing the wooden cabinet together. Here is an instructional video to give an idea of how involved constructing the speakers will be: http://www.parts-express.com/Video.aspx?VideoID=1317

The cabinet construction will need to be completed outside the scheduled workshops. We can provide time in the lab to help with cabinet construction if there is a great enough need.

9.28.2015 – The Science and Art of the Classical Guitar

Almost everybody knows what a guitar sounds like, but not many know the acoustical science behind it. This presentation will deal with the complexities of building an acoustically balanced instrument and what a player would demand in a high quality guitar.

There will also be a musical presentation by Professor Ward and free pizza!


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ROBERT WARD holds degrees in guitar performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, BM, and the University of California San Diego, MA.  He has studied with Angel, Pepe and Celin Romero, Michael Lorimer, Lee Ryan, and George Sakellariou.  He has also participated in master classes with Pepe Romero, Abel Carlevaro, Jose Tomas, Jordi Savall, and Jurgen Huebscher.  Mr. Ward has performed extensively throughout the New England area, Texas, California and Hawaii.  In Paris, he premiered three works written for him at the famed Theatre de Renalgh. At the 4th & 5th International Guitar Congresses in Corfu, Greece he was a featured performer and teacher. In San Diego, Mr. Ward was active with both the La Jolla Playhouse and the San Diego Public Theater, as well as participating in rare performances of El Cimmaron by Hans Werner Henze. Recent performances include appearances at The Guitar Foundation of America in La Jolla, Ca., La Primavera in Habana festival of Electro-Acoustic music in Havana, Cuba, and Beijing, China  teaching and performing for the Tutti Festival 2013.Robert Ward is a faculty member at Northeastern University, and The Brookline Music School.  Mr. Ward has recorded for Centaur Records.