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    Young Guru and Nettrice Gaskins
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-03-05) Keaton, Gimel (Young Guru) ; Gaskins, Nettrice
    Digital Media PhD student Nettrice Gaskins had the opportunity to interview with Young Guru and moderate questions on March 5, 2013 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in the Clough Commons 4th floor study area. Gaskins became interested in getting involved with this event due to her recent participation in the conference Alien Bodies: Race, Space and Sex in the African Diaspora ( at Emory University and her interest in the idea of Afrofuturism, which, according to Sanford Biggers (, is “a way of re-contextualizing and assessing history and imagining the future of the African Diaspora via science, science fiction, technology, sound, architecture, the visual culinary arts and other more nimble and interpretive modes of research and understanding.” “During Pressor Alondra Nelson’s keynote, who is one of the leading Afrofuturism scholars, I noted that ‘appropriating technology” such as in hip-hop production is Afrofuturism, thus, science fiction,” Gaskins says. “Music, art, and literature are expressions of agency that empower people who are often missing in mainstream science fiction to envision a different future for themselves. Abdul R. JanMohamed, an Emory professor and moderator at the conference, said that ‘Afrofuturism is about seeing the future as being a vehicle for creating a different present.’ So I contacted the organizers of the Young Guru event and said that I would love to talk about this ‘A-ha!’ moment I had.” The history of hip-hop and the art of audio engineering does have much to teach those of us who study digital media and how it influences creativity and culture. “Hip-hop production is at the intersection of creativity, innovation, and culture,” Gaskins explains. “Alondra Nelson wrote in her book Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life, that ‘by refunctioning old/obsolete technologies or inventing new uses for common ones, communities in many places have fashioned technologies to fit their needs and priorities. In the process, they have become innovators, create new asethetic forms, new avenues for political action, and new ways to articulate their identities.’ I think that if we study the aspects of hip-hop production we will find keys to engage groups that have low participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.” Young Guru, then, becomes an excellent person to ask these questions due to his experience in the field.
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    Lecture & Demonstration / Young Guru
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-03-05) Keaton, Gimel (Young Guru)
    Grammy winning, hip-hop audio engineer Young Guru, who engineered 10 of Jay-Z’s 11 albums, returned to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, March 5 for a far-reaching discussion on hip-hop and its history, the art of audio engineering, and their broad cultural implications.
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    Creativity, Cognition, and Computation: Composer Philippe Leroux
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2010-11-29) Leroux, Philippe
    The composer writes: "Voi(Rex) was composed using poems by Lin Delpierre, taken from a collection entitled Le testament des fruits. The poems have been freely reordered, even mixed at times. The meaning of the text remains mostly understandable and contributes to the overall expression of the piece, but its structure also determines some of its features. The poems also serve as phonetic material and suggest several figuralisms scattered throughout the piece. The very calligraphy of the letters, as a cousin of the melody archetypes that are soundwaves, is used to generate rhythmic/melodic models and spatial trajectories. Finally, some scenographical movements borrow stylistic and punctuation traits from the poems. The piece is in five movements preceded by a short introduction. Each movement is built over one or several unique features. The idea driving the piece is the confrontation between various model types. What could be called 'the model’s model.' First of all, the singer recorded the poems up close to gongs and a tom tom resonating to the sound of her voice. After analysis, this produced the harmonic elements that were used throughout the work. She also recorded an improvised sequence using specific vocal techniques. Recorded sounds were then selected, isolated and worked on using editing techniques only – no treatments were involved. These sounds were then presented to the singer as new models. She now had to imitate herself from a recording that had been stripped out of certain bits of sounds that were recorded the first time. Little by little, this process generated a set of vocal elements that could be used as a model for the instruments and the electronics. A number of technomorphic models were also used, shifting constantly back and forth between voice, instruments and electronics. I would like to thank Frédéric Voisin, without whom this work would not have seen the light of day, Donatienne Michel-Dansac for her great talent and patience, and Gilles Leothaud for his precious advice in writing the vocal part. Voi (Rex) was commissioned by the State and the Ircam-Centre Pompidou, and realized at Ircam with the help of Frédéric Voisin, musical assistant. It is dedicated to François Paris."