John Yannelli

Director, Program in Music and Music Technology; William Schuman Scholar in Music

BPh, Thomas Jefferson College, University of Michigan. MFA, Sarah Lawrence College. Composer, innovator in the fields of electronic music and music for theatre and dance, composer of traditional and experimental works for all media, specialist in improvisational techniques, and director of the Sarah Lawrence Improvisational Ensemble. Toured nationally with the United Stage theatre company and conceived of, and introduced the use of, electronic music for the productions. Freelance record producer and engineer; music published by Soundspell Productions. SLC, 1984–

Undergraduate Courses 2019-2020

Music

Introduction to Electronic Music and Music Technology

Component

Permission of the instructor is required.

The Sarah Lawrence Electronic Music Studio is a state-of-the art facility dedicated to the instruction and development of electronic music composition. The studio contains the latest in digital audio hardware and software for synthesis, recording, and signal processing, along with a full complement of vintage analog synthesizers and tape machines. Beginning students will start with an introduction to the equipment, basic acoustics and principles of studio recording, signal processing, and a historical overview of the medium. Once students have acquired a certain level of proficiency with the equipment and material—usually by the second semester—the focus will be on preparing compositions that will be heard in concerts of electronic music, student composers’ concerts, music workshops, and open concerts.

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Recording, Sequencing, and Mastering Electronic Music

Component

Permission of the instructor is required.

This course will focus on creating electronic music primarily using software-based digital audio workstations. Materials covered will include MIDI, ProTools, Digital Performer, Logic, Reason, Ableton Live, MaxMsp, Traction, and elements of Sibelius and Finale (as connected to media scoring). Class assignments will focus on composing individual works and/or creating music and designing sound for various media such as film, dance, and interactive performance art. Students in this course may also choose to evolve collaborative projects with students from those other areas. Projects will be presented in class for discussion and critique.

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Studio Composition and Music Technology

Component

This component is open to advanced students who have successfully completed Studio for Electronic Music and Experimental Sound and are at or beyond the Advanced Theory level. Class size is limited. Permission of the instructor is required.

Students work on individual projects involving aspects of music technology, including but not limited to works for electro-acoustic instruments (live and/or prerecorded), works involving interactive performance media, laptop ensembles, Disklavier, and improvised or through-composed works. Projects will be presented in class for discussion and critique.

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Chamber Music Improvisation

Component

Open to a limited number of students. Audition required.

This is an experimental performing ensemble that explores a variety of musical styles and techniques, including free improvisation, improvisational conducting, and various other chance-based methods. The ensemble is open to all instruments (acoustic and electric), voice, electronic synthesizers, and laptop computers. Students must be able to demonstrate a level of proficiency on their chosen instrument. Composer-performers, dancers, and actors are also welcome. Performance opportunities will include: concerts; collaboration with other programs such as dance, theatre, film, and performance art; and community outreach.

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Dance

Dance Making

Component—Year

Prerequisites: Dance Composition, Lighting Design and Stagecraft for Dance, and permission of the instructor.

In this class, graduates and upperclass undergraduates with a special interest and experience in dance composition will design and direct individual choreographic projects. Students and faculty will meet weekly to view works-in-progress and, in conferences taking place the following afternoon, discuss relevant artistic and practical problems. Music, costumes, lighting, and other elements will be discussed as integral and interdependent elements in the choreographic work. This will culminate in performances of the works toward the end of the semester in the Winter Performance and Spring Performance programs. Performances will take place in the Bessie Schönberg Dance Theatre or elsewhere on campus in the case of site-specific work.

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Graduate Courses

Dance 2019-2020

Dance Making

Component—Year

Prerequisites: Dance Composition, Lighting Design and Stagecraft for Dance, and permission of the instructor.

In this class, graduates and upperclass undergraduates with a special interest and experience in dance composition will design and direct individual choreographic projects. Students and faculty will meet weekly to view works-in-progress and, in conferences taking place the following afternoon, discuss relevant artistic and practical problems. Music, costumes, lighting, and other elements will be discussed as integral and interdependent elements in the choreographic work. This will culminate in performances of the works toward the end of the semester in the Winter Performance and Spring Performance programs. Performances will take place in the Bessie Schönberg Dance Theatre or elsewhere on campus in the case of site-specific work.

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Previous Courses

Dance and Music Improvisation

Component—Fall

Permission of the instructors is required.

This class explores a variety of musical and dance styles and techniques, including free improvisation, chance-based methods, conducting, and scoring. We will collaboratively innovate practices and build scores that extend our understanding of how the mediums of dance and music relate to and with one another. How the body makes sound and how sound moves will serve as entry points for our individual and group experimentation. Scores will be explored with an eye toward their performing potential. The ensemble is open to composer-performers, dancers, performance artists, and actors. Music students must be able to demonstrate proficiency in their chosen instrument. All instruments (acoustic and electrical), voice, electronic synthesizers, and laptop computers are welcome.

Faculty

Dance and Music Improvisation

Component—Fall

Permission of the instructors is required.

This class explores a variety of musical and dance styles and techniques, including free improvisation, chance-based methods, conducting, and scoring. We will collaboratively innovate practices and build scores that extend our understanding of how the mediums of dance and music relate both to and with one another. How the body makes sound and how sound moves will serve as entry points for our individual and group experimentation. Scores will be explored with an eye toward their performing potential. The ensemble is open to composer-performers, dancers, performance artists, and actors. Music students must be able to demonstrate proficiency in their chosen instrument. All instruments (acoustic and electric), voice, electronic synthesizers, and laptop computers are welcome.

Faculty

Chamber Music Improvisation

Component—Fall

Class size is limited. An audition is required.

This is an experimental performing ensemble that explores a variety of musical styles and techniques, including free improvisation, improvisational conducting, and various other chance-based methods. The ensemble is open to all instruments (acoustic and electric), voice, electronic synthesizers, and laptop computers. Students must be able to demonstrate a level of proficiency on their chosen instrument. Composer-performers, dancers, and actors are also welcome. Performance opportunities will include concerts and collaboration with other programs—such as dance, theatre, film, and performance art—as well as community outreach.

Faculty

Experimental Improvisation Ensemble

Component—Spring

Permission of the instructors is required.

This class explores a variety of musical and dance styles and techniques, including free improvisation, chance-based methods, conducting, and scoring. We will collaboratively innovate practices and build scores that extend our understanding of how the mediums of dance and music relate to and with one another. How the body makes sound and how sound moves will serve as entry points for our individual and group experimentation. Scores will be explored with an eye toward their performing potential. The ensemble is open to composer-performers, dancers, performance artists, and actors. Music students must be able to demonstrate proficiency on their chosen instrument. All instruments (acoustic and electrical), voice, electronic synthesizers, and laptop computers are welcome.

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Orchestra Projects

Open , Seminar

This class is required for all instrumentalists taking a Music Third. Audition required.

In a rotation over two years, students will have the opportunity to experience and participate in a broad range of musical styles, from the Baroque to symphonic and contemporary repertory, including improvisation and experimental music. The Sarah Lawrence Orchestra is open to all students, as well as to members of the College and Westchester communities.

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