sonic arts @ CU offers an interdisciplinary, collaborative, technology-focused collection of faculty members, classes, labs and ensembles designed for students with overlapping professional and artistic interests in composition, performance, computer science, new media, music technology and sound art. sonic arts @ CU integrates students and faculty across campus, with emphases in composition and performance (College of Music), digital fabrication, physical computing, and software design (ATLAS Institute), and critical media studies (College of Media, Communication, and Information).





Matthew Bethancourt is an educator, composer, musician and interactive designer. His current work focuses on using external datasets for experimental electronic musical expression. Past work has touched on nostalgia, collaborative frameworks and innovative gestural controllers. He has taught audio production, sound synthesis, sound design, game design and development, web design, physical computing, and installation/performance with Max/MSP at various universities in New York City.


Betsey Biggs is a composer and studio artist. Her work connects the dots between music, sound, visual art, place, storytelling, and technology, and has been described by The New Yorker as “psychologically complex, exposing how we orient ourselves with our ears.” She collects scraps of sound and narrative fragments from around the world (as well as in my own collection of sonic memories), and deconstruct and arrange them in evocative ways. By slowing down, clarifying, and reworking these sonic (and sometimes visual) fragments, she recreates the experience of place in highly abstract ways.a


August Black is an artist, engineer, and technologist. His past work focused on live networked audio, often mixing FM radio with user input through online software. His current interests include techno-politics, functional reactive programming, alternative web architectures, AI/machine learning, and building instruments for creative and technical expression.


John Drumheller has teaching experience in the areas of composition, electronic music and music theory. His performance experience includes classical, jazz, and commercial music. Drumheller’s compositions have won several awards including the 1994 Quinto Maganini Award. His piece Five Landscapes was selected from over 100 compositions from around the country and was premiered by the Norwalk (CT) Symphony Orchestra.


Alicia Gibb is founder and Executive Director of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), an organization to educate and promote building and using open source hardware.  She is a member of NYCResistor, where she has curated two international art shows. Her electronics work has appeared in Wired magazine, IEEE Spectrum, Hackaday and the New York Times.


Arielle Hein is an artist, technologist, and educator whose work explores the imaginative use of emerging technologies and spans the fields of physical computing, interaction design and conceptual art. Drawing on a background in architecture, visual design, and a research-based creative practice, Arielle is passionate about the intersection of technology and human interaction. As an educator, her focus is on empowering students and communities through the exploration of interactive systems and the use of digital tools.


Jiffer Harriman is a creative technologist and educator with a focus on creative coding, electronics, interactivity and digital fabrication.  He has a background in electrical engineering, music technology, and interactive art. He is interested in exploring emerging creative mediums enabled by programming, interactivity and digital fabrication. His creative work includes installations, instruments, performance, and visual art.


John Gunther is a composer and multi-instrumentalist playing Saxophones, Clarinet, and Flute.   With a restless musical spirit, he enjoys exploring all forms of jazz from traditional to avant-garde as well as classical music, world music and experimental electronic music.   He has performed or recorded with many notable jazz artists including Dave Douglas, Ron Miles, Christian McBride, Bobby Watson, Wallace Roney, Larry Goldings,Tom Harrel, Dewey Redman, Joe Williams, The Woody Herman Orchestra, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and The Maria Schneider Orchestra.


Hugh Lobel has composed music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, electronics, and instruments with electronics. Hugh has created commercial music and has collaborated on over a dozen works for dance and several film scores. In addition to his composing, Hugh is an active computer programmer and has lectured on his code at the SEAMUS 2011 conference at the University of Florida, at Colorado University, and the Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto in Porto, Portugal.


Tara Night is a filmmaker, animator and media designer for live performance. Two of her short films won 2014 Van Gogh Awards at the Amsterdam Film Festival in the categories of animation and world cinema. She is a founding member of Project Planetaria, an interdisciplinary project exploring the intersection of performance and astrophysics. The Floating World, a performance she co-created with Malashock Dance, won an Emmy in 2011.


David Schaal is a digital artist showing work nationally and internationally and is currently the lead instructor for the TAM program. He received a BFA in Fine Art, a BA in Psychology, and an MFA in Integrated Art. He has developed and taught Technology Arts Media courses since its founding in 1998 as the first faculty hire in ATLAS. He is interested in all aspects of digital culture and media theory. He also serves on the steering committee for ASSETT, education director for the Communikey Festival of Electronic Arts, and as a board member for ICAS (International Cities for Advanced Sound).

Wayne Seltzer teaches electronics workshops in the ATLAS BTU Lab. Current interests include STEAM education and musical instrument user interfaces. Work experiences include operating systems and networking, home and office automation, electrical CAD/CAM database replication, software localization and telecommunications. Wayne runs the Boulder U-Fix-It Clinic, where participants learn how to repair their broken stuff with help from volunteer “fix-it” coaches. He is a Product Manager at Oracle Corporation, responsible for service automation technologies.

Stephanie Spray is a filmmaker, phonographer and anthropologist whose work explores social aesthetics and art in everyday life. She has worked extensively in Nepal since 1999, studying music, religion, and the arts of wandering and ‘getting by’ among a caste of itinerant musicians called the Gandharva—or the Gāine—with whom she made most of her films. In fall 2016 she is beginning production for a new film and sound project, Expedition 363, among scientists aboard the JOIDES Resolution, a scientific drilling ship in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Michael Theodore creates large scale sound/art installations with roboticist Nikolaus Correll, has created a number of touring pieces with performance artist Michelle Ellsworth, is 1/2 of the electroaoustic “hardcore Americana” project Batteries Die with punk-folk artist Tim Eriksen, and released a recording with Glen Whitehead (Psychoangelo/Panauromni) that received a “Top Ten Classical Music Recordings of 2010” pick from Timeout Chicago.


BTU: The ATLAS Institute’s BTU lab is a hackerspace equipped with physical computing and digital fabrication hardware.

CRUNCH: The College of Music’s CRUNCH lab is a fully-featured electronic music project studio. It is optimized for computer music (including live interactive performance systems), as well as sound recording and editing projects and audio/video production.



BLOrk: The Boulder Laptop Orchestra, founded and run by John Gunther and John Drumheller. BLOrk integrates technology with improvisers in an ensemble setting, providing live interaction between the two.

BISoN: The Boulder Image and Sound Network ensemble composes music, designs interfaces, and incorporates gestural control from the iPad’s various sensors and performs with iPads.



CMAP / ATLAS Black Box: The ATLAS Institute’s Black Box Experimental Studio features digital technology for interdisciplinary performances that combine traditional and experimental media of all types, with work from students, faculty, and invited guest artists at the intersection of music, dance, visual art, theater, film, creative writing, new media, digital poetry, video production, digital cinema, and interactive audio and visual performances. The space is curated by the Center for Media, Arts, and Performance (CMAP).

Pendulum Series: The College of Music’s Pendulum music series is the premier venue for new music on the CU campus. An annual concert devoted to new electronic music invites prestigious guest artists to collaborate with CU students.