Oberlin to Offer New Course in Music Sampling

Taught by New York DJ, producer, and educator Chris Annibell, "Sound Collage" will combine historical perspectives with hands-on creating.

April 28, 2021

Erich Burnett

Chris Annibell.
Photo credit: courtesy Chris Annibell

Oberlin Conservatory, an international standard-bearer among preprofessional music schools since its founding in 1865, will offer a new course in music sampling taught by renowned New York City-based DJ, producer, and educator Chris Annibell.

Chris Annibell.

A longtime fixture on the New York club scene, Annibell is the owner of Quiet Creator studio and founder of Afrokinetic, a music marketing and production company that presents DJ and live music events. As a DJ, he has held residencies in many of New York’s best-known venues, including Le Bain and APT, and he is the founder and producer of the popular N.Y.C. dance music party Afrokinetic. His work has also appeared in TV commercials and programs including the HBO series Entourage.

Sound Collage, an introductory-level course in the conservatory’s Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) Department, will be available in summer 2021. The four-credit course focuses on the history, culture, technology, and practice of music sampling in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Students will learn how early 1980s advancements in synthesizer technology sparked entirely new approaches to the creation of music and unprecedented cross-pollination between genres that continues to this day. They will also take part in hands-on experiences using the music production software Ableton Live, through which they will break down, analyze, and reconstruct music of various eras.

Taught remotely, Sound Collage is a special offering designed for students from the College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled for the summer 2021 semester.

A member of the faculty at Long Island University in Brooklyn, Annibell also is no stranger to Oberlin: In recent years, he has visited the conservatory as a guest in the TIMARA Department. He will serve as an assistant visiting professor in his new role.

“Chris has been in the loop with us for quite a while, and we have wanted to develop new ways for him to become more involved with our students,” says Peter Swendsen, a longtime TIMARA professor at Oberlin and the conservatory’s senior associate dean of academic affairs. “Chris is a true authority in his field, and gifted in uniting the theoretical and hands-on aspects of his craft. His presence with us this summer offers a wonderful opportunity for Oberlin students from all corners of our campus.”

While Oberlin traditionally follows a two-semester academic calendar, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the creation of a summer semester in 2021 to sufficiently dedensify campus and permit an optimal learning environment for all students throughout the academic year.

The addition of Annibell’s course represents the latest step in Oberlin’s longstanding efforts to provide outstanding musical opportunities to students in the College of Arts and Sciences, drawing on the incomparable resources of the conservatory and its faculty. In the summer of 2021, college students can study with Chris Eldridge, guitarist for the American roots band Punch Brothers and a visiting associate professor of contemporary American music at Oberlin, and with the Verona Quartet, Oberlin's ensemble in residence.

Learn more about musical opportunities for college students

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