IUPUI Telematic Collective

View the original article by Tim Brouk.

Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

Department of Music and Arts Technology graduate students Harry Chaubey and Arun Berty each traveled thousands of miles to continue their studies at IUPUI.

Both young men are technologically adept and avid music consumers. Creating and understanding music through the help of computer programs and electronic equipment was their next academic step, which made the School of Engineering and Technology program an easy choice.

But these students’ backgrounds and previous stops are as different as future bass and witch house. Chaubey came from Los Angeles. He was working in sound and composition studios when he decided to up his game. Berty traveled all the way from Chennai, India. He received an undergraduate degree in computer science from Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology in southern India. He made a big change when he decided to pursue his love of music. Both students’ skills have been welcomed in the Department of Music and Arts Technology as well as in the Telematic Collective, a unique electronic music ensemble that performs original works regularly on campus.

“I wanted both of my interests to merge,” said Berty, who found IUPUI online after he finished his computer science degree. “That’s what put me here.”


Telematic Collective gets its name from the tradition of online collaboration during its live shows. Musicians from across the globe have been known to patch in and perform with the IUPUI musicians onstage within the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex. The group’s next concert is at 7:30 p.m. April 12 in ICTC Room 152.

And the collaboration isn’t limited to online talent. A typical Telematic experience will include original video work, live dancers from local organizations like the Ballet Theatre of Indiana and guest Indianapolis musicians. While most students in Telematic have laptops guiding their sounds, musicians have also been known to pick up a saxophone or guitar. The vibraphone is a staple, as it’s the instrument that faculty advisor Scott Deal specialized in during his previous academic career. Like his students, he was lured to IUPUI by the possibilities of electronic music and technological advancement.

“I was always doing crazy technology things,” said Deal, a professor of music arts and technology. “This was a natural next step.”

Like a rock song, a Telematic piece starts with a riff and a beat. A recent rehearsal saw Chaubey, Berty, fellow grad student Dustin Paugh, and undergraduates Sam Duncan and Charles Cheesman working on a piece. The tune was still being shaped as each student got his chance to work the riff or add their own notes. Deal was sitting in as well, but he confirmed to Inside IUPUI that every Telematic piece is written by the students.

“They bring their ideas; they engage the other students; and then we use all of these wonderful technological merging tools to create something that sounds new, fresh and original,” Deal said. “They get to work their creative chops in putting the music together.”

Telematic gained new members this semester, and they are using their time to master music-composition programs like Logic Pro X and equipment like the Native Instruments Maschine drum machine and Ableton Pushes. This device is a sequencer, piano, sampler and effects modulator all in one console about the size of a textbook.

And speaking of those antiquated things made of paper, textbooks don’t tell these tech-savvy musicians how to make an original instrumental work that could earn a live audience’s interest. Experimentation, improvisation and practice fuel the tunes.

“The possibilities are endless,” Chaubey said. “This technology is my instrument.”

Chaubey and Berty manned laptop keyboards and the more traditional keyboards in a musical setting. Berty said he’d been playing piano for several years and was happy to contribute to the ensemble. Each player brings a different expertise, making Telematic an always evolving and changing entity. Berty’s background will help construct technological feats yet to be explored in the group. Other Telematic members — currently 10 students — have had video experience, which helped improve the visual side of the collective.

“We look at this more as a working group,” Deal said. “It’s multidisciplinary.”

Telematic concerts are much more than students sitting in front of laptops for an hour. Video screens display imagery, the online collaborators and dancers contribute, and moody lighting adds to the atmosphere. The music itself is presented with expert live sound. After all, the Music and Arts Technology program pumps out dozens of sound engineers and studio producers every year.

Students work on pieces for months before they are debuted live. The works are usually several minutes long, allowing for live musicians and online artists to add their own flourishes.

“I came here specifically to learn these tools and to incorporate technology into my skill set,” said Paugh, who studied classical music and vocal performance at the University of Nebraska before coming to IUPUI. “This is more collaborative in nature. Everyone contributes their piece. There’s a give-and-take.”

While putting on a good show is important, making sure these students get jobs is crucial. Like his students’ varied backgrounds, Deal said, the degree in music and arts technology can start an array of different career paths. Most students go into the recording industry, including sales and performance. Some have tried their skills at electronic instrument design. Other students have gotten positions with lucrative companies, both music related and not.

“We had a student get a job at Spotify in San Francisco doing their programming,” Deal said. “One student got a job at Boeing doing audio things. He said his job is classified and he couldn’t tell me what exactly he was doing, but it does have to do with audio.”

Ph.D. music technology program to be offered at IUPUI

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved a Ph.D. program thin music technology at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

One of the principal objectives of the program is to train graduates who will develop and research transformative new technologies in music and the arts, according to Debra S. Burns, associate professor of music therapy and chair of the school’s Department of Music and Arts Technology.

Graduates will also explore the practices of designing, making and managing music technology, developing research methodologies in music technology, and integrating music technology in society and industry.

“The Ph.D. program in music technology addresses the comprehensive nature of the field, whose needs include designing new technological tools and techniques, leadership, business entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary research, and creative activity utilizing new and evolving technologies,” Burns said.

Music technology degree programs have been proliferating throughout the country over the past few years. More recently, it has started to emerge as an academic discipline internationally, Burns said. The Ph.D. program builds on the continuing success of the department’s undergraduate and master’s programs.

In addition to academic positions, graduates will be qualified for employment at a number of performing arts organizations and educational centers, such as Auralex Corp. in Indianapolis; Black Entertainment Television in Washington, D.C.; D’Addario Music Products in Farmingdale, N.Y.; MakeMusic Inc. in Minneapolis; Music for All Inc. in Indianapolis; National Arts Center in Athens, Greece; National Arts Center in Beijing; Ruth Lilly Health Education Center in Indianapolis; Scripps Network Interactive in Nashville, Tenn.; Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, Korea; and Sirius Radio in New York.

“The rise of technologies such as file sharing, portable computing and interactive media have transformed the very nature of how music is both created and experienced,” Burns said. “It is expected that the Ph.D. program will produce academic and professional leaders capable of addressing a rapidly changing environment driven by continual development and integration of technology.”

Partnership links to global opportunities

Four IUPUI faculty and staff members who are involved with international opportunities for students attended Oktobertfest in the fall: from left, Jennifer Williams, Pat Fox, Claudia Grossmann and Terri Talbert-Hatch.
Four IUPUI faculty and staff members who are involved with international opportunities for students attended Oktobertfest in the fall: from left, Jennifer Williams, Pat Fox, Claudia Grossmann and Terri Talbert-Hatch.

A partnership linking the School of Engineering and Technology and the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the School of Liberal Arts has given four IUPUI students intriguing international experiences as they prepare to graduate in 2015.

A dual-degree program between the engineering school and German, Spanish and French language programs opened the doors to the internships. Three of them, Brian Knip, Eduardo Salcedo and Jesus Roman, worked with the Bosch Engineering Group in the small town of Abstatt. The fourth, C. J. Nielsen, worked at the University of Heilbronn. Both Abstatt and Heilbronn are located in southern Germany.

Knip, Salcedo and Roman tested their skills and knowledge in Bosch’s research and development department as part of an international group of engineering professionals, researchers and interns. Nielsen worked at an engineering lab alongside graduate students. All but Knip are part of IUPUI’s motorsports engineering program; Knip majors in mechanical engineering.

Claudia Grossmann, director of IUPUI’s German program, said the time abroad has an impact on the students.

“They gain new language, technical and intercultural skills, and gain on a personal level, as well,” Grossmann said. “They learn how to take care of themselves in another culture. As interns, they don’t have as much support as they are used to, so they have to deal with a wide range of practical experiences. That’s invaluable.”

Terri Talbert-Hatch, the assistant dean of student services in Engineering and Technology, knows the dual-degree program allows students to prepare for professional careers while benefitting schools at the same time.

“It helps us develop partnerships with other universities and with businesses,” she said. “Last year, for instance, an official from Bosch Motorsports in Detroit heard about our dual-degree program, and the talented students who were involved, and wondered why the company’s Detroit site didn’t have a similar program.” That has opened a discussion that may lead to opportunities in the U.S.

Both Grossmann and Talbert-Hatch have led student delegations to Germany, and have seen how the trips affected IUPUI students.

“Students figure out pretty quickly how studying abroad can benefit them in internships and career opportunities,” Talbert-Hatch said, noting a wealth of connections linking the U.S. and Germany in engineering fields.

Knip said he learned a lot during his time abroad, not all of it technical.

“Throughout my internship, I discovered both what I enjoyed and disliked about the possible careers available for mechanical engineering graduates,” he said. That knowledge has given him a stronger focus on his career goals as he applies and interviews with prospective employers.

The dual-degree program has been around for a decade, and Grossmann believes that internship prospects in German companies fit well with the language she teaches.

“We have a good following from engineering students, who often are interested in German engineering and want to take advantage of what they can learn,” she said.

“Engineers tend to look at things a little differently, and doing an internship in Germany allows them to experience technology that is just as advanced, but in a different culture,” Grossmann added. “The language immersion and engineering work enrich each other.”

By Ric Burrous

IUPUI Music Academy turns children into composers

Children composing

Don’t tell the youngsters sitting in front of large computer monitors with earphones clamped to their ears that they are engaged in something serious like problem solving. They are having too much fun composing music tracks in an IUPUI Music Academy summer class.

The children are creating six 33-bar tracks using the Garage Band software, which allows users to become composers, regardless of their knowledge of music.

“It’s really fun,” said 9-year-old Lilly. Cameron, 11, looked forward to showing his father his latest compositions. “I showed him what I had done (in a previous) class. He was kind of confused, but I helped him.”

The children are among 35 youths from an all-day sports camp at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis who were enrolled in the weeklong Music Academy class, which meets for 90 minutes a day.

The IUPUI Music Academy is an independent community music school, operating under the auspices of the Department of Music and Arts Technology in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. It was established in 1996 as an outreach program for the communities surrounding the IUPUI campus.

In addition to engaging with the sports camp youngsters this summer, the Music Academy also worked with 74 TRIO Upward Bound first-generation college-bound students and 35 high school girls from across the country who participated in the School of Engineering and Technology’s Preparing Outstanding Women for Engineering Roles program, sponsored by Rolls-Royce. The classes for the high school students have concluded.

Participants in Preparing Outstanding Women for Engineering Roles are invited to the program after expressing an interest in that field. The weeklong experience includes activities like a trip to the Honda auto plant, where the girls met with female engineers. It also includes sessions devoted to GarageBand.

GarageBand strikes a natural chord with younger people, said E.J. Choe, an assistant professor of music and director of the IUPUI Music Academy. “The Christmas wish list of this generation begins with products whose names begin with the letter ‘I’: iPad, iPhone, iPod.

“This marries an old art form with technology, which lures them into music, whether they play an instrument or not,” she said. “Everyone wants to be a composer, and kids quickly learn how to use the software to do it.”

There is a strong connection between engineering and music, said Terri Talbert-Hatch, assistant dean of student services. “Introducing them to GarageBand is a way to show them that technology can be fun. The name of the GarageBand class may not have the word engineering in it, but it’s all about technology, solving problems and being creative.”