Anya Sirota, associate dean for academic initiatives and associate professor of architecture, recently appeared on “Stateside,” a program hosted by NPR affiliate WUOM. Along with Akari Komura, a graduate student in U-M’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, Sirota discussed Sonic Scenographies, a multidisciplinary research program that challenged student teams to spend the summer of 2020 speculating on ways performance is influenced by digital space. As part of the project, musicians and other performing arts students teamed up with architecture students to explore what the future of improvisation might be without live audiences, and how sound and space are affected by virtual settings.
“For fields that are creative, we are so reliant on collaboration, spontaneity, and interactive exchange. When we began developing this program in the spring, the dilemma of how to chart a way forward became very difficult and very self-evident,” Sirota said.
The brainchild of Sirota and Mark Clague, associate dean in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, Sonic Scenographies also relied on partnership from ArtsEngine, an organization that fosters multidisciplinary teaching and learning at U-M.
“We tried to encourage everyone to be as exploratory and experimental as possible and not to think about a product as the endgame but really to explore a process,” Sirota said. “And we really believed that there was connective tissue between what seems to be two different disciplines, performance and architecture.”
Listen to the full 18-minute interview here.