Each year, three “master artists” from around the world gather in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, for a three-week residency program. These artists, which are from various disciplines, each select eight “associate artists” to participate in the program. This year, Andrew Babcock, a University of Florida (UF) Ph.D in music composition student studying under Professor Paul Koonce, was chosen as one of the associate artists.
Babcock is currently completing his residency, which is from Oct. 13, 2014 to Nov. 2, 2014, at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Atlantic Center for the Arts is nonprofit artists-in-residence program that provides artists with an opportunity to work and collaborate with some of the world's masters in the visual, literary and performing arts. Since the program began in 1982, over 3,500 artists have been served from the U.S. and around the world.
The residency program is designed to provide a collegial environment for artists of all disciplines where they can engage in meaningful interaction and stimulating discussions, while pursuing individual or group projects.
Aside from the daily master classes and workshops, the most exciting project Babcock has worked on so far has been taking advantage of the coastal city and using hydrophones to capture the sounds of oysters, barnacles and dolphins.
Babcock’s mentor, Jonty Harrison, is best known as a composer of acousmatic music with a background as a classically trained pianist and horn player. In 1980, he joined the University of Birmingham Music Department where he is now professor of composition and electroacoustic music, as well as director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios and BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre). BEAST is internationally renowned for the public presentation of acousmatic and electroacoustic music over multiple loudspeakers.
Through working with Harrison and his peers and taking advantage of all that the center has to offer, Babcock believes this residency will help him grow as an artist.
“I have made connections with people who came as far as Australia to work here,” said Babock. “I think this program has further accelerated my growth as a composer, both from grasping new perspectives and techniques, as well as having dedicated creative time with minimal distractions.”