Paperphone, a Scholarly Voice Playground

Digital humanist Wendy Hsu and experimental music artist Jonathan Zorn have been hard at work on Paperphone, an audio effects processor designed for scholarly papers exploring the nexus between humanities and sound. Version 1.0 boasts 16 effect presets including Operatic, Stairwell, Walkie Talkie, Femme, Butch, Lo-fi, Robot, Garage, Eavesdropping, and Hypothetical.

They will launch Paperphone in a couple of weeks with a workshop/demo at UCLA. I’m excited to join them and fellow experimenters,Wendy Hsu and artist James Raymond, to demonstrate the possibilities of Paperphone. I’m planning on doing a live sound essay by mixing and narrating field recordings I’ve done in Rio de Janeiro to create a mixtape of the city.

As Wendy writes, “We are excited to play with our audio processing application in and outside of the expected rituals of scholarly knowledge production. In addition to the demo, we will engage with users with an interest to implement Paperphone in a workshop format. Come and play with us!”


May 15, noon – 2pm.
UCLA Schonberg Music Building, Room 1230

UCLA is providing lunch for event participants!! Please RSVP to Mike D’Errico ( by May 14th.

UPDATE:                                                                                                                                                   Unfortunately I did not record my “mixtape of the city” at UCLA. I did, however, record a non-narrated mini-mix I made while playing around with and learning Paperphone. I used field recordings that I made in March 2014 in Rio de Janeiro. Listen in for forro, a Northeastern regional music, played live in Brazil’s largest favela; Bossa Nova in Copacabana’s Bip Bip bar, a tiny 50 year old samba establishment; marmosets in the Laranjeiras neighborhood; and birdsong recordings piped into the metro station in Rio’s city center.

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2 Responses to Paperphone, a Scholarly Voice Playground

  1. Pingback: Provoke! A Special Collection of Digital Sound Studies | Sound Ethnography Project

  2. Pingback: Provoke! A Special Collection of Digital Sound Studies | ICIS: Innovating Communication in Scholarship

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