2019-2020 Luce Scholar

Aaron Karp is a musician, composer, and computer scientist from Lexington, Kentucky. With two musician parents, Aaron started studying violin and viola at four. He discovered his love for computer programming his freshman year of high school. At the intersection of music and computer science, his work explores how technology and humans coexist. While pursuing a double major in music and computer science at Northwestern University, he found an avenue for combining his two passions through the Interactive Audio Lab. His research on novel music and audio interfaces for individuals with vision impairments has been published in the Audio Mostly Conference on Augmented and Participatory Sound and Music Experiences (AM ’17) as well as ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS ’16). Aaron’s experience with classical music and sound technology led him to volunteer in the Arts and Music Programs for Education in Detention Centers (AMPED). He worked with residents in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center every Saturday, teaching them music production and song-writing. Artistically, Aaron’s compositions and sound art installations have centered around questions of technological mediation and present cultural inequities. His piece Tare, for string quartet, three sopranos, and reel-to-reel tape machine, was premiered by the Mivos Quartet, and his piece Introduction, for fixed electronics, was played at the 2018 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Daegu, South Korea. His most recent work, a multimedia installation, uses generative visual and sonic algorithms to explore alternative forms of sociality, and ran every evening in the Black Family Visual Arts Center for three weeks. Aaron will finish a Masters in Digital Musics at Dartmouth College in 2019 under the guidance of Michael Casey, Spencer Topel, and Michelle Lou. His thesis explores questions surrounding methods of mass audio surveillance, analyzing the technology and theory behind the practice, creating a system to hide sounds from surveillance, and using the system in a sound art installation. When not programming or composing, Aaron enjoys dancing and doodling.