Ben

Johansen

ABOUT

I sound art.

I am an interdisciplinary composer fascinated with exploring new ways of creating and organizing sound to make acoustic and electroacoustic music. Designing atmospheres that foster improvisation and indeterminacy within accessible boundaries captivates me. I enjoy the challenge of expanding the limits of performers, participants, and observers in ways that are devoid of anxiety... that's probably why I love improvisation. I cannot create music without considering visual aesthetics.

 

Teaching is a passion of mine that accompanies my desires to continuously learn, create, and research. Few places on earth are more appealing to me than a classroom. My schooling has greatly influenced my interests. I completed my Bachelor’s in Music Education and Master’s in Music Composition at Baylor University where I currently work. I earned my Ph.D. from University of North Texas in Music with an emphasis in Composition, a Specialization in Computer Media and a minor in Installation Art.

PORTFOLIO

  • [Commission] — percussion solo (in the works), 8-15"
  • [Commission] — flute and interactive raspberry pi + speaker (in the works), 5-10"
  • [Commission] — percussion duet including choreography (in the works), 5-15"
  • React — 2013, for flute, violin, and interactive electronics, 7:00"
  • relent — 2012, for alto sax, double bass, 2 percussionists, and interactive electronics, 25:00"
  • Sound Installation — 2011, site-specific art installation, NA"
  • This Room Has a Pulse I & II — 2010 & 2011, a living installation, 180:00"
  • Untitled — 2010, interactive, installation piece, NA"
  • Recycled Sound — 2010, interactive, site-specific art installation, NA"
  • rip — 2009, for percussionists and paper, 10:00"
  • Light-Box — 2009, for computer controlled wooden box with RGB LED, 5.1 surround sound, and video, 7:00"
  • MONOCHROMADDICT — 2008, for two Bb clarinets and two bass clarinets, 8:00"
  • 4 — 2008, for trumpet and 4-channel Max/MSP environment, 6:00"
  • !MPACT — 2007, for solo percussion, sax quartet, brass quartet, and string quartet, 18:00"
  • stir — 2007, for tenor voice, bass trombone, and piano, 11:00"
  • Gravitations — 2006, for winds, strings, percussion, voice, electronics, fish, and other visuals, 18:00"
  • Piezo2 — 2006, interactive sound installation, NA"
  • Brainwash — 2006, for solo percussion and acoustic/electric real-time electronic instruments, 9:00"
  • ENGULFED — 2005, for wind ensemble, string orchestra, organ, tenor choir, 2 drum sets, 2 electric guitars, and 2 electric basses, 9:00"
  • [three paintings] — 2005, for four alto saxophones, 10:00"
  • yellow light blue mirror — 2005, for four marimbas and a piano, 6:00"

My philosophy of teaching:

 

Students’ personal growth and their contribution to society are my top priorities as a teacher. I want students to shed hindrances, gain confidence, and become innovative, mature, wise, knowledgeable, skilled, problem solving, creative scholars. I have found that patience, encouragement, and seriousness in teaching greatly contribute to students meeting these goals.

 

Nurturing, safe, positive learning environments conducive to growth, experimentation, and discovery...require patience. To me, patience involves taking the time to paraphrase, re-demonstrate, and search for new ways to communicate concepts with a positive, optimistic attitude. Patience is understanding that students learn at different paces and should feel welcome to ask questions outside of class over email and during office hours.

 

I encourage students by believing in them and their abilities to learn. I set high standards in my classroom and I let students know I have faith that they can meet them. My enthusiastic teaching inspires interest and excellence. I am always searching for ways to encourage students to actively participate in their learning. Like Josef Albers, in addition to encouraging students to research what those before them accomplished, I encourage students to actively experiment and search for innovative ways of thinking and creating.

 

I take education very seriously. Students trust that part of what has qualified me to teach is that I have been in their shoes and took it very seriously. Once again, I want to inspire excellence: I approached my own education in a meticulous, thorough, studious manner and expect the same effort from students. Students depend on my capacity to determine what subjects, topics, relationships, special cases, and even obstacles are relevant for them to cover in order to meet their particular goals. It is my responsibility to select the appropriate pace and difficulty level of lessons that best enable students to retain knowledge and make critical decisions in similar future applications. By example, I hope to inspire students to be life long learners.

RESEARCH