Alumna Megan England Ward (DIGA Music 2008) completed her Master of Arts in Music at the University of Virginia, with an emphasis in Composition and Computer Technologies. Her thesis paper was entitled “The Divine Divide in Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin”. She also completed a capstone composition for percussion quartet entitled Incantation. The piece was premiered in February 2010 by the Talujon percussion quartet.
She is now in the process of applying to graduate programs in Library and Information Science. Megan writes, “In taking this path, I plan to advocate computer literacy and the free and equal access to information. I hope to specialize in youth services and public library systems.”
Megan remains active as a laptop performer, collaborating with members of the Charlottesville experimental music scene. She also does occasional VJ gigs with her husband Kevin Ward (DIGA Art 2008).
Congrats Megan! Best of luck on the next phase!
I have a solo show coming up at the Duncan Gallery of Art at Stetson University. The show, entitled Waves Walks, features two bodies of work. A series of works that uses real-time wave buoy data as a means for generating sounds and images and a series of work based on walking. The opening is August 27 6:00-8:00pm and runs until the 28th of October. Below are some in progress installation shots.
The two pieces pictured below use real-time wave height and period data from wave buoys off the coast of Florida. Using custom software the buoy data is translated into low frequency sound waves. The sound waves shake objects such as bowls of water, these objects respond to the sound waves by creating abstract patterns.
I created software that abstracts images I took while swimming in the ocean. Each projection has a design element which changes size according to the current size of the waves off the coast of Florida.
Major: BA in Digital Arts-Art
Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: After graduation I moved to Orlando, married fellow Stetson alum Kristin Josephson (’01), and was employed at a video/multimedia production company (Eagle Productions) as a multimedia jack-of-all-trades doing web & print design, Flash development, video editing, voiceover recording sessions, live studio audio, CD-ROM development, VR 360 photography, and on-location production for documentaries, commercials, and other video projects. I then transitioned into a new role at the American Safety Council (also in Orlando) in 2004 – responsible for their graphic design and front-end web development, as well as extensive in-house production of online video.
I also co-founded a web startup with another Stetson alum, Jeremy Thompson (’01), to create our movie-ranking website,Flickchart that’s been featured by Microsoft, Mashable, Lifehacker, Cinematical, & others, and we’re now nearly 60,000 members strong in less than one year after our launch.
My son Cameron was born in 2008, and in addition to my work with Flickchart I’m now working exclusively as a freelancer doing web design, print design, and social media consulting for several clients in Central Florida – while balancing fatherly duties at home. We’re expecting a baby girl this December.
Oh, and I’m also a drummer in an indie/electronic/rock band called The Pauses, and we’ll be releasing our debut album later this year.
Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you took DIGA 101?
A: I knew pretty early on that I wanted to be a professional designer, so I think being in DIGA101 in 1997-1998 was a great time as it was the pioneer days for the Internet. There was no YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook – so it was a different time. It’s hard to say if anyone could have predicted what the Internet would become, but I’ve enjoyed the ride getting to where we are now and finding new ways to constantly innovate. I can recall one of my professors (I won’t name names) who swore Macromedia Director was the future of the Internet. Now, neither Director or Macromedia exist, and even its successor Adobe Flash is on its way out to make way for HTML5 and web standards. The work is still as interesting and innovative as it’s ever been for me, so I certainly feel like I’ve made the right choice for the line of work I’ve settled in to.
Looking back, I do think that DIGA101 was probably one of the most enjoyable classes I took at Stetson. I even have one of my videos from a DIGA101 assignment up on YouTube. Long hours waiting for video effects to render. I remember being in the lab staying awake all night, just to have it finish right before class started. Students today would be baffled by how long the simplest things used to take back then.
Q: What advice do you have for someone taking DIGA101 right now?
A: The best thing anyone can do while in college is to soak up as much information as you can from those around you – especially your classmates and your professors. Find the “best” person in you class, impress them, and collaborate with them. Challenge yourself to not take the easy way out. Constantly ask questions. Experiment. Try to do things that have never been done before. Don’t get caught up with learning specific software, because it will always be changing. Learn how to learn, quickly. Adaptation will be the key to success in a digital media career. The ability to immediately reacclimate yourself to new environments, new platforms, new hardware, new colleagues, new challenges are what will truly set yourself apart once you exit academia and begin your “real life”.
Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: I really liked the more experimental classes, where we worked in software like Max/MSP and CSound, because it allowed you to focus on what goes into creating sound at both a creative and technical level simultaneously. It’s exciting to be able to dive into the properties of what makes up crazy, warped sounds and figure out the mechanics of why they sound so awesome. I unfortunately don’t get to use that software now in my career, but the structure of those classes – and most of the other Digital Arts classes at Stetson – gave me the confidence to look under the hood. To get beyond the surface level and dig deeper into the reasons behind every decision you make when you’re under the influence of the creative process. I couldn’t have imagined being able to choose a better undergraduate program.
Check out this video of electronic artist Gary Numan performing his classic song “Cars” on actual cars with his keyboard, all powered by a single DieHard battery. Some inspiration for our own MPG: Mobile Performance Group
The Making of video