Department of Music

PhD Candidate Will Johnson Creating Music for New Exhibitions and a Podcast in 2022

Audio artist and PhD candidate in Music & Multimedia Composition Will Johnson has been busy in 2022. Johnson composed music and sound for the podcast "Love Thy Neighbor," and he is one of the artists collaborating on exhibitions at MoMA and the University of Johannesburg.

Brown University PhD candidate Will Johnson shared the following update on his creative work in 2022:

Black Sonic Exhibition (University of Johannesburg)

Over the past year, Johnson has been working with an international group of researchers and artists (with the support of the University of Johannesburg/VIAD and Brown University's CSSJ) to curate a multimedia exhibition in South Africa. After many months, the exhibition went live (in South Africa) on July 14 and runs through August 12, 2022. Johnson also has a four channel audio installation in the exhibition. More info available on the website for South African arts magazine, Creative Feel.

MoMA Residency with Okwui Okpokwasili

This past week, Johnson has been working on sound/music at the MoMA as part of Okwui Okpokwasili's performance residency. The residency marks the first ever artist residency initiated by the MoMA and is part of a larger effort to re-think performance in relation to the museum, as a space. This behind-closed-doors residency runs through August 28, 2022. The public will be able to view the artists' creative process on select dates -- August 23, 25, and 26. More info at the MoMA website.

Score/Composition for Love Thy Neighbor

Earlier in the year, Johnson created a score for a podcast written by writer/NY Magazine editor Collier Meyerson. The podcast, produced by Pineapple Street Media, re-contextualizes the events that are now known as the "Crown Heights Riots." The music/sound that accompanies the podcast is largely an exploration of the krekht technique (the sound of violins "sobbing" as used in Yiddish/Klezmer music). The Guardian listed it as one of the best new podcasts. It is also featured in Vulture.