Dr. Elizabeth Hambleton on Mt. McKay in Victoria, Australia while she was taking a field recording class with the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture in June 2019.

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Adriane Cleary

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March 25, 2021

UC Santa Barbara alumna Dr. Elizabeth Hambleton ‘20 was recently appointed as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. For the semester-long appointment, Hambleton is teaching post-tonal theory, which is the capstone class to the four-semester theory sequence for the music majors, as well as an introduction to sound art and soundwalking, which is a more hands-on / "ears-open" class designed for non-majors of all musical and artistic background. In the post-tonal class, Hambleton is teaching the standard fare of atonal set theory and dodecaphony, and also adding units on electroacoustic music, graphic notation, and new notation, plus video game music theory and analysis. In the intro to sound art class, Hambleton is taking her students roughly chronologically through major developments and movements in sound art and avant-garde music, beginning with the invention of the microphone and the effect it had on the world and culminating in exploring and composing virtual reality soundwalks and soundscapes.

Hambleton finished her Master of Arts in Music Theory in Spring 2017 and her PhD in Music Theory in Spring 2020 at UC Santa Barbara, where she worked primarily with Associate Professor Ben Levy. Hambleton’s dissertation examines score study of non-traditional notation in multimedia electroacoustic works in the MIDI era. She has presented at conferences around the world on novel notation, electroacoustic analysis, and ludomusicology, and recently published an article on analyzing the video game genre of navigable narratives in the Journal of Sound and Music in Games. Coming up, Hambleton will have two forthcoming chapters in anthologies on video game sound and music from Oxford and Routledge presses. She is also a composer of electroacoustic music and multimedia installations; her interactive multimedia installation Eric, Turn Off the Nintendo (2018) and “paneled” sound installation Four Images of Bogong (2019) appeared in the UCSB Summer Music Festivals of 2018 and 2019, respectively, and her interactive multimedia installation Robin Return (2020) was performed in the North American Conference of Video Game Music virtual concert in June 2020. She is currently working on a videogame-styled soundwalk experience inspired by the forests of Washington and Maine, and a piece for solo flute and electronics inspired by Kim Addonizio’s poetry.

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