Writing with Sound: Aural Storytelling in Digital Times

Artist and educator Teresa Landgraff Gale, Scripps class of ’96, returns to Scripps College in February as the 2007 Lois Langland Alumna-in-Residence (LLAiR). Gale will discuss her work employing sound as a viable artistic and narrative medium. As part of the LLAiR program, a unique alumnae opportunity to share personal and professional experiences with the College community, Gale will present a lecture “Writing with Sound: Aural Storytelling in Digital Times,” at the Scripps College Tuesday Noon Academy. The lecture will be held Tuesday, February 27, at 12 p.m. in the Hampton Room, Malott Commons. Bring a lunch or purchase one at the Malott dinning hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. Please contact the Scripps College Office of Alumnae Relations for more information at (909) 621-8054 or the Malott Commons office at (909) 607-9372.

According to Gale, sound has traditionally been sidelined in favor of the visual in the art world. With the advent of digital technology and popularity of personal listening devices, the genre of sound art has grown rapidly in recent years. Gale will share insights from her experience as a specialist in narrative sound-based work. Drawing from her love of storytelling, she will discuss her artistic evolution—namely how she arrived at sound through a commercial and visual arts background—and present samples of her recent solo and collaborative work.

For several years, the Chicago-based artist and educator has been experimenting with sound as a means for creative expression, production, and communication. As a teacher at the Los Angeles Braille Institute, a school for the blind and visually impaired, Gale learned aural teaching techniques. Later, Gale created her first audio recording during a year-long photographic study. Impressed by the incidental noises, she began taking aural snapshots during her photography sessions. “At that point,” says Teresa, “I knew that visual documentation alone was insufficient in conveying the scope of my sensory experience.” Her artistic practice has evolved into a multi-media method of storytelling employing sound, video, and performance.

The LLAiR program honors Lois Langland, Scripps professor of psychology emerita, whose devotion to encouraging creativity and individuality reflects a central value of the College. Previous LLAiR recipients include: Kathleen Brogan Schwarz M.D. ’64, professor of pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University; and Tanya Cherry Tull ’64, humanitarian and founder of Para los Niño, a Skid Row nonprofit family service agency.