NPR’s ‘The World According to Sound’ comes to Klarman Hall

From left, Sam Harnett and Chris Hoff ’02.

Radio producers Chris Hoff ’02 and Sam Harnett, co-creators of the 90-second NPR radio show, “The World According to Sound,” will give a presentation Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Hoff and Harnett will set up a ring of speakers, hand out eye masks, turn off the lights and engulf audience members in sound, allowing them to experience the evening with auditory cues rather than visual ones.

The audience can expect to hear sounds from the Golden Gate Bridge, ants, Berlin in the 1940s, gravitational waves and music made by a washing machine, among others. Their show airs on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and on individual public radio stations.

“We’re especially excited to welcome back Chris Hoff, who graduated from Cornell in 2002 with a degree in classics,” said Jeremy Braddock, associate professor of English. As a part of their visit, Hoff and Harnett will guest teach two classes in Arts and Sciences: Kim Haines-Eitzen’s Sensational Religion and Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri’s Shaping Sound: An Introduction to Composition and Experimentation in Sound.

“We set out to create a show that is all about sound instead of language and narrative,” said Hoff, “a show where the point isn’t to hook you with a story … but to get deep into a sound and play a long, unnarrated stretch so you can really lose yourself.”

Said Braddock: “Cornell has played a leading role in the emergent interdisciplinary field of sound studies. Sound was the theme at the Society for the Humanities in 2011-12, and Cornell has numerous unique world-class sound-related materials to support research and teaching – from the field recordings at the Lab of Ornithology to Olin Library’s hip-hop, punk and Moog collections.” Cornell’s Media Studies Initiative will launch new introductory classes in 2018-19.

Hoff and Harnett are based in San Francisco but have performed in theaters, art galleries and centers for the blind in San Francisco and in the Northeast.

The presentation is sponsored by Cornell Media Studies and the Society for the Humanities.

Anna Carmichael ’18 is a communications assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson