Thomas Ciufo

Thomas Ciufo, Assistant Professor of Music

Name:  Thomas Ciufo

Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Music

Areas of study: Music technology, experimental music, audio production, acoustic ecology and sonic art

Research focus: As a sound artist, composer, improviser and music technologist, Thomas Ciufo places his work at the intersections of electronic music, electro-acoustic performance, sonic art and emerging digital technologies. His research interests include computer-mediated improvisational performance and interactive instrument design, audio recording and production, acoustic ecology and listening practices, and innovative approaches to teaching, learning and career development. An electronic musician and audio engineer and producer, Ciufo has performed and presented his work at numerous experimental music festivals and conferences. His recent collaborative CD project, “Sonic Constructions,” was released on the innovative pfMENTUM label.

What drew you to your area of study: I have always been deeply interested in and drawn to music — and more broadly sound — even from a young age. This very fundamental engagement with listening to and creating sound has informed my creative work, research and teaching throughout the years.

What appeals to you about being a professor at Mount Holyoke: Everything! The bright, engaged and self-directed students, the committed and supportive faculty, staff and administration, and the general context of a small, diverse, interdisciplinary liberal arts learning environment.

What do you look forward to at Mount Holyoke: I am fortunate to say that I look forward to each day at Mount Holyoke. In particular, I am excited to meet new students and colleagues, to discover opportunities for collaboration, to create opportunities for our students in the areas of digital music and music technology, and to contribute to the development of the Makerspace. I’m also excited to be one of the College’s new Innovation Hires – in my case, in the areas of digital music and music entrepreneurship — to help create innovative, collaborative and interdisciplinary opportunities for our students.

Favorite things about the campus and region: The campus and surrounding areas are really beautiful. I like the small-town aspect, but there are also a lot of interesting resources close by. The other nearby colleges are also a real asset.

What do you like to do when you are not working: My wife and I both enjoy walking with our dog and generally being outside. The more I look at screens, the more I need to reconnect with nature. We are also excited to go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing this winter.

Favorite book, author, music, movie/TV: I don’t really think in terms of favorites, but recently I have been pretty obsessed with the Bon Iver recording, “22, A Million,” a really interesting music project that breaks all the rules, has a very unique production style, but still feels strangely organic. I am also listening to a lot of North Indian classical music. Just two examples of the rich and complex musical / sonic world we live in.

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