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Ampersand-Renaissance Woman


A true Renaissance woman, Jodi-Ann Taylor ’24 is not only an artist, but also a musician, photographer and full-time Digital Arts major with a double minor in music and entrepreneurship. With the upcoming Stetson Showcase Creative Arts Exhibition, I sat down with Jodi-Ann to hear all about her multimedia project, “All Creation Sings.”  

Could you tell me a bit about your project?

So, it’s my senior project. I kind of had the opportunity to start it through the SURE grant and do research over the summer where I started out doing field recording in nature with bio sonification, which is basically capturing the electrical current changes in plants.  It’s a multimedia project exploring the connection with technology, nature, art, and music, to tell a story. The tracks on the album have some field recordings and nature sounds embedded within them. Then I have my art installation to complement everything I’m doing. I’m using natural earth paint to keep the theme of using nature to tell my story. 

Through the art and music I’m making, it’s going to be telling my story. 

Would you elaborate on bio sonification? 

Yeah, it is the electrical current of the water moving within the leaves. Then, it is recorded into data, and when you go into a DAW or digital audio workstation, you can take whatever notes that are calculated or  transformed into MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) data, then assign different instruments and different sounds to it. 

So, what led you to working with nature? 

There was actually this conference in my electronic music and sound design class in my junior year. We had a visiting artist with the World Forum of Acoustic Ecology, which is a collection of artists from around the world that use field recording of things like whale sounds to tell stories. The specific artist led us on a sound walk around campus which was really cool and a really beautiful experience. It was a lot of listening, a lot of exploring and experiences that led to me deciding, ‘okay, maybe I could do something with this.’  

How do you navigate the intersection between nature and the natural with the artificial and the digital? 

The thing with capturing is you want to be mindful of where you’re recording and mindful of the environment. I learned a lot about three different things: biophony, geophony and anthrophony. Biophony is the sounds of the animals and the creatures. Geophony is the sound of like, the wind, the rain. Then, anthrophony is the sounds that we make and produce as humans. So, it is about being mindful of, you know, the sounds that you’re making and what you’re contributing to the environment that you’re recording in. It is also about  just figuring out which equipment works the best, because the different microphones you use makes a big difference in what you capture. Even the recording interface, which is what you plug the microphones into, also impacts the sound, which is kind of interesting.  It’s a lot of experimenting. You have to be really intentional about what you’re recording with, because when you go to edit and mix, you can’t really undo.  

With all your artificial and natural elements, do you feel like your art is a blending of the old and the new in any way? 

It’s really interesting, because I feel like in the album, I talk about transformation because of nature. Because, things be transforming. I feel like personally, I’ve grown and transformed, and I’m still being transformed. Even the songs that I wrote, some of them are from a time when I was going through a lot and trying to understand the world. Then with painting, that’s one of those things that I started with, but it’s grown so much that like now I’m oil painting, which is crazy. If you told me in high school when I was just using pencil, wow. So, it’s definitely a representation of the old things in my life that have grown into the new.

Would you walk me through the process for each section of your project? 

For painting, there was a lot of introducing myself to the natural earth paints and learning how to mix the pigments. So, I mix my paints then I use Procreate to grid my reference photo and do an underpainting. I actually got to experiment with leaf prints and leaves I collected around campus, which was really cool. For songwriting, it’s kind of collaborative; I’ll have a melodic idea that I’ll record into my voice memos. Sometimes I’ll sit playing the piano to develop a little more and figure out lyrics, because it’s kind of like poetry for me. Then I’ll collaborate with another musician to play along with me, maybe on an instrument that I’m not as skilled at, and they’ll help me continue to shape the song. Specifically for my album, we recorded vocals, piano, guitar, bass guitar and electric guitar. 

With photography, sound design and painting, how do you organize your project? 

The one that feels most comfortable is painting for me; it is more of a free thing. I am very self critical with my music, so sometimes that can be harder for me. Mixing the music is also very hard. It’s like my first time learning how to do that and balance the different instruments with vocal production. Then photography is just fun for me, mostly documenting my journey. I mostly split my time between the sound studio and the painting studio.

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About the Contributor
Ciara Kelley
Ciara Kelley, Arts and Culture Editor

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