The School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design welcomed two new faculty members this fall. Joel Ong has joined the Department of Computational Arts as assistant professor of Information Design and Data Visualization. Randolph Peters has been appointed an assistant professor of Composition and Sound Design for Cinema, Games and Motion Media in the Department of Music.
“We’re delighted to have two such path-breaking and inspiring artist-researchers join our community,” said AMPD Dean Shawn Brixey. “Building on our school’s interdisciplinary strengths, Joel and Randolph will extend the collaborative reach of our programs, push creative boundaries and provide wonderful new opportunities for our students.”
Joel Ong is a media artist whose fields of interest include ambisonics, aural architecture, bioart, cybernetics, data sonification, environmental art and sound art. His works connect scientific and artistic approaches to the environment, particularly with respect to sound and physical space. He is invested in a broad range of art-science collaborations, engaging in discourses and creative processes that find common ground between these two disciplines.
Presented in venues and festivals internationally, Ong’s projects have involved nanotechnology, site-specific sound installations, collective multi-media improvisations, physical computing, environmental sensing, and data systems. As well as creating aesthetic experiences, he is also working on experiments that explore how memory, nostalgia, intimacy and distance can be reinterpreted through a combination of physical and digital/networked geographies. A visiting artist at the UCLA ArtSci Center since 2014, his current research/creation projects includes a large-scale interdisciplinary initiative on bird communication, where scientists and artists collectively explore the poetics of interspecies communication and interaction through site-specific installations.
Ong holds a BSc in biology and ecology from the National University of Singapore and an MSc in biological arts from the University of Western Australia, where he conducted interdisciplinary work in nanotechnology and sound at the SymbioticA Centre for Excellence in BioArt. He is currently completing doctoral studies in digital arts and experimental media at DXARTS, University of Washington.
Randolph Peters is an internationally recognized composer who works in a wide range of art forms and music media. As well as many symphonic, choral and chamber music works, he has composed for opera, theatre and dance, and has created more than 100 film and television scores for feature, documentary and animated productions.
Peters’ compositions have been presented around the world by such as artists as percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, the Kronos and the Penderecki String Quartets, and conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Marin Alsop. His work includes commissions from the Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary, Québec and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras, the Hannaford Street Silver Band, and the Elmer Iseler Singers, among others. His operas include Nosferatu, commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company and performed by Manitoba Opera; Inanna, set to a libretto by Margaret Atwood; and Dora Award nominee The Golden Ass, with an original libretto by Robertson Davies, premiered by the COC in 1999.
Peters’ screen credits include original scores for the movies The Diviners (dir. Anne Wheeler), Lost in the Barrens (dir. Michael J.F. Scott) and Cowboys and Indians: The J.J. Harper Story (dir. Norma Bailey); the TV series Cashing In; and the soundtrack for Shameless Propaganda, a feature documentary about the National Film Board of Canada. He has led National Screen Institute boot camp seminars for film directors on music scoring and other aspects of music production for film and television.
Peters holds a BSc from the University of Winnipeg and an MMus from Indiana University Bloomington, where he also pursued doctoral studies in composition and electronic music.