Chris Holtum explores new sonic and technological territories
What did you enjoy most about studying your course?
It is absolutely impossible to single out a favourite part of the course, but the endless pursuit of new skills and knowledge would definitely be near the top. Tutors were always encouraging exploration of new sonic and technological territories, and there was never a dull moment.
What was your favourite module and why?
It is hard to choose a favourite module, but the final major project was definitely one of the modules that stands out. It provided the opportunity for me to bring all the various parts of the course and my own practices together into one project.
Did you experience any specific trips, guest speakers or events connected to your course that you enjoyed?
The whole lineup of speakers, trips and events were fantastic. In particular, the talk that Mike and Lara Paradinas delivered was instrumental in shaping some of my own creative practices, but was also very informative about running a record label. The sound design course also has a fantastic culture of organising student led events (in person and online), that I feel privileged to have been a part of. The most notable of these was the opportunity to take my audiovisual performance to Berlin.
What are your career aspirations and how did the course provide you with the skills and experience to help reach these goals?
When I started at LSBU, my career aspirations centred around working with audio in the the video game/interactive media industry. Although these aspirations developed and shifted over time, the Sound Design course at LSBU gave me the skills and knowledge to expand my skillset and pursue any career aspirations. For example, before studying at LSBU I had never attempted any form of computer programming and was actively intimidated by the thought, but now it has taken a central role in my creative and technological practices. This would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of my tutors, who were always pushing me towards these new skills and knowledge.
Can you tell us a bit about your final year project?
For my final major project, entitled ‘Simulacra’, I used video game development technology to create a live audio-visual performance environment for my practice as an electronic music artist. Utilising elements from all aspects of the course: sound design, composition, mixing, mastering and audio programming. I used it as an opportunity to use and learn very marketable skills while pursuing a passion project, and in fact I feel so passionately about the project that I have continued development since graduating.
What advice would you give to new students considering a course in your subject area?
My advice would be to go for it: fully immerse yourself in the fascinating world of audio. There are so many weird and wonderful rabbit holes to fall down, and once you do, you won’t look back.
You can explore Chris' work and projects on his website denizen-audio.co.uk.