Whitney J. Slaten, Ph.D.

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. in Music (Ethnomusicology), October 2017

Columbia University, New York, NY

Dissertation: “Doing Sound: An Ethnography of Fidelity, Temporality, and Labor Among Live Sound Engineers.”

Director: Aaron Fox

Readers: Chris Washburne, Walter Frisch, George Lewis, John Szwed

M.Phil. in Music (Ethnomusicology), May 2010

Columbia University, New York, NY

M.A. in Music (Ethnomusicology), May 2007

Columbia University, New York, NY

Master’s Thesis: “Sounding the World: The Live Sound Engineering of World Music in New York City.”

Director: Aaron Fox

B.Mus. in Sound Engineering Arts and Jazz Performance, May 2005

William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

Bachelor’s Thesis: “The History, Design Criteria, and Application of Loudspeakers in the Context of Sound Reinforcement.”

Director: David Kerzner

Fellowships and Awards

Dissertation Fellowship (Columbia University), 2012-2013

Summer Teaching Fellowship (Columbia University), 2011

Faculty Fellowship (Columbia University), 2005

Employment: University Degree Program

The New School (New York, NY)

Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts

Assistant Professor of Contemporary Music, Music Technology, 2017-2018

Part-Time Lecturer, 2015-2017

The School of Jazz and Contemporary Music

Part-Time Lecturer, 2015-2016

Seton Hall University, College of Communication and the Arts (South Orange, NJ)

Visiting Assistant Professor, 2014-2015

William Paterson University, Department of Music (Wayne, NJ)                     

Adjunct Instructor, 2012-2017

Columbia University, Department of Music (New York, NY)

Instructor of Music, Summer 2011

Columbia University, Department of Music (New York, NY)

Instructor of Music, 2009-2012

Seton Hall University, College of Communication and the Arts (South Orange, NJ)

Adjunct Professor, 2007-2010

Academic Advising

Principal advisor, Brielle Liebman, “Eat, Pray, Love: Situating Gender, at a Dhurpad Gurukul Within and Beyond India,” Bachelor of Arts Honors Thesis, Popular Music Program, William Paterson University (2015-2016)

Co-advisor, Jasmine Henry, “‘Is R&B Having an Identity Crisis?’ Examining the ‘R&B Identity Crisis’ Phenomenon in the Contemporary Music Industry,” Master of Music Thesis, College of Art and Communication, William Paterson University (2015-2016)


I. Articles

“Ethnography, Sound Studies and The Black Atlantic: A Conversation with Michael Veal and Whitney Slaten,” Current Musicology 101 (2017): in press.

Editor, “The American Harmonium and Arthur Bird” by Artis Wodehouse, The Diapason, November (2015): 26-29.

“Representing Recording Studios of the Past: A Review Essay,” Current Musicology 91 (2011): 167-184.

II. Reviews

Unfree Masters: Recording Artists and the Politics of Work by Matt Stahl (Duke University Press, 2012), Ethnomusicology Review 18 (2013): http://ethnomusicologyreview.ucla.edu/content/book-review-unfree-masters-recording-artists-and-politics-work

Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae by Michael E. Veal (Wesleyan University Press, 2007), SOULS 10 (Spring) (2008): 187-189.

III. Discography (as producer/engineer)

Artis Wodehouse, Arthur Bird: Music for the American Harmonium, Raven OAR-962 (2016)

John-Carlos Perea, Creation Story (2014)

Courtney Bryan, This Little Light of Mine (2010)

IV. Discography (as performer)

Clark Terry & Louie Bellson, Expedition (2008)

Ron Foster & Kindred Spirits, That Holiday Feeling (2006)

Kelvin Quince Quintet, Live at Trumpets (2005)

Clark Terry Big Band, Live at Marians (2004)

Conference Presentations

“Amplifying Jazz as Cultural Repatriation in Harlem: Jazzmobile and the Urban Soundscape,” Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, New York, NY (September 2017)

“Voicing Artis, Pianolizing Gershwin: Piano Rolls in the Post-Digital and Post-Industrial Era,” Ghosts in the Machine: Technology, History and Aesthetics of the Player-Piano, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (May 2017)

“On the Postructuralism of Loudspeakers: Transduction and the Digital Humanities,” Reembodied Sound: A Symposium & Festival of Transducer-based Music and Sonic Art, Computer Music Center, Columbia University, New York NY (April 2017)

“Jazzmobile and the Urban Soundscape,” Locations and Dislocations: An Ecomusicological Conversation, Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, NJ (April 2016)

“Amplifying From the Shadows: Representation and Metarepresentation in Live Music Production,” University of Toronto Music Graduate Students’ Association Conference on “Music and Labor,” Toronto, ON (April 2016)

Invited Panelist, “Art, Citizenship and Community,” Columbia Black Law Students Association, Paul Robeson Conference, New York, NY (February 2016)

“Liveness, Sonic Color and Transparency: The Creative Agency of Mixing Recorded and Live Broadway Productions of Porgy and Bess,” Art of Record Production Conference, Philadelphia, PA (November 2015)

“Master Class: Gnawa, The Trance Music of Morocco, featuring Abdellah El Gourd of Dar Gnawa of Tanger and Randy Weston,” Moderator, The New School, New York, NY (October 2015)

“Transparency, Color, and Liveness: An Ethnographic Study of the Live Sound Engineering of Porgy and Bess on Broadway,” Music Research in the Digital Age: International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentations Centres and the International Musicological Society Congress, New York, NY (June 2015)

“Sonic Color and the Transparency of Music Production: Mixing Porgy & Bess on Broadway,”

Annual Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Ottawa, Canada (May 2015) and Annual Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Louisville, KY (February 2015)

Invited Panelist, “Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Production,” Albright College Music Business Forum (April 2015)

Invited Speaker, “Toward a Comparison of Ethnomusicology and Sound Engineering in the Study of Popular Music,” William Paterson University, Department of Psychology (November 2013)

Invited Speaker, “Faders, Engineers and Genres: Mixing Live Music in New York City,” Oberlin

Conservatory of Music and Oberlin College Africana Studies Department (October 2013)

Invited Guest Lectures

“The Human Voice,” Prof. Stefania deKenessey, Eugene Lang College, The New School (November 2017)

“Cross Cultural Listening,” Prof. Niko Higgins, Sarah Lawrence College (November 2017)

“Sound in the City,” Prof. Louise Meintjes, Duke University and New York University (September 2017)

“Ethnomusicological Field Methods and Techniques” The Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University (November 2016)

“Digital Field Methods: Exploring the Medialities of Recording and Ethnography,” The Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University (March 2014)

Courses Taught

The New School

“Thriller”: Deconstructing Popular Music Production

Sound to Signal: The Musical Life of Audio Transducers

Recording Studio as Instrument

Studio Topics: Timbaland

Progressive Trends in Jazz and Concert Music

Technologies of Global Pop

Popular Music and Genre

World Music History

Columbia University

Music Engineering: Discourses and Techniques

Masterpieces of Western Music

William Paterson University

Popular Music and Genre I & II

Popular Music Honors Thesis

Seton Hall University

Music and Audio Technology

Music and Sound for Film

Theory of Music

Music and Civilization

Private Jazz Saxophone Instruction

Other, Related Academic and Professional Employment

Center for Ethnomusicology, Columbia University (New York, NY)

Archivist and Audio and Video Technologist, 2005-2012

Department of Music, Columbia University (New York, NY)

Audio and Video Technologist, 2005-2012

Slatencraft LLC (New York, NY)

Founder and Owner, 2007-present

The limited liability company that provides live sound reinforcement, sound systems, on-location multitrack audio recording and multi-camera digital videography.

Jazzmobile Summerfest (New York, NY)

Audio Contractor, 2007-2017

Artis Wodehouse and “Melodeon” (New York, NY)

Producer, Audio and Video Engineer, 2011-present

Audio International (Scotch Plains, NJ)

Live Sound Engineer, 1998-2007

Freelance Musician (Saxophone), 2001-2009

The Clark Terry Big Band

The Whitney Slaten Project

Emperor Adichie and the Afro Jungle Funk Band

African Brothers Collective

Freelance Musician (Saxophone), continued 

William Paterson Jazz Combo

Babatunde Olatunji

Hampton University (Hampton, VA)

Music Theory Tutor, 2000-2001

Private Instructor (Scotch Plains, NJ)

Saxophone and Improvisation, 1996-2003

Professional Activities and Academic Services

Organizer, “Jazzmobile, Community and the Harlem Soundscape,” Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, New York, NY (September 2017)

Panel Organizer, “Representing Labor in Digital Media: Radio, Records and Live Performance,”

Annual Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Louisville, KY (February 2015)

Professional Affiliations

Society of Ethnomusicology

International Association for the Study of Popular Music

Audio Engineering Society

National Systems Contractors Association