This is one of a series of profiles featuring the DAC Capstone cohort of Spring 2020.
My name is Bethany Deyo. I was born and raised in Baraboo, Wisconsin and spent my entire lifetime living there up until 3 years ago when I moved to Milwaukee for school. Some of my interests include, music, film, tennis, biking, video games, art, and podcasts.
My creative/technical background is largely music-based. I came to UW-Milwaukee as a Music major initially, double majoring in both Composition & Technology and Saxophone Performance. I had played saxophone and guitar since I was around nine years old and had been very active in the music scene in middle school and high school, so it made sense to me to continue pursuing my passions into higher education.
I studied as a Music major for around a year and a half and started to feel a disconnect between my passion for music and music performance. I felt like I was lacking academic stimuli and interests in other course programs that I wasn’t able to get with the program I was in and I really wanted a degree program that was more interdisciplinary and allowed for me to essentially study various things rather than one subject. That’s how I ended up at DAC. I really enjoy learning about media and culture and already had a passion for music as well as the arts, so I thought it fit quite well. Now I’m a double major in DAC and Media Studies!
I really like DAC because no one person is in the program for the same exact reason; everyone has a different preferred medium, everyone has different skillsets, everyone is working toward applying their skills in different ways.
The central direction of my creative work revolves around audio and sound design. I create sound as a form of music as well as a form of art. Working in sound design this last year especially, I have found a lot of joy in working collaboratively with dancers. It is surreal to take an auditory experience and see it being physically transformed by dancers through the choreography they put to the music and sound. I also find a lot of joy in creating sound art because it’s meant to be listened to in a more “non-traditional” way compared to music one might hear on the radio. Sound art has the ability to be more experimental and avant-garde in the way it’s created, which is the part of the process I find myself most interested in. I have made a lot of my best work in applying my academic knowledge of music but also deconstructing my academic knowledge of music.
I am currently in the process of recording my capstone project onto cassette tapes. My project, Ephemeral, involved creating five 1:30-2:30 beats on Ableton, with the final portion of my project being a tangible artifact of the audio I had created. The length and amount of audio I made was restricted by the length of cassette tapes I had bought for the project, which presented its own set of challenges in what I produced. Usually I do not constrict myself so heavily on the length of my projects and allow whatever I make to flow organically in its length and composition, so I enjoyed the challenge of having a cut-off point for the total audio length.
I see myself taking these experiences and skills and hopefully working with audio in some form in the future! Whether that be audio/radio journalism, sound design, making music; anything would really make me happy as long as I get to keep actively using my skillsets.
If I could tell a beginner anything about creative practice and the things about the nature/structure of DAC that allowed me to develop my practice, I would tell them not to be afraid to explore different mediums and not to compare their work to everyone else’s. I really like DAC because no one person is in the program for the same exact reason; everyone has a different preferred medium, everyone has different skillsets, everyone is working toward applying their skills in different ways. It makes for a really friendly and collaborative environment.
Edit: Ephemeral is now available on Bandcamp!