Our new music production tutor Doron Sadja's work spans everything from experimental sound installations to light art and lecturing. Get to know him in this interview.
Who was your favourite childhood teacher? We’re talking password-security-question official. No doubt the awesomely eccentric one that could teach anything and make it stick. Or that too-cool-for-school dude who schemed up an elaborate Nintendo Wii science experiment just so he could bring his new games console into class. Because, whether you’re teaching or learning, knowledge is power, but it’s enthusiasm that flicks the switch.
New music production tutor Doron Sadja gets it. In fact, his enthusiasm is as infectious as his fashion sense is striking (trust, that’s a lot). From New York to Berlin, the sound and light artist, composer and curator has spent his creative career engrossed in a whole spectrum of music and art projects, passionately sharing his knowledge at every opportunity he gets.
His fascinating work spans everything from immersive multichannel sound pieces, to provocative performances and installation works, to stroboscopic smoke, mirror, laser, and projection shows. That’s not to mention his own inspiring lecture listening series.
Still smiling after a hectic Welcome Week, we got to know Doron a little better with some quick-fire questions.
“There’s a refreshing, inspiring, and open-ended approach here that you don’t see in many schools.”
Welcome! What are you doing at Catalyst?
Thanks! I’m teaching on the third year course, ‘Innovation in Music Production.’ We’ll be exploring the importance of risk-taking in one’s artistic practice, as well as getting students to work on larger scale projects. I’ll also be leading weekly workshops in the new Creative Music Production MA programme about a variety of interesting technologies and techniques, such as Max4Live, field recording, audiovisual performance, and more.
What were you doing before you came to Catalyst?
For the last few years, since coming out to Europe, I’ve primarily been focusing on performing and exhibiting as a sound and light artist. I have also been leading workshops as a monthly lecture/radio series called Sound Portraits. Before that, I was in NYC for ten years. There I ran a DIY experimental music space called West Nile, worked at another experimental music venue called Roulette, and played in a bunch of music and performance art projects.
So many reasons! Catalyst is a really unique school. There’s a refreshing, inspiring, and open-ended approach here that you don’t see in many schools. It’s in Berlin, which is of course a major bonus for both the students and the faculty. The approach to education feels very much in tune with the ethos of the city. I also have the opportunity to be a part of a Masters programme during its first year. This feels like a rare chance to help reshape ideas about postgraduate education and really connect to students and their work.
“I think that some of my most important teachers weren’t necessarily the ones that taught me anything ‘useful’.”
What impact do you hope to have at the school this year?
I think that some of my most important teachers weren’t necessarily the ones that taught me anything ‘useful.’ They were the ones that would come to our meetings so excited and passionate about creating work that they inspired me to push my work into new territories. They showed me the importance of not just dedicating your life to your artwork, but of loving what you do and having fun with it. I hope that in some way I’ll be able to help inspire students, challenge them, and guide them in developing their own artistic practices. At the same time, I want to make sure that they never lose the passion that got them into making music in the first place.
What do you recommend we watch, see or listen to this weekend?
Well, I’ll actually plug my own event for this weekend! This Sunday, I’ll be leading one of my Sound Portraits listening/lecture sessions (Facebook event here). We’ll be focusing on the work of audiovisual artist Ryoji Ikeda. His work is immensely important and super beautiful. If you don’t know his work, or even if you do but you’d like to learn more about him and hear his work on a nice sound system, come on by! It’s very casual and will be over by 10pm.
Get to know another new face from our music team: audio mastering tutor Conor Dalton.