Daniel Eaton is an artist who works in a variety of sound-related media. Much of his practice confronts thematically interrelated material exploring memory, projection, nostalgia and the dream state. His art seeks to merge seemingly incompatible worlds into a new universe. With a conceptual approach, Eaton formalizes coincidental ideas and emphasizes the conscious process of composition behind his seemingly random pieces. Eaton’s work is systematic, aesthetically resilient and fascinated with the clarity of content. Using a cool and neutral sound palette, his body of work is steeped in minimalistic values, often incorporating mathematical relationships between singular sonic elements that in turn combine to build complex structures.
In his practice, Eaton responds to his surrounding environment, using personal experiences as a starting point. He seeks to call attention to these framed instances that might otherwise go unnoticed in their original context. By layering ordinary, recognizable elements in unexpected ways, Eaton creates an unprecedented situation in which the listeners are confronted with the conditioning of their own perceptions and are prompted to reconsider their biased positions. This thematic exploration is illustrated in his solo album “Pantomimes” for which the entire sound palette for each of the 24 short compositions is built from the sounds of everyday objects. This can also be seen in his work for film where he often juxtaposes familiar sounds with incongruent on-screen actions.
Another major focus of Eaton’s work explores the mathematical nature of sound, devising a series of chance-based and generative systems, which result in ornate sound structures referencing the dream state. His work “Body Wave” injects musicians into a predetermined evolving composition built from sine tones that resonate through multi-channel speaker arrays. The performers influence this sonic structure creating indeterminacy by causing beating patterns and harmonic fluctuations not inherent in the “perfect” computer-based system. His work “Skanners” functions in a similar mode, but here the room itself serves as the disrupting element. The outcome of each iteration of this composition changes based on the space its performed in, due to the specific room nodes, resonant frequencies, and overall acoustics of the environment. These meticulously planned works resound with concepts culled from the fantastical realm of imagination and often invoke a trance-like state.
In addition to his compositional work, Eaton also collaborates with film makers and content creators, augmenting narrative, emotive, and visual media with his personal sound world. His work in this medium often meets at the threshold of sound design and music. Bringing his minimalistic approach, he believes function should follow form and that sounds in this context are meant to play a supportive role and should not overpower the visual landscape. His film work is rooted in the tradition of sound design practices, referencing history while utilizing his own unique voice and integrating modern experimental sound design techniques.
Download CV Here—–> Daniel Eaton CV 2017
I believe that teaching is a holistic process in which student and teacher co-create meaning. My approach to teaching is rooted in collaboration with my students, where each class creates a unique pathway to the given learning objectives of the course. Having taught a myriad of courses over the last seven years, I have found that no matter how many times I have taught the same material, each course is original due to the cooperative dynamics of the particular class.
As an educator, I seek to enable students to take ownership of the information I present. I believe that rigorous engagement with the material is essential for a student to succeed. I employ active learning strategies in addition to lecture and demonstration to provide a diverse array of instructional styles for different learning aptitudes. My goal is to inspire my students and push them beyond their intellectual and creative comfort zones. In addition, I challenge my students to produce high caliber work by fostering critical thinking and advancing their oral and written skills.
I give equal weight to teaching technique and theory with the objective of making both accessible and engaging to my students. While technical knowledge is fundamental towards enabling the creative process, theory places these skills in a greater historical and cultural context, highlighting application and practice. It is my goal to enable students to apply the course content in their own lives, making the complex skills and abstract theories from class tangible and meaningful to their everyday life. I believe this empowers students to deeply process and articulate the concepts they are learning in relation to their own art practices and perceptions of meaning.
It is essential for me as an educator to be malleable in my approach. I value exploring the trends and technologies most relevant to my students’ interests, evolving personally and professionally alongside my class, and contextualizing the course content within that dynamic framework. Each class has its particular challenges, and consequently being adaptive has allowed to me to address the needs of each unique class and appeal to the students’ identities as individuals. As a teacher I strongly value the diverse perspectives and learning styles that my students bring into the classroom. It is my responsibility to provide an environment where students feel comfortable enough to express their individual needs and opinions.
Coming from a family of educators and artists, teaching creative content comes very naturally to me. Though this may sound cliche, I really do love teaching — I feel alive when I am in the classroom and I am invigorated each time I see my students excel in their work and exceed my wildest expectations. Sparking curiosity and creativity in the next generation of artists is an incredible privilege which I hope to continue developing throughout my career.