I teach music technology at Penn State University. My creative work includes music composition, sound design, and data sonifications. When I heard that Mickey Hart was working in the area of data sonification, I was naturally very interested. I looked into what he was doing, and made some inquiries. It turned out that contributions from someone like me would be helpful to his efforts, and being able to work with Mickey opened a new and ongoing chapter in my work. For someone who grew up in the Bay Area and got some of his early inspirations from Grateful Dead concerts and Mickey's books, this has a very satisfying full-circle, "follow your bliss" ring to it.
Mark Ballora is on the faculty of the Penn State Schools of Music and Theatre, where he teaches music technology. He teaches courses in music production, history of electroacoustic music, musical acoustics, and software programming for musicians. He received degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles, New York University, and McGill University. He is the author of Essentials of Music Technology (Prentice Hall, 2002), and a number of "Square One" columns written for Electronic Musician magazine. Early work includes sound designs and electroacoustic scores for modern dance, theatre, animated films, and radio dramas. His compositions have been played at international electroacoustic music festivals, and his compositions for wind music are published by BRS Music Inc. He is also a designer of sonifications of scientific datasets. He has presented sonification work in the areas of cardiology and computer network security at the International Conference of Auditory Display (ICAD) and the Society for Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). His website is at www.music.psu.edu/faculty/mark-ballora .