On Phantom Power™ Mack Hagood explores the world of sound in the arts, music, technology, and culture. Deep but accessible, each episode features the sounds and ideas of a contemporary artist, musician, or sound scholar.

We launched in 2018 with a seed grant from the Miami University Humanities Center and The National Endowment for the Humanities. Today we are currently funded entirely by our listeners. You can become a Phantom Power patron at Patreon. 

Mack Hagood is the Robert H. and Nancy J. Blayney Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies at Miami University, Ohio, where he studies digital media, sound technologies, disability, and popular music. Mack has published work on subjects such as tinnitus, the use of noise-canceling headphones in air travel, the noise of fans in NFL football stadiums, indie rock in Taiwan, and the ontology of Foley and digital film sound.

Mack’s book Hush: Media and Sonic Self Control (Duke UP, 2019) is about “orphic media,” apps and devices such as white noise makers and noise-canceling headphones, used to create a comfortable sense of space through sound. He has worked as a writer and editor for print and digital publications, created music for independent film projects, and played guitar for the Americana group Pinetop Seven. You can learn more about Mack’s work at www.mactrasound.com.

Amy Skjerseth is a Ph.D. Candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. She co-organizes the Great Lakes Association for Sound Studies and serves as graduate representative for the Radio, Audio Media, and Podcasting Studies Scholarly Interest Group of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. As a Franke Institute of the Humanities Dissertation Completion Residential Fellow, she is completing her dissertation on postwar music recording technologies that inspired American and British filmmakers to use popular music as a tool for political action by giving songs new and often countercultural contexts. From 1960s transistor radios to 2000s Auto-Tune, Amy explores how technological innovations influenced music and culture over four decades.

More broadly, Amy examines how devices from 19th-century musical automata to deepfakes shape audio-visual ideologies and listening publics. Her work is published or forthcoming in Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, animation: an interdisciplinary journal, Film Criticism, [in]Transition, and Spectator, among others. She has her M.A. in English from McGill University, a B.M. in Applied Music: Oboe Performance from the Eastman School of Music, and B.A. in English from the University of Rochester. More information about Amy’s work can be found at https://cms.uchicago.edu/people/amy-skjerseth.

Ravi Krishnaswami is a composer and sound designer for film, television, advertising, and games, and has written for Super Bowl ads, AAA video games, and television networks such as ESPN and Oxygen. A PHD candidate at Brown University, his research focuses on the the convergence of technology, music, media, and neoliberalism. He holds a B.A. in Music/English from the University of Virginia, has performed internationally as the guitarist of The Sons & Heirs (A Tribute to The Smiths & Morrissey), and is currently studying sitar with Srinivas Reddy. http://www.ravimusic.com/