MESS School / Course

Online Course: Warren Burt’s Electrosphere

Exploring the Potential of Experimental Techniques and Sound Design in Computer-based Sound Production.

This online course is open to people across Australia and internationally.

Sunday’s 11 am – 1 pm AEDT
Weekly from October 15 until December 10
Click here for interstate and international times.

Class dates (2023):

  1. October 15
  2. October 22
  3. October 29
  4. November 5
  5. November 12
  6. November 19
  7. November 26
  8. December 3
  9. December 10

All course sessions will be held online over Zoom with two sessions (in Weeks 1 & 9) held both on Zoom and in-person at the MESS Studio for people in Melbourne.

This course is limited to 20 places in total. Attendance is by application only. 

MESS members $499 incl. GST ($56 p/class)
Non-members $610 incl. GST ($68 p/class)

Scholarship places:
We are happy to offer 4 fully subsidised scholarship placements open to individuals with limited funds for whom the course fees represent a significant financial challenge. Please indicate on the application form if you wish to be considered for one of these 4 placements. 

For the first time, MESS offers an online course to people across Australia and overseas taught by veteran artist Warren Burt. This course will introduce you to a series of sounds, ideas and skills designed to expand your sonic palette, allowing you to move beyond the constraints of conventional electronic sound creation. By applying ideas developed over the last 50 years, you will experiment and explore to reveal the vast sonic potential of many free and low-cost software tools you are already familiar with. In addition to gaining facility with various instruments, the course aims to use listening exercises to develop your listening skills and powers of sonic concentration.

All course sessions will be held over Zoom, with two sessions (in Weeks 1 and 9) held both on Zoom and, for people in Melbourne, at the MESS Studio. At the end of the course, there will be an informal presentation where you can share the pieces you have created throughout the course.

The course is suitable for all people with at least beginner-stage experience with music technology. Applicants should have experience creating electronic sound, which must be demonstrated in the application by submitting some examples of work. This course is inappropriate for people without knowledge or experience in creating electronic sound and music. Ideal candidates will be able to attend all course classes. While most topics will concentrate on free or inexpensive, we will also look at Ableton Live Suite which offers new users unrestricted use free for 90 days.

Course information

Course classes will be held online via Zoom. Two sessions, Week 1 (Sunday, October 15) and Week 9 (Sunday, October 22) will be held both on Zoom and in-person at the MESS Studio for people in Melbourne. 

As this is an online course, applicants from interstate or overseas are encouraged to apply.

As outlined above, each week will focus on a different subject. View the complete course outline here.

The session format is a single 3-hour live lecture/workshop, with plenty of opportunity throughout to ask questions.

Acceptance will include the option for discounted MESS Studio access for the course period if desired. Studio time is not required for this course and, therefore, is not included in the course fees. MESS Members can book studio time as usual; Non-members can access discounted Single Session Passes if they wish.

We will use Google Classroom to share resources and course material throughout the course. 

Course attendance is by application only. We will accept applications until 11:59 pm on Monday, October 2 2023. All applicants will be contacted on Thursday, October 5 2023. Please note: Due to the number of applications we anticipate, we cannot offer feedback on unsuccessful applications.

We are happy to offer four fully subsidised scholarship placements open to individuals with limited funds for whom the course fees represent a significant financial challenge. Please indicate on your application form if you wish to be considered for one of these four placements.

Course fees must be paid in full before the start date. We are unable to refund course fees after the course has commenced. This course is open to participants aged 18+.

For any questions or if you require assistance completing the application form, please get in touch with us.

Read the Course Overview

Learn more about the course, prerequisites, requirements and class schedule.

Apply Now

Applications are open.
This course is by application only. Click the button below to apply. Applications close at 5.00 pm (AEDT) on Monday, October 2, 2023. All applicants will be contacted by Thursday, October 5, 2023.

Course Facilitators

Warren burt sits behind some compuing devices and soft toys while performing inside an art gallery with paitnings on the walls.

Warren Burt is a composer, performer, instrument builder, sound poet, filmmaker, multi-media artist, writer, and maker of unusual visual and sound structures for humans and machines. Born in the USA in 1949 and mostly resident in Victoria since 1975, he has been involved with the music, art, and dance scenes in Melbourne since then.

His involvement with music technology stretches back to 1968, when he first started working with the Moog synthesizer at the University of Albany, NY. Over the years, he has worked with a large number of current existing synthesis systems, including Buchla system 100 and 200, EMS Synthi AKS, Fairlight CMI, NED Synclavier, Yamaha DX7 (and other FM-based synths), Ensoniq EPS, Ensoniq SQ80, Electro-Harmonix Mini-Synth, Akai S900, Emu Proteus, Roland S550, and many others.

He also designed and built his own electronics for many years, including his systems Aardvarks IV (hand-wired TTL logic, 1973-75), Aardvarks VII (raw output CMOS circuitry, 1978), Aardvarks IX (AIM65 microcomputer with homemade interface circuitry). He also was involved in the Serge Modular Music Systems project, building three large Serge systems for various people in the mid-70s.

He’s been deeply involved in broadcasting new music on the radio and, over the years, worked at radio stations 3CR, 3MBS, 3RRR, and 3MBS in Melbourne, as well as ABC Radio.

He has taught composition and improvisation since the mid-70s, helping many of Australia’s advanced composers realize their visions. Institutionally, he taught at La Trobe University, the Sydney Conservatorium, the Victorian College of the Arts, Canberra School of Music, Griffith University, the University of Wollongong, Bendigo TAFE,  and Box Hill Institute.