From synth pop star to professor of the arts

Thomas Dolby talks about his new role as a teacher at JHU

Video: Associated Press

The 21st century digital music scene is simultaneously a DIYer's dream come true and a source of frustration, according to Thomas Dolby, a pop icon and a new professor in the Krieger School.

Image caption: Thomas Dolby speaks with students in his class, "Sound on Film,” at Peabody.

Image credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Dolby, creator of the memorable 1980s synthpop anthem "She Blinded Me With Science," just started his first semester as a member of the Johns Hopkins faculty. The first Homewood Professor of the Arts recently spoke to the Associated Press about the freedom the 12 students in his Sound on Film course have to market their own work online—and that freedom's inherent pitfalls.

"The bad news is that there's 10,000 other guys trying to do the same thing," he told the AP.

Yet Dolby's students have a distinct advantage: Dolby himself, who is not only a performer but a filmmaker, a composer of movie and video game scores, and the inventor of ring tone technology found in more than half the world's mobile phones.

Linda Delibero, Hopkins' director of film and media studies, said Dolby's pioneering work and commercial success makes him an extraordinary resource.

"He knows how to get his work out there. And I think that's one really valuable lesson that the students can get from him that they might not get from somebody who's within academia," she said.

Posted in Arts+Culture

Tagged music, film, thomas dolby