Director & Instructor
Paul Kozel is the founding director of the Sonic Arts Center and the guiding force behind it’s curriculum, facilities design, and overall operations. Paul’s professional credits include: the documentary A Place Out of Time – The Bordentown School nationally broadcasted recently on PBS in which Paul’s duties included composer/arranger, sound designer, dialog editor, and recording and mixing engineer; the music mixer for the feature film Racing Daylight starring David Strathairn and Melissa Leo; and producing, recording, and mixing the recently released album You Me Acuerdo Buenos Aires for Gustavo Moretto, keyboardist of the seminal Argentinian Jazz/Rock group Alas.
Jonathan Perl is a producer, engineer, sound designer, songwriter, keyboard player, and music and sound editor. He has been teaching at the Sonic Arts Center since year one, and is the primary curriculum developer for first/second year SAC students. As part of a 2011-12 CitySeeds grant (in collaboration with CCNY climate scientist Marco Tedesco and EDM faculty Ina Saltz and Ethan Ham) he sonified 54 years’ worth of Greenland climate and ice melt data (polarseeds.org). Recent recording and mixing projects include James Hurt’s soul-jazz-funk, Jeremy Mage’s indie-pop with The Magi, Wunmi’s Afro-Dance, a variety of jazz vocalists and performers, and Roots/Americana band The Trapps. Regarded as one of the nation’s premier trainers for Apple’s Logic DAW, he founded the New York Logic Pro Users Group and Mac Audio Trainers in 2005. He has also authored recent training videos (on Omnisphere and Trillian) for Mac Pro Video. Jonathan continues to do periodic live sound at the Unison Arts and Learning Center.
Paul Special is an award winning audio engineer/producer, studio designer and teacher whose expertise extends into virtually every aspect of the professional audio industry. Equally at home engineering music projects, concert DVD’s, live TV broadcasts, or national television and radio spots, Paul has worked with clients including: Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Stone Temple Pilots, Incubus, Robert Palmer, Carrie Underwood, Nike, Volkswagen, ABC, CBS, NBC, Disney, USA Networks, MTV, VH-1, BET, and ESPN. With his company SAS Corp./Special Audio Services, Paul has conceived the architectural, acoustical and wiring system designs for over fifty recording studios and broadcast facilities around the world, including the initial design for the Sonic Arts Center. In addition to his professional work, Special has lectured and taught a variety of pro audio subjects for the Audio Engineering Society, the Manhattan Producer’s Alliance, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and William Paterson University in NJ.
Chris Woll, a recent graduate from our program, has become a busy film composer, dialog editor, sound designer, and re-recording mixer. Chris’ composition work for film includes Tom in America (staring Burt Young) Mainland and Dynamis. His work in sound design and re-recording mixing is found in Future Relic 02, Mainland, and the upcoming Holy Land. Chris has also been active in television post production audio. He has composed music for the PBS documentary The Gettysburg Story and engineered adds for IBM, Axe Body Spray, and a Pepsi campaign featuring Justin Timberlake. In addition, Chris has also composed for Cueniverse and JinglePunks
Technical Director & Instructor
Joe Popp has been involved with the professional music and audio industry for over twenty-five years. He has served in many areas of the industry including: technician and engineer for several NYC recording studios, front of house and monitor engineer for the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, sound designer and composer for theater, and as a professional musician and performer. He has released six albums internationally and has composed music for over thirty theater productions, including seven rock musical scores including his latest, Pericles. Joe is a certified Apple Help Desk Technician. He has designed both private and professional studios, including the studios at the Sonic Arts Center and CCNY music department. As adjunct lecturer, Joe teaches Rock Ensemble 26018. His hobbies include guitar amplifier construction, effects pedal construction, and skateboarding. Joe is currently on sabbatical and has toured Europe with his acoustic rock duo Lost Axis, and is currently completing a non-stop tour of the 48 continental United States as a singer-songwriter on a motorcycle for his project Popp Over America.
Winy Taveras, aka Wiinzta, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and engineer from the Dominican Republic and a 2016 graduate of the music and audio technology program. Winy is serving as Technical Director for the 2016-2017 academic year while Joe Popp is on sabbatical. Winy has worked as an assistant engineer for a wide range of projects including Epic Drums vs Beatbox Battle , video and rescoring of the experimental film director Hans Richter’s film “Everyday” for chamber orchestra. In addition, she is busy completing an EP with her band Camello Feo, is the drummer in the band Blue Spruce, and builds custom, hand painted, effects pedals.
Sound Reinforcement Coordinator
Michael Paliocha is a recent graduate from the Sonic Arts Center. He is a busy free-lance producer, mixer, and recording engineer working primarily out of the studios in the Center. Michael is also a singer, songwriter, composer, and classical guitarist, working in a range of styles from indie rock to post-tonal minimalism.
Sound Reinforcement Assistant
Engin Ufuk Kaplan, a native of Turkey, is a 2010 graduate of SAC. Engin is a former studio owner in Turkey with over twenty album credits for engineer and producing and over one thousand stage appearances worldwide as a multi-instrumentalist. He is featured on the Turkish Rock Anthology 1980-2000 for his performance and songwriting credits. Engin currently works as a live sound engineer and drum tech at SAC. He is also a free-lance music production teacher, producer and location sound mixer.
Sound Reinforcement Assistant
Dawid Arciszewski, aka Vin Vadis, is a recent graduate of the Sonic Arts Center. He came to New York City from Poland where he was a busy guitarist and vocalist with over a hundred performances at various clubs and festivals throughout Europe. Dawid presently runs Psychoacoustic Music Production, where he provides his services as a songwriter, engineer, producer, sound designer, sound editor, singer, multi-instrumentalist and performer.