Student pieces headline academic music festival
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 01:09
This weekend Miami University will be host to the Threshold Student Electroacoustic Festival for the first time. This festival, meant to encourage students to share their creations of a rather unique genre, will feature compositions of students from Ball State University, Oberlin College, Bowling Green State University, and Miami.
“The easiest definition of electroacoustic music is classical music made with electronics,” Per Bloland, assistant professor of technology and music theory at Miami and coordinator of Miami’s participation in Threshold, said. “It is music from young composers who are experimenting with a wide variety of sounds. Some beautiful, some harsh and intense, and most very strange.”
According to Bloland, the festival will feature three concerts over the course of the weekend, solely featuring student work. Any student, regardless of major, could submit work for the festival. The type of work accepted was broad, with the biggest requirement being that all music was original.
Sophomore Robb Enzmann said he jumped at the opportunity to share some of his work.
“I was meeting with Per before classes started and we got talking about the festival,” Enzmann, who is also the audio engineer for the Miami University Marching Band, said. “For my submission, I decided to tweak a piece that I had created last year.”
Enzmann’s piece, titled “Moby Dicks,” draws inspiration from the book of the same name. He describes it as a prerecorded soundscape project.
“It was inspired by different passages of Herman Melville’s book where the sailors are discussing how the white whale might be in multiple parts of the earth at once,” Enzmann said. “I thought to myself, ‘What would that sound like?’ and tried to capture that.”
“Moby Dicks” will be performed at one of the three concerts that make up the festival. These concerts will feature some live performances as well as fixed media performances, which are prerecorded pieces played over loud speakers. The venue will feature quadraphonics, with four speakers surrounding the audience. Some of the combinations of instruments that will be presented include piano with electronics, saxophone with electronics and laptop improvisation.
Threshold Student Electroacoustic Festival’s three concerts will take place 8 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. All concerts will take place in Souers Recital Hall located in the Center for Performing Arts and are free and open to the public.