Bright lights, moving patterns and distorted designs covered the high arched wall and ceiling of Kumler Chapel Tuesday night, accompanied by student music at High Street Records’ visual showcase.
About 60 people sat in the chapel’s pews on Miami University’s Western Campus to watch the showcase, which was organized by High Street Records in collaboration with Creativity City, Oxford Originals, Redhawk Radio and Next Level Audio and Visuals (NXLVAV).
Mike Rellick, president of High Street Records and senior at Miami, said the organization decided to hold the event to celebrate the return of in-person events and showcase Miami artists.
“We saw an opportunity to be able to have more concerts and live events at Miami and … showcase the artists that are part of our record label, as well as some artists that are independent,” Rellick said.
The showcase opened with two performances by student musicians who kicked off the show with guitar covers.
The visual excitement began with the third performance, by Ethan Kraus, a junior business economics major. He sang original songs and Beatles covers, while a big yellow and orange circle pulsed on the wall behind him. It stretched across the wall and ceiling, lighting up faces in the audience.
The light show aspect of the showcase was put together by NXLVAV, a student organization focused on learning about and creating immersive visuals. Oxford Originals supplied the sound systems, and High Street Records musicians, as well as others, performed. Redhawk Radio broadcasted the event, and it was part of Creativity City’s week of events.
“[Working with the different organizations] was great,” Rellick said. “Everybody was understanding what they were doing, and everybody filled in their positions and what they would do.”
After a short intermission, Reese Tyra, a senior physics and music performance major, took the stage as FVTRSM. He played electronic beats from his computer, and although there was a hiccup in his performance when it died, he was able to plug it in and continue the show.
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“My computer dying has always been a fear of mine,” Tyra said. ”Believe it or not, that was not the most awkward thing that has happened to me during a set so overall, it was good. I'm really happy with how it sounded.”
Tyra’s music was loud, distorted and far-reaching, matching the visuals that accompanied his set. NXLVAV projected a moving kaleidoscope design, full of blue, white and purple, as well as diamond/glass-like patterns and pops of other colors. The design shined throughout the room as its lines moved and intersected with each other.
“I liked the visuals. I was a little focused, so I didn’t get to see it all that much,” Tyra said. “I used a bunch of glass samples in a lot of the songs, so I was like, ‘I want it to look like glass.’”
Following Tyra’s set was Hanekaii, who also played electronic beats and remixes. For his set, multicolor waves danced across Kumler’s walls. The intensity of the visuals matched the intensity of the music, with lots of colors constantly moving, changing and fading into others.
The final performer of the night was Parallel, who played original beats. The visuals for this set were the most complex, fading from one lighting design to the next.
Some of the visuals included black and white lines swirling around, natural scenes such as a grassy forest, trees with fall leaves and mountainscapes, and multiple white lines going around in a circle, resembling a record spinning.
Bryanna Renuart, a senior economics major, attended the showcase because she has a friend in High Street Records who helped organize it.
“I thought it was super cool,” Renuart said. “It's definitely the most interesting and slightly edgy pocket of Miami I've found so far. But I love this chapel — I think it's really beautiful, so it was super cool to see all the lights in here, and I thought all the music performers were super talented.”