By Zoe Watkins —
Last week, the University of Louisville’s School of Music held their fall New Music Festival with a plethora of concerts highlighting unique forms of music.
The festival began in 1998 to show how music can be made in creative and innovative ways. Students would take classic pieces and interpret them in a way that was unique and modern for the current time.
This year’s New Music Festival included all different types of concerts with performances from the University Percussion Ensemble, the Faculty Chamber concert, the New Music Ensemble, the Longleash trio and the Elysian Trombone Quarter.
Krysztof Wołek, director for the Electronic Music Concert, said the pieces chosen were classics of the electronic medium. “They were the first pieces that really did take the medium to larger forms,” he said. “They used technology of the times to the full extent.”
The final event of the week was the Electronic Music Concert.
Most of the pieces played during the performance were from when electronic music was just being introduced to the music world. During the performance, the pieces “Bicycle Built for Two” by Harry Dacre, “Gesang der Jünglinge im Feuerofen” by Karlheinz Stockhausen, “Symphonie pour un homme seul” by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, “Bye Bye Butterfly” by Pauline Oliveros and “Silver Apples of the Moon” by Morton Subotnick were played.
Derek Carter, third year graduate student and event organizer, said they chose these pieces was because they act as a staple to the electronic music world.
“Pretty much everyone on this program made a large contribution to tape music. They’re kind of like the grandfathers and grandmothers of this genre so we’re paying homage to them,” Carter mentioned.
In an interesting twist all five pieces are a live spatialization of themselves.
“So essentially, we are going to be playing these pieces through all of these speakers in the hall and we’re going to be sending the audio to different speakers, so you can hear the sound move around,” Carter explained.
First year graduate student Gunner Basinger included a lot of the spatialization element in his interpretation of “Bye Bye Butterfly”.
“There was a moment where there was a recording where a full orchestra comes in and I tried to reserve that moment for fading all of the faders in and so that moment would hit louder for example,” Basinger said.
Though there was a lot of memorizing and trying to find focal points, he found it to be a great lesson in acoustics and how sound diffracts in a space. “I love the event, it was fantastic. I think it is great that U of L is doing an electronic music concerts,” Basinger exclaimed.
If you didn’t have time to make it to this semester’s New Music Festival, there will be another one held in the spring for people to see how many other ways music can be adapted.
Graphic by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal