Date of Submission
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Project Advisor 1
When I was a child, every night before I would go to sleep, after I put down my book and turned off the light, I would have vivid musical hallucinations. Every night was a different act – one day a western swing band that would break into ripping bluegrass jams, the next a full orchestra performing some unknown masterpiece. If I ever tried to influence the music, to push and pull the melody or affect the groove of the rhythm section, it would fade into the conscious part of my brain and lose its magic. I remember most vividly with the violins – their tone would become thin and lifeless, their articulations awkward and unnatural. Much of my life since has been spent trying to get back to that music I heard in my head as a child, and to share it with my friends and acquaintances. It is much the same feeling as enjoying some wonderful meal by yourself and wishing that someone else could share in your enjoyment of how delicious it is.
For the past several years, the primary musical focus of my life has been hip hop, RnB, jazz, and the other African-American musical traditions. I've come a long way from my roots as the son of a bluegrass musician in rural Idaho. I've spent many years both producing electronic music and hip-hop, and also playing guitar and piano in various live settings. One main element of the project I've undertaken his past semester has been to try to bring these two spheres of my musical life closer to one another, and more useful to each other. I have been using the composition process I developed working on computer music to write most of the pieces I will be presenting in my upcoming concert. Instead of having them performed by synthesizers and software instruments, however, I've tried to come up with arrangements for a live band that can do the songs justice, and hopefully bring them new life that my digital instruments could not provide.
The concert will consist of five original pieces and two covers of other composers' material performed by a six piece live band. The instrumentation is piano, electric bass, drum kit, synthesizer, alto saxophone, trumpet, and acoustic and electric guitar. The concert will take place at 8:30 pm on May 11 in Blum Hall, and is open to anyone who would like to come. I expect the program to run 45- 55 minutes, and I hope that the work can allow others to share in the pleasure I receive from the music I hear inside my hear.
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Smart, Benjamin Eric, "Become Mystical" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 337.
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