Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

John Esposito

Project Advisor 2

Erica Lindsay

Abstract/Artist's Statement

I’ve been a musician for more or less my entire life. My father is a jazz guitarist by trade, and I was thus introduced to a lot of incredible music from a very early age. The sounds of Jazz could almost always be heard drifting up through the basement of our house, unless of course my brother was practicing a Bach or Rachmaninov piece at the piano. I started playing percussion in my elementary school orchestra and have been hooked ever since. In middle school I discovered that garage rock could be a somewhat meaningful form of self-expression, and in high school I began to take an interest in electronic and computer music. Encouraged by my brother, who had at the time started touring with a technical death metal act, I also took an ear to the virtuosic if perhaps immature sounds of blast beats and Guitar sweep-arpeggios that define that genre.

Despite (or perhaps because of) my father’s influence, I never took a serious interest in playing Jazz until college (aside from the occasional Blue Bossa-esque jam in the basement with my dad and brother). My freshman year at Bard I discovered improvised noise and free jazz, something which I was more or less entirely unfamiliar with. I had never experienced anything quite as liberating as being part of a completely unscripted 30 person ensemble which sought only to be as weird and as loud as possible.

After some time of playing with my newfound collaborators at Bard I began to realize that free jazz wasn’t something I had the skills to successfully execute, having never really studied jazz proper. I had some technical facility behind the drums, having played for most of my life, but there was no way around the fact that I lacked a basic jazz vocabulary. So I signed up for jazz drum lessons and eventually switched my major from Philosophy to Music. The rest, as they say, is history.

My senior concert endeavors to be a reflection of my influences: a healthy dose of my favorite jazz Musicians (namely Coltrane, Shorter, Hancock…,) with a dash of 90’s electronic music for good measure. The programmed and glitchy drum beats of electronic music have always intrigued me, as the sequencer in a sense allows the musician to transcend the physical limitations of his/her instrument and create an entirely new texture out of sampled bits of acoustic performance. Reverse engineering those programmed drum parts and performing them on an acoustic drum kit has become something of an obsession of mine. There’s a lot of sampled and borrowed (read: stolen) material from the jazz repertoire that finds itself reproduced in electronic music and I think that those two musical worlds actually have a lot in common in spite of their obvious differences; jazz is often composed improvisationally and in a group setting, whereas electronic composition tends to be a very non-linear and solitary exercise. My senior project represents my efforts to connect those worlds without sacrificing the fidelity or spirit of either.

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On-Campus only

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Creative Commons License
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