The popular contemporary image of the electronic musician as the megastar DJ, fist-pumping on an elevated stage while a set of pre-programmed beats causes a sea of drugged-out fans to undulate, is a fairly new concept; few realize what a long, illustrious history the genre has had. At it’s core, electronic music has always been about the ability to produce sounds that were impossible for most of our existence, to push the boundaries of what music can sonically achieve.
This Thursday evening, at 7 p.m. in the TCS Building, several young musicians with ties to the technocultural studies program will exemplify this aspect of the genre, performing music at the creative juncture between technology and art.
The event has been organized in close connection with TCS 122, a course in intermediate sonic arts taught by accomplished experimental musician Bob Ostertag, and will serve primarily to showcase some of the best work produced in the class this quarter.
Among the featured artists are alumni John Brumley and David Defelippo (both alumni), along with current fourth-year TCS major Roy Werner. All three have had a history in electronic music production courses, and have each developed a distinct take on sonic experimentation.
Much of their work has also been independently released on music networking sites such as Bandcamp or Soundcloud. The current Facebook event page for the performance provides links to these recordings, which provide a good idea of the unique talent organized for this evening.
Steven Gordon, a fifth-year English and TCS double-major whose work will also be featured, described the format of the show.
“It’s a series of pieces, most around 10 minutes in length, and all the student works feature a Buchla 200e Modular Synthesizer, an instrument very few colleges own,” Gordon said. “It will be a mix of live performances and pre-composed pieces, with several songs blending the two styles together.”
Other artists on the roster for tonight, including Roy Werner, explained that there are often visual components in addition to their peers’ music, including experimental video art. When asked what he thought of the lineup for the event, Werner was enthusiastic.
“I think that those guys [John Brumley and David Defelippo] are making some of the most interesting stuff I have heard in a long time, conceptually and sonically.”
Ostertag, who also teaches TCS 122, is looking forward to the event.
“Anyone interested in music outside the box will find themselves right at home,” Ostertag said.
ANDREW RUSSELL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.