Original music sets tone for art and design installations


By Rebekah Frank


As students, faculty and community members gathered around the art gallery on May 13 to watch the art and visual communication design presentations, growing anticipation permeated the air as the music students began to check-in and tune their instruments.

Around 5:20 p.m., chairs were set up in the art gallery and people filled the empty seats while others walked up stairs and looked down into the gallery. The first performance gallery with Montgomery Boldt’s melody “Grayback Mountain: Movement II.”

EWU senior Tyler Dines was the third musician in the lineup for the second session. Dines presented a piece of his own titled “Guitar Quartet No. 3.”

“This is the third in the series of quartets that I have been writing since I started here,” said Dines.

Dines said he likes the symposium and the opportunities it gives students. He had two other projects he presented on May 14, both about music. One he calls, “Text to Music,” which converts an entire essay, punctuation and all, into sounds as he types it. The other project is called, “Dayglass.”

According to the symposium guide, “Dayglass” is an instrument that was built within the “Max 6” software that acquires how many milliseconds have passed since the patch was opened. It then divides the milliseconds into seconds, minutes, hours or days and converts those numbers into hertz values to create the sound.

“[‘Dayglass’] takes essentially the amount of time that has past since the instrument starts running and develops these waves that just keep going back and forth at different rates. One cycles back and forth on seconds, the other minutes, hours and days. It takes four days to complete a whole cycle,” said Dines.

EWU sophomore Margaret Francik, who presented at the symposium last year. This year Francik presented “Chant,” which is a piece she composed based on Gregorian Chant and a poem from Stephen Cleobury, which was originally an all-vocal piece.

“I wanted to try to set that to music, it was unaccompanied and purely vocal,” Francik said. “There is something kind of special when a performer gets up and they just play something solo. It’s kind of a nice way to get out of the music building a bit. It’s kind of a nice way to get exposed to other people’s work and then also to have other people outside of the music world come to ours.”

EWU juniors Thomas Sanborn, Adam Seiler and Austin Taylor, who are both juniors, performed “Invidia,” which was an adaptation of Sanborn and Taylor’s pop and rock piece they began working on a few years ago. He and his partners enjoyed participating in the symposium.

“I like it. We have had our own composers perform before, but there’s a lot more people, it seems a lot more diverse and I like the atmosphere,” said Seiler.

After the music session ended, observers of the symposium had the choice of going to the film session, the creative writing session or the theater session. At the film and creative writing sessions, students presented either their own work or a combination of their work and the work of others.

EWU senior graduate Cody Bray presented a scenic painting, which is a flat painted to be part of a set design, and his two-song package for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

His last presentation helped EWU senior Martin Sanks with his repertoir for the Irene Ryan acting scholarship audition. Sanks competed along with other EWU students and had Bray there to help him then as well.

“Cody and I were talking afterwards and we were like ’Hey we should do this for like the music departments convocation or maybe for the symposium.’ And of course Sara Goff jumped all over that,” Sanks said.

From the materials he used to the tools he used, Bray gave explicit details and answered questions from the audience on the specific coloring, shadowing and layering that his picture displayed.

“It is supposed to be from 20-feet back, so if you were right next to it, it wouldn’t look as detailed as a painting. That is the really definitive nature of scenic painting. Everything is all blended as you walk back,” Bray said.

His package for the Kennedy Center festival consisted of two contrasting songs.

As he sang his second song, about a boy who needed the love and attention of a particular woman, Bray focused his attention behind the audience to the back of the theater. His acting, emotions and his voice were so convincing, it appeared as if the audience turned around, they would actually see the girl he was singing about.

“It was mostly [to show] the biggest expansion of your voice as well as some acting skills within it. [The symposium] is fun. For me it was just like ’Oh great another time for me to sing or act or something,’” Bray said.

EWU senior David Logghe and Hailey Gilbert presented a Kennedy Center package together.

“’Frozen,’ the dramatic piece, I did for acting class early last year and it was just one of the best scenes that I have had assigned to me, and performance-wise it was just one of the best. The other piece was really happy so we don’t leave the audience sad,” Logghe said.

The 17th annual symposium was larger this year, as shown from the number of presentations listed for both days.

“We had quite a few more presentations this year.” EWU symposium coordinator Lindsay Porter said.

Eastern freshman Tanaia Wise attended for the first time and enjoyed the variety of presentations and subjects.

“I think it is awesome; [there are] definitely very talented students here. The diversity of arts and things that are all in it. … That is my favorite part,” Wise said.

Sanks appreciated the chance to share in the symposium with peers, faculty and community members.

“I think it is a really great way for people to outlet all their creations. To do research and then turn it in for a grade and you think ’Oh I am never gonna see that again even though it was kind of a fun thing,’” Sanks said. “But this way you actually kind of get that experience of what if you really did professional research and then I actually presented it to an employer. It can be intoxicating I guess for some people, they just like that feeling. It is just a cool experience, you feel professional.”