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SoundRave: Breaking down musical boundaries

Concert brings pop, classical music together

 by Liljana Ciric
 published on Thursday, November 10, 2005


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For students stuck in Arizona this Veterans Day weekend, the ASU Herberger College's School of Music and Gammage Auditorium are hosting the five-hour musical marathon "SoundRave" beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Creating the boundary-breaking show was a longtime dream of Gary Hill, the director of bands at the ASU School of Music.

"For several years, I've been interested in creating a concert that would cross many lines: between various popular and classical styles, between seemingly disparate artists and audiences, and within several different venues," Hill said.

Kicking off the concert will be musician and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, ASU Public Events' artist-in-residence. Roumain and members of the ASU Wind Symphony will perform a hip-hop piece with classical instruments outside the auditorium.

A battle of the bands will follow. Three local bands -- Idle Red, Brimstone Flowers and Latino Rebel Band -- will compete to win the $750 prize and a chance to open Roumain's spring concert.

The event will then move inside, where composer and sound artist tanner menard (who prefers his name spelled completely lowercase) will perform a piece titled "cosmi[c]ity music" with some ASU Wind Symphony members. This piece, which the artists said is like "being in a room full of mirrors," will include computers, eight speakers aligned in a circle and sounds straight from the streets of San Francisco.

From electronic music, the concert will shift to rock 'n' roll and blues. World-renowned jazz guitarist Paul Bollenback, the Wind Symphony and singers from the Herberger School of Music will premiere "Gateways," a piece by Arizona composer Kenneth LaFave.

"Writing it, I found myself longing for the greater sense of freedom from authority I remember experiencing in the late '60s, when I was in my early teens," said LaFave. "The piece is not intended as mere escapism but as cause to contemplate how to find 'Gateways' to those superior mental and emotional states."

With the next piece, "Circus Maximus," Pulitzer- and Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano will transport the audience to the center of Rome's Coliseum with the help of the Wind Symphony.

"I heard it [Circus Maximus] this past February in New York, and it was epoch-making," said LaFave.

The concert will end on a meditative note with menard's "envyronie."

menard recorded the desert flora sounds for "envyronie" in the Sonoran desert along with sound artist Jeph Jerman.

"This piece will be a 'quiet' end to a long festival," menard said.

"This whole concert is a musical treat," said Monica Sauer, a flute performance graduate student. "The listener will experience things that I doubt they have experienced or expect."

Reach the reporter at ljiljana.ciric@asu.edu.



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