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Electronic music show at BU inspired by pandemic constraints
A new show live-streamed through Brandon University’s School of Music next week is drawing inspiration from the ongoing pandemic — and especially the digital tools that all of us are relying on to overcome physical isolation.
“Well of course, all of our concerts are live-streamed these days — that’s the only way for anyone to safely see and enjoy the performances during a pandemic,” said Aaron Wilson, a BU Associate Professor of Low Brass who will be performing as part of the show. “As artists and composers, we are also pulling from the changed world around us to create and perform works that really speak to audiences.”
The show is called “Wired and Wonderful,” playing on the common phrase ‘weird and wonderful’. It will feature three short performances for an experience that can be comfortably enjoyed in the evening.
With a runtime of just about 35 minutes, Wilson noted that the entire concert would be much shorter than a traditional live performance — better suited for the pandemic era.
“People don’t want to be staring at a screen … again … for a long time,” he said.
The show is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23. It will be streamed live on the BU School of Music Facebook page as well as on their YouTube page. Links will be shared to social media as well as on the BU events calendar at BrandonU.ca.
After a brief welcome, Wilson will introduce Brendon Ehinger’s performance. Then Wilson will perform himself. And to close the event will be a piece performed by Sarah Reid.
Ehinger, a Métis multi-instrumentalist and sound artist based in Brandon, works through distortion and electronic manipulation and has previously collaborated with Wilson on a live performance that distorted a trombone performance in real time.
This time, Ehinger’s piece tackles an original composition of Wilson’s — a pre-recorded trombone work called “The Missing Fifth” — to dismantle and rebuild the essence of the work.
Wilson’s own piece is a new composition called “Office Music,” which he says draws both compositional and instrumental inspiration from pandemic lockdown and isolation.
“I restricted myself to what I had in my office,” he said. That meant starting with a solo trombone, then adding guitar pedals, a bass amplifier and then getting a little weirder. “I’m going to use sanitizing spray, I’m using the lights. I’ve even got a big box of Goldfish crackers.”
The final piece of the evening will be a semi-improvisational piece by Sarah Reid, pairing a double-bell trumpet with interactive electronics. Reid captures sound from the trumpet and uses a custom audio application to modulate it with chaotic electronic gestures and tones. Reid’s piece is called “Mist+Swarm.”
“This is not your traditional stuff,” Wilson said. “You can close your eyes and let the music take you away.”
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