Synths & Strings Sections: Electronic Music Student Recital pushes boundaries

"The Lake of Fallen Stars" by Emily Nance

Electronic music lovers of all sorts joined together in Carrick last Sunday for a night of student-created music at the Winter Music Technology Recital.  For this recital, Music Technology professor Dr. Tim Polashek put a few of his favorite music pieces of the year so far up for display and invited students to share their works. One by one students went up to explain the significance of their piece before playing them for an audience of mostly students.

The audience heard a wide variety of music in many different ways.  A few students even got creative and incorporated a visual aspect into their pieces with music videos, graphic designs, and lights.  These unique visuals made an exquisite experience for the audience. Many of the visuals were used to tell stories, some of whimsy and some of humor.

Jenna Soderling, a junior at Transy, created a one of a kind music video depicting clowns at Christmas time. Her homemade video using real props and costumes along with professionally recorded audio got the whole crowd in a laughing fit. Soderling’s video focused on a clown who thrived in October with all his spooky friends, but when Christmas came, he no longer fit in and felt very left out. “I wanted to go for a ‘grandma got ran over by a reindeer’ type vibe”, said Soderling.

“No Clowns at Christmas” was one of the more stand out pieces of the night for the light-hearted humor and creativity.

Outer space seemed to be a popular theme for the night; two students, Shawna Morton and Emily Nance, decided to incorporate the outer space theme into their music. Morton showcased an original piece about going into space on a rocket ship, she called the song Mayday.  What made this song so unique was that Morton incorporated digital flashing lights followed by an occasional spur of smoke.


Another piece that had a visual storytelling aspect to their song was Sophomore, Emily Nance.  Nance presented her original song, “The Island of Falling Stars” with a compelling visual aspect of her own digital illustration.  Before Nance played her piece she discussed a little bit how she came up with the concept for the song.  SHe siad that the piece is about a lake where fallen stars gather once they are not able to be seen due to the heavy population in the Earth’s air.  With their modern and unique visuals and sounds, Morton and Nance were able to take the audience into a land far far away.

Aside from the visual aspects of the pieces, some students put together elaborate covers of their favorite songs and collaborated together to create an amazing work of music. Senior Griffin Cobb presented a cover of “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene” by Hozier that he collaborated on with a few other students in the program.

First-year student Adam Dees was the final performer of the evening, and it’s safe to say he ended the recital with a splash. Using a wide array of sound boards and turntables, he performed an EDM medley of sounds using his original tracks.

This recital not only showcased students who have a significant amount of experience working with music but students who were fresh out of the Intro to Music Tech class as well. It was apparent that every student who had their music showcased in the recital put a lot of time and effort in their work.  Each piece was different from the next, which made the recital, and listening to everyone’s work, a really fun and interesting experience.