Experimental Music in Cato

In the quaint, soundproof room of 237 in the Cato Center for the Arts, I listened and watched as the New Music Collective presented an experimental music show. Earth People is made up of two brilliant musicians, Jessie Marino, and Eric Wubbels, who were performing their Modernist Love Tour as they make the trek from New York City to California. Before the commencement of the show, I met and chatted with the artists and the co-artistic director of NMC, Ron Wiltrout. Immediately I noticed how personable each of them were and no longer felt nervous about attending my first experimental music show.  When first experiencing a new genre of music you may fear that you will not understand it. However, Earth People began their show by giving a brief description for each of the pieces that they were going to perform.  By explaining what you would see, what you should hear, and why the composer wrote a certain piece, every one in the audience immediately had the same chance of appreciating and enjoying the pieces no matter what their prior expertise was. The pieces acted as experiments to see how certain sound waves would react with their surroundings, other objects, and with other sounds.

          I enjoyed listening to the experiments take place but what was more exciting to me was that I understood what they were trying to do, because I had been given this prior knowledge.  I thought they picked a space that perfectly matched their show because there were only about twenty chairs set up in the room and about that many people showed up. Also, because we were in a small soundproof room, the music filled every space and was impossible to ignore. On each chair there was an optional evaluation sheet to be filled out during or after the show which was a great way for them to get immediate feedback from an informational source, their audience.  Almost everyone wrote down feedback and handed it to Ron on their way out. The show was free admittance but they were accepting donations, something that not many people took part in simply because they did not have cash.  With NMC being a non-profit organization they should be thinking of different ways to get donations, possibly electronically through the internet, or even stating on their flyers that donations are welcome, so people could come prepared.  I recommend going to an NMC event to anyone because of the extremely personable artists and staff, and the free admittance and location on campus is convenient to students. Also, the quaint space and small audience made the experience so much more personal and enjoyable.

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