By Tyrie Lane, Dec. 6, 2022
Students and staff took to the audience of the recital hall as Director Isaac Schankler kicks off the Electronic Music and New Music ensemble concert on Nov.28.Cal Poly Pomona’s Electronic and New Music ensembles focus on the possibilities of music paired alongside technology.
Schankler detailed the process of structuring the concert, emphasizing that selecting placements of musical sections and which musical pieces will come before another comes with a lot of testing what will work and what will not.
“Having a bigger picture while putting together the concert there’s a balance of trust with not only the players but also giving the players necessary tools,” said Schankler.
Schankler explained the meaning behind the ensemble title “New Music” and what it represents.
“For New Music it’s interesting because it is a vague term. A lot of music is to be considered new music but for the ensemble it refers to the contemporary classical. In this genre it would be considered 21st century composers while keeping a lot of the music current,” said Schankler.
The New Music ensemble opened the concert with three 21st century pieces paired alongside modern instruments and the Electronic Music ensemble brought the night to a close with its electronic synthesizers.
“From experience it’s really hard for acoustic non–amplified music to follow up to electronic music. So that made the choice to place the New Music section first easier as it would show up better,” says Schankler.
Schankler shared his hands on experience with music as well as what he has been able to learn from music over the years.
“The thing I love about music and what keeps me coming back is that the rule in music of creating community, but also collaboration to me is the fascinating part of music. The type of bonds that are formed are powerful for collaboration,” said Schankler.
For “New Music” ensemble pianist Savana Green, setting aside the dedicated time to practice is difficult, especially as a student with other classes.
“If I can just grab an hour or two every week to practice I’m OK.But in the same breath, when I’m in spaces where I’m at work or I’m studying, it’s just time that I question whether or not I could be practicing that next piece,” said Green.
Through the first three sets of “New Music,” Green was featured as the pianist. Green mentioned other instrument styles she really enjoys having the chance to be paired with as a pianist, as it can be fun to step out of the box.
“I always find being paired with a pianist fun, recently I had the chance to be paired with a vocalist and that’s a different experience because instead of focusing on the key you have to let the vocalist lead while letting that also transcend into what you’re playing,” said Green.
The pressure of performing on stage is nothing to freeze over according to New Music ensemble guitarist, Matthew Welch.
Welch explained the fear of being scared on stage comes from the lack of practice.
“The pressure just doesn’t really exist unless you just don’t practice for a long time and I’ve been there. While being on stage can be intimidating when you have a band or an ensemble with you it gives you that extra push to want to go all out. It altogether comes to a team effort,” said Welch.
The new music ensemble performs multiple times throughout the year at different venues on campus, including Cal Poly Pomona’s recital hall.
For details regarding future CPP “New Music” ensembles, visit its website.
Feature image courtesy of Tyrie Lane
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