In Concert, 60 Times the Fun
The thickly humid air in a darkened Fairchild Chapel was penetrated with a musically eclectic mix of murmurs, melodies and motifs, also visually realized with an ever-changing projection of computerized graphics. Last Saturday’s concert, entitled 60 x 60, programmed an hour of new music, presenting 60 new works, each only 60 seconds long. The evening was characterized by the fusion of binaries, combining acoustic and electronic music, darkness and brightness and an infinite palette of colors.
Concert highlights included Xiting Yang’s My Visiting Card, weaving spoken word in Mandarin Chinese between the musical layers; the disembodied voice claimed to be a university student, furthering the presence of the composition’s jarring and disjointed fragments.
Andra McCartney’s Moving Water evoked its bubbling namesake, and Visiting Instructor of Music Theory Ivan Elezovic’s I am actually not used to using a microphone opened with the oceanic roar of applause, leveled with typical mic feedback foaming on top. The closing selection, David Fenech’s and die, attempted to offer an appropriate conclusion to the hour of experimentally innovative music, but actually left the audience hanging, panting for just a little more.
A groovy animation was projected on a larger screen, mutating with the ebb and flow of the music. Bright colors trasformed into rotund shapes and angular edges, sending glaring rays through the dim hall. To the right loomed a fluorescent analog clock, silently ticking through each second and each minute.
Since its inception in 2003, this annual project “has been an extreme success,” according to Elezovic.
Masterminded by artistic director Robert Voisey, founder of Vox Novus, the 60 x 60 endeavor has received over 1500 submissions worldwide from more than 1000 artists. Based in New York City, Vox Novus aims to promote contemporary music and foster a receptive community in order to increase the popularity of new music with projects like this one.
Voisey described the venture as “a collage of music designed to be an artistic representation of the electronic music being created today.”
Combining technological ad-vances with tried-and-true acoustic music, 60 x 60 works to reach a broader audience, popularizing new music and living composers.
Voisey and Elezovic are currently working together to produce a two-CD album with selections from the past two years.
“It’s a new challenge [for composers],” Elezovic said.