New Music Series to feature concert with technology

Megan Confer

Kent State’s New Music Series presents a special free concert featuring technology in music at 8 p.m. Saturday in the dance studios of the Music and Speech Building.

This will be the fourth concert of five in the New Music Series, according to music composition professor Frank Wiley. Performers consist of the student ensemble, faculty and guest artists.

“It’s an unusual concert because it’s the only concert that’s technology-oriented, which is why we’re doing it in the dance studios,” Wiley said. “The entire second half of the concert has video with the music.”

Wiley said many elements set the concert apart from others, including award-winning composer Benjamin Taylor’s work.

“We have one world premiere of Benjamin Taylor’s piece, ‘Shipbreaking,’ performed by Jeff Heisler,” Wiley said. “The composition is for alto saxophone and interactive electronic. That means as he’s playing, the electronic program is responding to what he’s playing. He is essentially controlling the sounds that the program makes by playing the saxophone.”

Two other pieces are also unique, Wiley said.

“‘Angels,’ performed by Akros Percussion Collective, has three players, each playing three triangles,” Wiley said. “‘Swell Piece No. 3,’ performed by the KSU Music Ensemble, uses only two pitches.”

Wiley said there are three disclaimers to the performance. Both the performers and audience members will be required to take their shoes off because of the location in the dance studios.

“There is a piece that uses a siren,” Wiley said. “It will be very, very loud and the audience has permission to stick their fingers in their ears.”

Audience members also have the option of stepping out for a piece regarding prisoners on death row.

“The piece doesn’t have necessarily nice language,” Wiley said.

Wiley said they look to expand their audience and draw a younger crowd.

-Megan Confer