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Showcase features classical and modern acts

Music faculty members delight audience with trumpet, piano, multimedia synthesis

Three Brown faculty members from the Department of Music performed in a showcase Monday night at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts that accompanied the 2015 Faculty Exhibition. From more traditional performances on an instrument to a multimedia synthesis, their efforts attracted and entertained a large crowd.

The first act of the night was a trumpet performance by Eric Nathan, assistant professor of  music. Nathan, an internationally acclaimed composer, draws inspiration in part from his response to other works of art, according to his bio on the music department’s website. Nathan currently teaches MUSC 0550: “Theory of Tonal Music.”

The sound of Nathan performing “Cantus” on trumpet was smooth and melodious. The composition for trumpet mimics the human voice, and the performance did so through a wide range of notes and the interspersing of vocal sounds.

Wang Lu, assistant professor of music and a renowned pianist and composer, then performed “Nine Parts of Two” on piano. While her notes pierced the silence of the auditorium, striking architectural images that varied in style were projected, complementing her solo.

Lu teaches MUSC 1030: “Tonal Counterpoint” and MUSC 1100: “Introduction to Composition,” which she said is a “creative course that focuses on instrumental composition and introduction to elements of music such as melody, harmony, texture and timbre, all through repertoire.”

Next semester, Lu will offer a course on “orchestration and a more advanced theory class,” she said. Down the line, she hopes to teach a class investigating Western music in China since 1900.

Joseph Butch Rovan, professor of music and chair of the department, concluded the night with a multimedia synthesis of sound and motion. Entitled “Of The Survival of Images,” the performance was the most abstract performance of the showcase.

A video of dancer Ami Shulman played in the background, and Rovan moved a metal ball slightly before each of her movements, as though controlling them. Rovan, a media artist and performer, seemed to be the mastermind in the whole production, as his motions also corresponded to hers and to the sounds.

A large crowd attended the showcase, and the applause indicated that the works were well-received. The David Winton Bell Gallery sponsored this year’s showcase, and will continue to feature faculty and international art and performances all year round.


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