April 29th brings yet another first for ESYO: Symphony Orchestra will partner with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Orchestra for a side-by-side collaboration at the EMPAC Concert Hall on the RPI campus. Through a music visualization program called Music:Eyes, RPI and ESYO students will collaborate to create visualizations for selected movements of Mussorgsky/Ravel’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Then they will jointly perform those movements with the animations being shown live during the performance, live synced by students with Music:Eyes’ Volkswagen window crank tool and conducted by Robert Whalen, Director of the Rensselaer Orchestra and Lecturer in Music and Conducting.
Co-created by ESYO Music Director and Symphony Orchestra conductor Etienne Abelin, Music:Eyes harnesses the power of music animation to support education in the classroom and concert hall.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with RPI, and performing at the iconic EMPAC center,” said Abelin. “It is fitting, given that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university and EMPAC has been described as the world's first university-based center for technology and the arts, that we will be collaborating to produce visual representations of music.”
Just as classical musicians who interpret Bach or Beethoven must decide on the length of notes, balance, sound, and general moods, Music:Eyes musicians choose visual components such as various background colors, colors and shapes of the notes, flow, speed, and visibility settings for different sections of a piece.
RPI composer Matthew Goodheart will create a new graphic composition specifically for the Music:Eyes software – and the ensembles, led by Whalen, will play the composition. It’s a reverse-engineering of what Music:Eyes usually does, and has never been done before. We are very excited to see the results!
RPI and ESYO students will engage with Music:Eyes throughout the Spring Semester of 2023. In workshops, the students will also learn about the history of graphic composition and the relationship between hearing and seeing. Abelin will conduct another piece in the concert, Sibelius’ Finlandia.
Come and see us at EMPAC – it’s likely to be a first such experience for you, too!
April 29th, 7:00 pm at EMPAC in Troy. Free admission!