East Carolina University’s School of Music based organization, North Carolina NewMusic Initiative, will present Frequencies, a student-run performance of music from the 20th and 21st centuries by many different student groups and individuals, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in Fletcher Recital Hall.
According to ECU second year choral conducting and vocal pedagogy graduate student, Davis Martin, who is organizing the Frequencies concert, NC NewMusic Initiative is an organization that looks to promote the performance of new music, or pieces of music that are relatively newly composed.
Usually after they choose and prepare a recital of work, professional guest musicians will read-through some student compositions. In opposition to the norm, at Thursday’s concert, students will be performing new music of their choice by professional, established composers.
“This kind of thing is super awesome here because the students get excited about it. They do music that they are already playing or that they want to play,” Martin said. “It’s important that we as music majors or just students of music, in general, have things we care about, especially pieces that are modern still.”
Evan Martschenko, sophomore music theory major, agreed that this concert gives him a chance to play music that normally he wouldn’t have a chance to play. He said that “new music is often not what people expect,” and that the solo piano piece that he will be playing at the concert fits the bill.
“It has a very nice melody and it is very pretty but at one point in the piece I will just lay my forearms on the keys and bang away with my forearms. Right, that’s not typical. You are used to seeing a pianist sit down and play some Beethoven with their fingers as opposed to their forearms,” Martschenko said.
He went on to say that this type of music often sounds weird to people when they hear it for the first time, but that “it is about breaking the norms about classical music.” He said that just because it may be a little unusual, doesn’t mean the music isn’t pretty but just that it is presented in an unconventional, new, manner.
Alice Rosario, senior music composition major, is a member of a group called UnCaged which will be performing in the Frequencies concert. This group’s style inherently lends itself to the playing of new music.
“We explore various ways of improvising using extended techniques and communication through our instruments,” Rosario said. “The goal is not only for us to grow as musicians, but to share contemporary works within the past century to the general public.”
Second year performance and pedagogy masters student, Emily Evans, said that this chance to experience the unusual style of new music is one of the reasons she thinks that even people with limited knowledge of classical music should come out to the concert.
“I think you’re going to grasp onto something that you didn’t think classical music was. Maybe their experience with classical music is background music, and things they are used to hearing because it, within their ear, sounds familiar and this is going to push them but not in a way that you have to be an expert to get it,” Evans said.
She also said that this concert is not as formal as one would expect from a typical classical concert. Jeans are perfectly acceptable attire, and no level of background knowledge will be required.
“I think this concert is about kind of connecting with the public and showing this rep that is so underrepresented that needs to be represented so we can keep propelling classical music into the future,” Evans said.
The concert is free and open to the public and will run from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 252-328-6851.