Festival marks last hurrah for music majors

by Meredith Fraser | 4/26/05 5:00am

You may have seen Eric Lindley '05 performing his folk music in one of his many campus performances; if you've been to any Hop performance with piano music involved, Brent Reidy '05, a member of The Dartmouth's staff, was likely stroking the keys.

Tonight both will give one of the last performances of their Dartmouth careers.

The Festival of New Musics, which is coordinated, partly written and partly performed by Lindley and Reidy, is set for Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

While the concert will feature original compositions by Dartmouth students, special guest California Institute of the Arts professor James Tenney will also make an appearance.

The performance will be interactive, with singing and dancing accompanying many of the songs. Two of Tenney's pieces will be performed; other contributing composers include music professors Larry Polansky, Kui Dong and Eric Lyon, as well as four Dartmouth senior music majors.

The opening piece will be Tenney's "Listen!," which will be performed with Reidy on the piano and sopranos Holly Sedillos '05, Kaethe Henning '05 and Juliana Lisi '05.

"'Listen!' is an odd, off-kilter pop piece -- it's a comic take on John Lennon's music," explained Reidy.

Although a yearly concert, this is the first festival coordinated by students. Organizers included every detail, from ordering posters to purchasing Tenney's plane ticket.

Having a musician like Tenney on campus is a bigger deal than most people know.

He was excited to come, especially since Polansky is a past student of his. But Tenney is an important figure in the academic world of music, and he is a pioneer in the field of electronic and computer music.

Tenney learned his craft under the direction of famed composer John Cage, on whom Reidy is currently writing his senior thesis.

Although the concert is meant to culminate the '05 music majors' Dartmouth experiences, one '06 plays a notably large role in the production.

Reiko Harigaya will play Polansky's "tooaytoods," a montage of compositions by Dartmouth students and faculty called "Dartmouth Suite," and her own recent composition called simply "Piece."

In addition to Harigaya's own piano stylings, "Piece" will be played by earth science professor Leslie Sonder on viola and Nigel Hsu '08 on clarinet. Senior Mary Bell's dancing will complete the multimedia production.

In addition to tonight's concert, two more musical opportunities occur tomorrow.

At 12:30, Tenney, Dong and Christian Wolff will perform the music of John Cage in Faulkner Recital Hall. Tomorrow evening, an electro-music concert will take place in the Hood Museum at 8 p.m.

The Hood's intimate space should provide a perfect place for the planned surround sound; eight independent speakers will be carefully arranged for a truly unique musical experience.

"This is my last musical hurrah at Dartmouth, and I think people interested in music will truly get a lot out of it," said Reidy.

This year's group of graduating seniors is rare in their accomplishments and acclaim. Eight graduating majors is an unusually high number for the music program.

Next year, both Reidy and Lindley will head to graduate school. While Reidy will pursue a Ph.D in musicology at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, Lindley will head to the west coast to attend the California Institute of the Arts where he will study Experimental Sound Practices.

With the departure of Reidy, Lindley and all of the '05 music majors, a temporary void will likely fill the Dartmouth musical scene. Use tonight and tomorrow as opportunities to enjoy their fined tuned abilities before they graduate and take their talents elsewhere.