Green Fish looks to improve, evolve spring term

| 3/5/13 11:00pm
by Maggie Rowland and Maggie Rowland / The Dartmouth

Music professor Spencer Topel began the music series last fall. Modeled after Le Poisson Rouge, a venue and multimedia cabaret in New York City, Green Fish provides a space for the Dartmouth community to experience different styles of music in a relaxing environment.

Topel said he was inspired by Le Poisson Rouge's successful endeavors to pair diverse acts and genres in one performance. Green Fish aims to do the same by ensuring that its termly concert series selects student performers with varying music tastes and those who may not even know each other to perform on the same night.

Green Fish strives to connect music-lovers across campus in an effort to make the Dartmouth music scene more cohesive, student members said.

"We have really great DJs, people doing electronic music and great classical music, but they each go into their own spaces," Sang Lee '13 said of the College's music scene. "We want different musical groups on campus to interact with each other more."

Organizers of Green Fish said they stress the importance of forming a casual space in which people can be exposed to new music.

"Green Fish has a low-key atmosphere," student curator Cory Chang '13 said. "You don't feel forced to stay or leave, plus there's free food and wine. I think it gets people who normally wouldn't go to such concerts to attend."

This atmosphere makes the events accessible to an array of social groups across campus.

"There's potential for it to blossom into something that's more meaningful for students and the broader community," Topel said. "I'm hoping this series, because it does attempt to bring together different musics, will also bring together different people."

Since the program's inception, members have noticed an increase in the number of attendees. Shows recently peaked to an average of 20 members in attendance, Topel said.

"It's been steadily getting more popular," Carlos Dominguez Grad '14, director of the winter term series, said. "It seems like we're starting to build a community."

As a new group, Green Fish sees room for improvement as it looks toward spring term.

"We could do a much better job of advertising," Chang said. "We're very new but we need to get word out to the campus more consistently. It is still something not many people have heard."

Yet members constantly discuss the aims of the group as a whole, learning from the successes and shortcomings of previous terms.

"As with any new organization, we're trying to figure out how to best accomplish our goals," Lee said. "We're still in this phase where we're trying new things and [looking at] what is working and what is not."

While spring plans are still in the works, Topel said students should look forward to some very exciting performances.

"There are lots of activities planned for the coming term through music department residencies and visits by guest artists, and I hope that Green Fish will facilitate these larger events through its own showcasing of artists," Topel said.

Members are particularly excited for the Festival of New Musics, an annual series hosted by the music department in May that features works by contemporary composers. The festival will give Green Fish the chance to showcase past acts in a more widely-publicized event.

"On May 8 we will have a bigger, more organized Green Fish event," Dominguez said. "It [may highlight] some of the artists that have performed more often, kind of like a best of' event."

Green Fish is a collaboration between the music department and Collis Governing Board. The group organizes free performances in One Wheelock every Wednesday evening.