The Moving Company has called IUPUI its home since 1983. The contemporary dance group will unpack “Home” this weekend.
The group will perform four original pieces in its fall showcase, titled “Home,” at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Campus Center Theater. The concert is free and open to the public. The Moving Company will be joined by Xiphos Corps, Create Freedom Arts Projects and Studio J2 Dance for the dance extravaganza.
One of the works, “Home Is Me,” showcases 16 of The Moving Company’s 20 performers dancing to up-tempo music and utilizing an array of dance expertise. Guest choreographer Adrienne D. Jackson scripted jumps, floor work and modern moves to tell the story of her “Home.”
“It’s just coming to terms with being who I am and being that person wherever I am,” said Jackson, an IUPUI alumna and current Indianapolis high school mathematics teacher. “It’s about settling into a comfortable space.”
The Moving Company dancers rehearsed all semester on the “Home” works while partaking in live special events around campus this semester like Regatta and the IUPUI 50th Anniversary kickoff event.
The student performers come from varied dance backgrounds, from ballet and jazz to modern and hip-hop. Student choreographers like Shay Sondgerath, a School of Health and Human Sciences junior, take full advantage of their dancers’ stylistic and physical flexibility. Sondgerath created a piece to Beyoncé’s “End of Time” that has been performed at IUPUI and Indiana Pacers basketball games.
“It’s our fun piece for the year, just to use throughout the semester,” Sondgerath said. “I love choreographing, seeing the dancers’ abilities and what all they can do. It’s awesome to see them do well.”
Meghan Nowels, president of The Moving Company, grew up dancing tap, ballet, lyrical, jazz and musical theater numbers, just to name a few. She wanted to continue her passion while studying tourism, conventions and event management at IUPUI. She found most of her fellow Moving Company dancers had similar stories, despite their different backgrounds.
“I found a home at IUPUI with The Moving Company and found friends,” said Nowels, a junior. “To be able to come together and dance and share a special time together is really amazing.”
All the sweat from spending hours practicing an eight-bar phrase and connecting the moves to an emotional level is worth it when concerts approach. Performing in front of an audience and sharing their effort is a big reason for The Moving Company’s longevity.
“The feeling you get when you perform is like nothing you can describe,” Nowels said. “I think that’s why a lot of people continue dancing with us.”
Sponsored by IUPUC, the annual Arts for Aids “Songs of Hope” event will raise awareness and funds for the AIDS crises abroad. The 2018 event is set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Yes Cinema in Columbus.
The concert will be headlined by Berita, a South African-based “Afro soul” singer-songwriter. The young performer has earned several national and international awards, including the Zimbabwe Achievers Award for Best Music Artist. Berita’s discography includes a 2017 self-titled effort.
Arts for AIDS is a Columbus-based initiative formed by combining the efforts of five organizations representing projects in Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The IU Jacobs School of Music Concert Orchestra will open its season in downtown Indianapolis to honor Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. The orchestra will perform the American composer’s masterful 1949 work, “The Age of Anxiety (Symphony No. 2 for piano and orchestra),” along with the overture of “La Gazza Ladra” by Gioachino Rossini and “Fontane di Roma” by Ottorino Respighi.
The 90-piece orchestra will feature Norman Krieger, pianist and IU professor of music, and conductor Thomas Wilkins, who came to IU in 2017 after leading orchestras in Los Angeles and Boston.
After 36 years, Grammy Award-winning Indiana University alumna and former faculty member Sylvia McNair will return to the WFIU studio where she worked as a student, this time as a guest DJ.
McNair got her start at WFIU while she was getting her Master of Music with distinction in 1983. On Aug. 20 to 24, she will be hosting a morning classical music program on WFIU’s second service, WFIU2.
McNair recalled her student work for WFIU as “last-century responsibilities”: taking calls from listeners, splicing tape to edit, and ripping paper off the AP wire for news broadcasting. She worked different hours, sometimes starting at 6 a.m. on a Saturday and at midnight on a Sunday.
“It was one of my four part-time jobs I had, but it was my favorite. I love radio; I always have,” McNair said. “The tech pieces have changed since my time at WFIU in the early 1980s, but sending beautiful music out into the world hasn’t changed. It is still a worthwhile activity, and I enjoy it.”
After getting her master’s, McNair went on to perform with different orchestra and opera companies across the U.S. and Europe as a singer and classical recitalist. She was dedicated to learning new genres and enhancing her ability to work with music. Her music earned her two Grammys and a regional Emmy.
McNair returned to IU in 2006 to join the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music. Even though she stopped teaching in 2017, she still enjoys living in Bloomington and having opportunities like working with WFIU again.
The tech pieces have changed since my time at WFIU in the early 1980s, but sending beautiful music out into the world hasn’t changed. —Sylvia McNair
She said that despite the changes in the studio, WFIU has stayed true to its values and what it wants to deliver to listeners. McNair said that WFIU has always been tech-savvy and has a highly intelligent group of workers running the station.
“I appreciate the fact that they don’t try to impress the listener with how much they know, and they all know a lot,” McNair said. “WFIU has continued to be up-to-date, always filled with smart people who were forward-lookers. I just appreciate seeing all that again, 36 years later. It’s inspiring.”
She has a deep passion for public radio and the impact it has had on her career. WFIU gave her the ability to speak comfortably while live on air, a skill she came in handy while doing live radio interviews all across America and in Europe. She also said that public radio is a news source she can trust, no matter where she is when she’s traveling.
“The most important reason public radio must continue is that it is not owned by or beholden to anyone, not shareholders or donors or large media conglomerates,” McNair said. “That independence gives it greater freedom to be objective. Where else but ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ can you hear commercial-free news with no apparent bias? It’s a gift worth fighting to keep.”
McNair will be on air from 7 to 9 a.m. Aug. 20 to 24 on WFIU2. The relatively new service, available at 101.9 FM in Bloomington, offers alternative programming to what is aired on WFIU’s legacy signal at 103.7 FM.
“Death of the Mechanical Man,” a 21-minute film directed by Big Robot’s Michael Drews, made its premier in October of 2016, deep in the City Market Catacombs. For its debut, Big Robot accompanied the film live, conjuring up memories of silent films.
Now, the short film has been chosen as part of the 2018 Montreal Underground Film Festival (MUFF). The festival celebrates low-budget filmmaking and promotes films that challenge the constraints and conventions of mainstream Hollywood. The independent filmmakers, writers, teachers, and cinephiles of MUFF are committed to seeking out edgy films bristling with a sense of creative freedom, energy, and experimentation.
Big Robot creates media-enriched art and music, interweaving aesthetic expression with computer interactivity. Their blend of audio-visual design with acoustic instruments forms a multi-dimensional performance at the crosspoints of virtual and physical gesture, sound, and space.
Both young men are technologically adept and avid music consumers. Creating and understanding music through the help of computer programs and electronic equipment was their next academic step, which made the School of Engineering and Technology program an easy choice.
But these students’ backgrounds and previous stops are as different as future bass and witch house. Chaubey came from Los Angeles. He was working in sound and composition studios when he decided to up his game. Berty traveled all the way from Chennai, India. He received an undergraduate degree in computer science from Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology in southern India. He made a big change when he decided to pursue his love of music. Both students’ skills have been welcomed in the Department of Music and Arts Technology as well as in the Telematic Collective, a unique electronic music ensemble that performs original works regularly on campus.
“I wanted both of my interests to merge,” said Berty, who found IUPUI online after he finished his computer science degree. “That’s what put me here.”
Telematic Collective gets its name from the tradition of online collaboration during its live shows. Musicians from across the globe have been known to patch in and perform with the IUPUI musicians onstage within the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex. The group’s next concert is at 7:30 p.m. April 12 in ICTC Room 152.
And the collaboration isn’t limited to online talent. A typical Telematic experience will include original video work, live dancers from local organizations like the Ballet Theatre of Indiana and guest Indianapolis musicians. While most students in Telematic have laptops guiding their sounds, musicians have also been known to pick up a saxophone or guitar. The vibraphone is a staple, as it’s the instrument that faculty advisor Scott Deal specialized in during his previous academic career. Like his students, he was lured to IUPUI by the possibilities of electronic music and technological advancement.
“I was always doing crazy technology things,” said Deal, a professor of music arts and technology. “This was a natural next step.”
Like a rock song, a Telematic piece starts with a riff and a beat. A recent rehearsal saw Chaubey, Berty, fellow grad student Dustin Paugh, and undergraduates Sam Duncan and Charles Cheesman working on a piece. The tune was still being shaped as each student got his chance to work the riff or add their own notes. Deal was sitting in as well, but he confirmed to Inside IUPUI that every Telematic piece is written by the students.
“They bring their ideas; they engage the other students; and then we use all of these wonderful technological merging tools to create something that sounds new, fresh and original,” Deal said. “They get to work their creative chops in putting the music together.”
Telematic gained new members this semester, and they are using their time to master music-composition programs like Logic Pro X and equipment like the Native Instruments Maschine drum machine and Ableton Pushes. This device is a sequencer, piano, sampler and effects modulator all in one console about the size of a textbook.
And speaking of those antiquated things made of paper, textbooks don’t tell these tech-savvy musicians how to make an original instrumental work that could earn a live audience’s interest. Experimentation, improvisation and practice fuel the tunes.
“The possibilities are endless,” Chaubey said. “This technology is my instrument.”
Chaubey and Berty manned laptop keyboards and the more traditional keyboards in a musical setting. Berty said he’d been playing piano for several years and was happy to contribute to the ensemble. Each player brings a different expertise, making Telematic an always evolving and changing entity. Berty’s background will help construct technological feats yet to be explored in the group. Other Telematic members — currently 10 students — have had video experience, which helped improve the visual side of the collective.
“We look at this more as a working group,” Deal said. “It’s multidisciplinary.”
Telematic concerts are much more than students sitting in front of laptops for an hour. Video screens display imagery, the online collaborators and dancers contribute, and moody lighting adds to the atmosphere. The music itself is presented with expert live sound. After all, the Music and Arts Technology program pumps out dozens of sound engineers and studio producers every year.
Students work on pieces for months before they are debuted live. The works are usually several minutes long, allowing for live musicians and online artists to add their own flourishes.
“I came here specifically to learn these tools and to incorporate technology into my skill set,” said Paugh, who studied classical music and vocal performance at the University of Nebraska before coming to IUPUI. “This is more collaborative in nature. Everyone contributes their piece. There’s a give-and-take.”
While putting on a good show is important, making sure these students get jobs is crucial. Like his students’ varied backgrounds, Deal said, the degree in music and arts technology can start an array of different career paths. Most students go into the recording industry, including sales and performance. Some have tried their skills at electronic instrument design. Other students have gotten positions with lucrative companies, both music related and not.
“We had a student get a job at Spotify in San Francisco doing their programming,” Deal said. “One student got a job at Boeing doing audio things. He said his job is classified and he couldn’t tell me what exactly he was doing, but it does have to do with audio.”
We are excited to welcome guest artists Square Peg Round Hole to Indianapolis and the IUPUI campus next week. The IU Bloomington-trained instrumental rock trio will present a performance lecture on campus Friday, March 2. They will be discussing the integration of multimedia technology into their percussion-driven music as well as tips for young musicians hoping to build a career. Click here for more details.
Square Peg Round Hole formed in 2011 while studying music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, in Bloomington, Indiana. The band has shared bills with Built To Spill, The Album Leaf, Mae, This Will Destroy You, and The Joy Formidable, and has been featured at major venues across the country including the Electric Factory, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Old National Centre, and the World Café Live. Find them on YouTube or their website for more information.
Southern California and southern Indiana might not have much in common, but within the past year, Larry Groupé has called both places home.
The Emmy Award-winning composer brings his experience to the Bloomington campus, where he is a visiting professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
At Indiana University, Groupé was appointed to design and implement the renowned Jacobs School’s first program in music scoring for visual media, which he started teaching in spring 2017. In this new program, music students learn how to compose original work. They create scores that can be used for movie soundtracks, learning various skills needed to write music that accompanies visual media.
“We have seen a fantastic student and faculty response to Larry Groupé joining the faculty and providing expert mentorship in the area of music scoring for visual media,” said David Dzubay, professor of music and chair of the Department of Composition. “We have an ever-increasing amount of activity in this area, and this should only continue to grow in the future. I’m thrilled to have Larry Groupé here guiding our efforts through his courses and collaborations with IU Cinema and The Media School.”
Groupé has also collaborated with The Media School to create a course that teaches students the techniques they need for editing and incorporating music into film and other forms of visual media.
“From a Media School perspective, Larry is a bridge to the Jacobs School of Music and helps facilitate collaborative relationships,” said Norbert Herber, senior lecturer and chair of the Media Arts and Production. “Our student filmmakers and game designers now have a clear point of contact to help identify student composers to score their film and game projects. Thus far, we see a lot more film-related activity, but the relationship is still budding.”
Groupé’s course in The Media School teaches students how to master software used for editing music and seamlessly combine tracks that set the tone and convey… [read more]
On October 25, 2016, at 7 pm, the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute presents the premier of the new audio-visual sci-fi experience, Death of the Mechanical Man. Developed by Big Robot, this work brings together silent film, acoustic instruments, and computer interactivity to create a multi-dimensional performance of sound and space in the heart of the brick barrel arches and limestone columns of Indianapolis’ City Market Catacombs.
This event is supported by our partners at Sun King Brewing. Additional support provided by the IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology and the Donal Tavel Arts and Technology Research Center.
The City Market Catacombs are an undeveloped historic asset and are not handicapped accessible. The Catacombs feature a very rough, uneven dirt floor. This event is not navigable for guests with walkers, canes, strollers, or wheelchairs. We recommend closed-toed shoes. Alert to people with breathing sensitivities: The Catacombs are a musty, sometimes damp area. Guests assume all personal liability for entering the catacombs for this free, public event.
Campus and community collide when Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis hosts Wes Montgomery Tribute Day, the marquee event of Indy Jazz Fest, from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday, September 17th at the IUPUI Campus Center.
IUPUI has partnered with Indy Jazz Fest to celebrate Indianapolis’ music history and pay tribute to the greatest jazz guitarist produced by the city. A Grammy Award winner in 1966, the late Wes Montgomery was a self-taught musician who revolutionized the sound of jazz by strumming his guitar strings with his thumb rather than using a pick.
Montgomery made a name for himself playing in the clubs of Indiana Avenue. On Saturday, IUPUI will bring his sound, and that of many others, to the Campus Center.
More than 40 local and national bands will perform. Among those scheduled to appear are the IUPUI Jazz Ensemble and other acts from Indianapolis colleges and high schools. National headliners include Pat Martino, Chuck Loeb, Henry Johnson, Russell Malone, Bobby Broom, Fareed Haque, Dave Stryker, Will Matthews, Royce Campbell and Peter Bernstein.
The majority of the performances are free to the public. Tickets for main-stage acts are $25 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased online.
In addition to the school’s jazz ensemble, IUPUI students will be involved in Wes Montgomery Tribute Day by performing behind the scenes. The Department of Music and Arts Technology will assist with the live audio aspects of the performances. Students employed at the Campus Center, many of whom are already well-versed in event management, will continue to put practice to action through their work with the community partners.
“It’s a great learning experience for the students,” said Doug Bielmeier, assistant professor in the Department of Music and Arts Technology, who also described the importance of being involved in a live event to boost students’ employability in the future. “It’s real.”
Those attending Wes Montgomery Tribute Day will find more than just music. An exhibit by Mark Sheldon Photography is also scheduled, highlighting the history of jazz in Indianapolis. Artifacts showcasing Montgomery’s life will be on display. Free panel discussions featuring Zev Feldman of Resonance Records and Robert Montgomery, Wes’ son, are slated as well.
David Williams will be signing his book, “The Masters, Legends and Legacy of Indiana Avenue.” Copies of the book are available at Barnes & Noble @ IUPUI, which will remain open until 8 p.m. on Saturday.
ABOUT INDY JAZZ FEST: The mission of Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and Indy Jazz Fest is to preserve the legacy and promote the future of jazz in Indianapolis through education and performance. A celebration of community and culture that showcases jazz music in a variety of great venues across the city, Indy Jazz Fest has become a cultural icon since its start in 1999. With an increased emphasis on jazz education, Indy Jazz Fest has expanded from just one day to an entire experience, ultimately benefiting the Indianapolis arts community throughout the year by creating meaningful links between jazz education and the city’s jazz performance scene. Indy Jazz Fest is the preeminent performance event of Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and will ultimately reach upwards of 34,000 people through a combination of performances, workshops, school concerts, master classes, and community partnerships, as an integral cog in the Indianapolis arts scene. The 2016 Indy Jazz Fest is taking place Sept. 15-24, 2016. For more information, visit the Indy Jazz Fest website.