Thomas More Concert

Student comments:

-My favorite part of the performance was when he made it sound like a lion


Believe it or not, that was a low piano note going through a granular
synthesizer and filter. As you open the filter from fully closed to about
half way open it gradually lets higher frequencies through so it sounds like
a giant mouth opening.

-I think his music is almost inspiring to try to make your own version of music.
He inspires to think outside the box and I like that.

Gee, I'm really glad about that. Although I always really liked music, the
first music that made me go,"Wow, I had no idea you could do that with
music!" was Debussy.

-Yesterday was the concert of the "techno" music. I don't know exactly what
it is called but the concert was more than entertaining. I liked how
everything kind of fell into place as categories even though he didn't
intend on doing so. When I closed my eyes I could see little scenes playing
along with the music. True the performance wasn't like the "usual" type of
musical performances, but it didn't affect my view on the how good it
actually was. I just can't say how important it was for me to visualize the
scenes while the music played.

-Mr. McManaman's electronica concert was a riveting journey through sound
and sampling unlike anything I had experienced before. The enthralling piece
of layered sounds, tones, rhythms, and harmonies hurls the listener into a
world of mystery and uncertainty that invokes a plethora of images and
ideas.  However, just as quickly as the music brings the listener to uncharted
he throws them back into reality with lengthy silences and drawn-out build

I know what you mean. This is something I've thought a lot about. There's no way around it,
 in this kind of live performance situation you have to make allowances for the fact that
everything takesso much longer to set up. And believe me I've practiced these "scene changes"
to be as quick as possible. In a recording situation you don't have to deal with any of that.
In many ways recordings have made us unrealistically demanding. We demand perfection
and to have what we want, when we want it.

 -The musical presentation I watched on Halloween was a very interesting
experience. In all honesty, I can't say that I enjoyed it at all, or that I
even consider it music. I would consider it art however, which doesn't make
much sense I must admit myself. While the product of sounds created an
interesting harmony, it didn't quite fit into what I consider music. But
what exactly makes music, music? How do we differentiate from music and

I wonder about this myself. I have heard "music" that is just sounds and
noise and have tried to see the beauty of it for its own sake. I can do it but I don't
find myself attracted to listen to it more than once. 

There's something to be said for what you're used to listening to. I had
never heard classical music until I was about 15 or 16 years old. The first
thing I heard was Mahler's 8th symphony(just the ending) and I thought,"Wow,
I didn't know you could do that with music." And then I heard Debussy's
music and I had that thought again but more powerfully. I could hear different lines
coming in and out all with harmonies I had never heard but which stunned me
with their beauty. Then I heard Mahler's 10th symphony. That one just blew
my mind and it still is one of my all time favorites. At the time it sounded
like someone from another planet had written it.

-Throughout the duration, I had been envisioning one thing or another and
my best to discern some plot or story to accompany the sound.

-It evoked images of different stages of life and different people experiencing
them in different ways. I felt a strong connection there that I thought was

-...However, when I spoke with him after the performance, he said he never
intended to tell a story or evoke those kinds of images. After that explanation, I
sort of felt like the piece was empty or uninspired and it really did a lot
to take away from the experience for me.

It's true that I don't have a specific story in mind or a plot exactly. But I do like the idea of
evoking things, strong emotions and imaginary landscapes that you couldn't quite put your
finger on. The first time I heard Mahler's 10th Symphony it sounded like someone from
another planet had written it. It seemed to have one foot in tonality and one foot out of it
so that you always felt on the edge of understanding it but you could defintely feel the
emotion of it and some other part of you knew this was very meaningful. That's what
kept me going back to it. I was surprised when I found out that not everyone enjoys
that piece.

-I really did enjoy this piece, do not get me wrong. Just the shear length of it
made it something not very easily accessed and enjoyed. The long setup of
many of the main parts of it is what held it back. Once it all came together
and the layered textural qualities of it made its presence felt, there was
nothing comparable to it.

-The many crescendos and decrescendos and highs and lows made it a roller
coaster experience.

That's exactly what I wanted people to feel. I was hoping by the end people
would feel that they had really "been through something."

-Like he intended for the piece to be lengthy and something to be suffered
through and simply tolerated.

ha ha ha, I loved this line.

-I found that the music yesterday left me waiting for a big screen to come out
of the ceiling and a movie to start playing. It sounded more like a
soundtrack to a documentary then a song.

-If I could hear another performance like that I would definitely want to see it
again, but in a more comfortable way. The chairs they had in there just too
uncomfortable, but I still liked the performance.

I heartily agree. I prefer listening to music lying down on a couch at night with either
headphones or a great stereo system.

-My favorite part was when it sounded like he used several different animal
noises. At least that's what I thought it was. That is another reason why I
like the electronic music. You can close your eyes and see something the
music reminds you of, and everybody sees something different--which makes
for great discussions.

-I'm pretty sure that you would characterize that music as classical music.

I've actually done everything I can to make this not academic. There still is a
imaginary boundary between "academic" and "pop" that needs to disappear.

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