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Music group disregards convention
Published 3/1/2013 6:00:00 AM
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Brad Baumgardner, bass clarinetist for Digital Honkbox Revival, warns pears will be harmed at tonight's performance.

WSU instructor Scott Blasco joins the Kansas City ensemble.

This concert will be Blasco's first Faculty Artist Series. For him, the hardest part was balancing his teaching schedule with organizing the concert.

Even though the ensemble is coordinating across the country, Blasco said practicing the pieces hasn't been too difficult.

Friday's concert will be organized into two parts. The first half features a solo instrument, a solo voice and a computer. The second half will be the ensemble’s take on a piece called "In C."

Digital Honkbox Revival creates a multimedia experience with interactive video with help from the Digital Technology and Culture department.

“What we tend to try to do at all of our concerts is not just sound and performance,” he said, “but video and some sort of multimedia component to make it more of an immersive experience than just putting on a concert.”

As a composer and performer, Blasco appreciates the ensemble’s process onstage, allowing part of the performance to incorporate creating.

Katherine Crawford, vocalist for the group, is a founding member.

“We wanted to have a dedicated group in place to perform our own works and to highlight notable new electro-acoustic works,” she said.

Crawford said their music is experimental electro-acoustic with influences from classical music, rock and from minimalism. They also use unconventional items, like fruit, to perform.

“The majority of our works are performed with special software that manipulate acoustic, non-amplified sounds by voice, a wind instrument or percussion, in real time so the audience hears a combination of the instrument itself and its manipulated sound,” she said. “It's a very cool effect.”

Baumgardner said they chose Digital Honkbox Revival for their name to make a statement and show what they are hoping to accomplish with their music.

“We wanted to select a name that would be memorable, unique, and convey our interest in electroacoustic music and improvisatory music,” he said. “Our name is meant to reflect the idea that whether meticulously refined, or savagely raw, music comes in many forms and we seek to explore and embrace its elusive boundaries.”

Crawford said the ensemble is ready to share its music with WSU students.

“We hope it opens the door for them to explore more in this genre,” she said.

The upcoming Faculty Artist Series will be at 8 p.m. in Kimbrough Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for seniors and non-WSU students, and free for WSU students who have ID.

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