Channel Noise XX Day One: Expect the Unexpected

Noelle Walker

Pictured: Ryan Devens, music technology graduate assistant, performing “Art and Culture: as told by chairman Mao Zedong

Expect the unexpected at Channel Noise XX. 

During night one of the three day concert series, featured guest composer John Nichols III opened with “AGE” and closed the night with “PTERO.” 

“I like to explore the full spectrum of the human experience,” said Nichols III. “And I see that, you know, temporarily, our experiences can extend over time. But also they can change dramatically, ephemerally, very quickly. And I think that that is kind of reflected in my work.”

There were speakers set up throughout the auditorium along with triangles on the wall that changed colors throughout Nichols III’s performances. 

Throughout Nichols III’s first piece, the vibrations could be felt in one’s chest. Lights flashed, and, just as the Channel Noise XX provided program said, one could hear and feel the “thematic foreshadowing and recall generate cohesion and anticipation as tension builds.” There was also the sounds of birds chirping during the composition. 

“The theme of birdsong develops throughout the composition, focusing on a variety of calls from North American birds such as the Redwing Blackbird, Sora, Bittern, a variety of owls,” according to the program. 

Art Berger spoke about his experience in film and video scoring. Berger, recipient of many national awards including 12 Emmy nominations, has worked on composing music for the films “Monkey Shines” and “Tangled.”He has also worked for NASA on the “Hubble Deep Space Project Across the Universe” in which he composed all of the music, including the vocals and instruments. 

Berger said that you must be versatile as a composer. In his music, Berger always tries to invoke an emotional response. 

Hugo Flores, research assistant at GS, performed “Flowerbeds,” an audiovisual live-coding. 

Ryan Devens, music technology graduate assistant, performed narration and electronics titled “Art and culture: as told by chairman Mao Zedong.”

Nichols III closed out the concert with “PTERO,” an 8-channel composition with “numerous instances of stylized electroacoustic counterpoint,” according to the program. 

“Every time I come to the channel noise concert, I come with the idea that I don’t know what to expect, and I’m still surprised,” said Gabriel Petkewich, senior computer science major. “There’s so much creativity in each individual person that plays at each event. I’ve been for a few years now, and it’s always something new. It’s always something innovative. And my ears never know what to say because sound levels be poppin’.”

Channel Noise XX will continue Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 at 7:30 in the Carol A. Carter Recital Hall.