February 4, 2021

Watch! The MSM Sakura Park Concert Series: Public Space Meets Sound

The concerts “create an open space defined by both artistic performance and shared experiences,” says series organizer Reiko Füting, Chair of MSM’s Composition, Theory, and Skills departments.

The first two concerts of this original series (video below) took place in November and December of 2020 in Sakura Park, a collaboration between dozens of MSM students from the Contemporary Performance Program and the Brass, Percussion, Jazz, and Composition departments. Videography capturing one of the concerts is by MSM Strings student, Toby Winarto (MM ’21).

Students were positioned at safe distances from one another around the park, creating a performance that merged sounds with the environment, and with movement.

Integrated Soundscapes

“The various projects that are part of this series can be understood as performances and installations,” explains Reiko. “The goal is to create an open space that is defined by both artistic performance and shared experiences.”

“By specifically responding to local characteristics and by responding to the specific land- and soundscape of the park, this series aims to create projects that are naturally integrated in their surrounding neighborhood as well as a heightened environmental awareness,” says Reiko.

"Time To Break Silence: '…let freedom ring'" performed on November 3, featured fourteen trumpet players and fourteen original compositions

“A new experience for us”

“It was a great opportunity for us all to listen more, and let sound be what it is in the air,” says MSM student Jesdelson Vasquez (BM ’23) who played in the November 3 trumpet concert.

Composition student William Bolles-Beaven (MM ’21) agrees. “I think of notes as having a few different qualities of pitch, duration, timbre, dynamics, and position,” he explains. “When something is surrounding you, you have to think of it as a compositional element. It was great to be pushed in that way.”

“I think it’s really cool that we can get together especially at a time like this and still be able to play music, and spread a message with everyone, it’s very positive, and we need it,” says trumpet student Laura Bibbs (MM ’21).

WATCH

Sound: Moves: Us

Performed on December 1, 2020

A project consisting of fourteen pieces by fourteen composers for seven percussionists and five dancers.  The percussionists perform at or while moving to various locations in the park.  They are accompanied by dancers who respond to the sounds and movements with specific and improvised choreographies.

Video of "Sound: Moves: Us" by Simon Yu

LISTEN

MSM students speak about taking part in Time To Break Silence: “…let freedom ring.”

Produced and edited by Toby Winarto (MM '21)

WATCH

Time To Break Silence: “…let freedom ring”

Performed on November 3, 2020

A project consisting of fourteen pieces by fourteen composers for fourteen trumpets players.

The performers are positioned in a large circle and coordinate via digital clocks.  The project takes its title from a sermon given by Dr. Martin Luther King at Riverside Church which is located just South of Sakura Park.

Watch the full performance here. Produced, directed, and edited by MSM student Toby Winarto (MM '21), with additional camerawork by MSM alum Ken Yanagisawa (MM '19).

“This series aims to create projects that are naturally integrated in their surrounding neighborhood as well as a heightened environmental awareness.”

Chair of the Composition, Theory, and Skills Department