Concerts showcase music as an immersive experience

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a change in date and location.

For two nights at the end of each semester, Music Science and Technology (MST) students turn Dixon Hall into an immersive artistic experience. Student composers play acoustic and computer-generated musical instruments, experimenting with surround sound and audiovisuals to create unique listening opportunities.

The performers are part of the MST curriculum in the Newcomb Department of Music.

The MST studio looks more like a computer lab than a traditional rehearsal space. Visitors are just as likely to see students coding as recording and composing.

Rick Snow, a professor of practice in the Department of Music, said, “Students in the music science and technology area present work in a range of creative media, including performances utilizing custom digital instruments, immersive playback, live electronic performance and electro-acoustic music.”

Those working toward the MST minor study composition, computer music applications and harmony, while taking courses like Algorithmic and Computer Music and Technology, Creativity and Performance.

The program lends itself to collaborations with other fields. Students in engineering physics, for example, commonly take Music Performance Systems, a course focused on the design of custom musical instruments. The students frequently perform with their instruments at the end of the semester. 

“I’d love to see the program grow large enough to offer even more interdisciplinary classes,” Snow added. Other recent collaborations have involved students from dance and architecture and participation in Tulane’s Novel Tech Challenge.

This semester’s concerts:

Friday, Dec. 8: City Diner in the basement of the Lavin-Bernick Center, 7 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 11: Dixon Hall, 7 p.m.

The concerts are free and open to the public.

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