‘Complete Mind’ concert journeys from 17th century to present day exploring emotions through sound
March 9, 2020
Editor's note: This March 17 performance has been canceled.
The Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts will present “The Complete Mind Concerts, vol I: Music and Emotion from Monteverdi to Modernity” on Tuesday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cube at the Moss Arts Center.
The program of music and talks will explore how composers from the 17th century to the present have manipulated emotions through music and sound.
Elizabeth McLain, an instuctor of musicology, will start the evening with a look at the development of how emotion is perceived in music from the Baroque era to the 20th century, as two faculty members — tenor Brian Thorsett and pianist Hsiang Tu — perform musical examples to provide context. The evening will then continue with an exploration of music and emotion research in the 20th century by Caitlin Martinkus, an assistant collegiate professor of music theory.
For the finale of this interdisciplinary program, Fifth Bridge, an electro-acoustic trumpet quintet, will premiere “Scream,” a composition by Christopher Stark, an assistant professor of composition at Washington University. Stark, a former student of music faculty member Charles Nichols, found inspiration for his composition in text by the painter Edvard Munch.
Among the members of Fifth Bridge are Jason Crafton, chair of the music department, and Virginia Tech alumnus Peyton Shelton. The quintet uses “electro-acoustic” to describe its use of mixed media and manipulation of sound to accompany the trumpets. All of the music performed by Fifth Bridge incorporates an electronic element.
What was the inspiration for bringing together so many different elements for this event?
“You can pair performances with elements that provide greater context, whether it’s a talk or a film, to try to impact people on a deeper level,” Crafton said. Presenting events like this one, he added, “gives us a lot of opportunity to work with people we wouldn’t be able to work with otherwise.”
The “Complete Mind” concert will take place in the Cube, using the sound-scaping abilities and high-density speakers of one of the most versatile acoustic spaces worldwide.
“The Cube is one of the few spaces in the world that can do what it does,” said Crafton. “Its technological capabilities provide musicians with additional opportunities for manipulating the way someone feels through music or the way they perceive emotion.”
“The Complete Mind Concerts” series takes its title from a Leonardo da Vinci quote. “To develop a complete mind, study the science of art, study the art of science,” da Vinci wrote. “Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
Tickets and Parking
Tickets for the performance are $15 for the general public, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students, and may be purchased online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Moss Arts Center Ticket Office in the main lobby of the Moss Arts Center or by calling 540-231-5300.
The Moss Arts Center is located on Virginia Tech’s main campus at 190 Alumni Mall in Blacksburg. Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street and in the Perry Street/Prices Fork lots. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200. Alternative parking is available in the Kent Squires parking garage and the Farmers Market metered parking lot, both located on Draper Road. Additional downtown Blacksburg parking information is available online.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation, please contact Susan Sanders at 540-231-5200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during regular business hours prior to the event.
Written by Taylor Wood, a graduate student in arts leadership in the School of Performing Arts.