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Review: Butler's Elektronik Musik Fest


Butler prof Frank Felice
  • Butler prof Frank Felice
Adjust your listening for laptop wavelengths and let your imagination roam free for an aesthetic experience abundant with metaphors. That's my hook for appreciating the dozen compositions - including violin trios with only one violin present - that made up the 12th annual Elektronik Musik Fest, held Jan. 26 at Butler's Schrott Center for the Arts.

Fixed media and live electronics were the other 'players' - in addition to the aforementioned violin - for Robin Cox's three diverse compositions, the first atmospheric like the start of a film, the second like a rainstorm pelting the side of house, the third like a melodic violin playing outdoors against ambient noise.

Frank Felice was at command control for the other original compositions on the bill including:

Josh Elmore's "Anagrammatic Riddle," going from pulsating to thin and brittle to deeper tones flitting like treefrogs here and there.

Elissa Chapins "Atmospheres," which conjured footsteps, folk saw playing and workspace sounds.

Kirby Ahlm's "Automation," featuring motor resonance, windshield wipers and the inner workings of fax machine.

Gabrielle Cerberville-Kalt's "Elecstripsody," which conjured swelling organ morphing into over-the-bridge traffic when you're under it.

Allison Fecher's "Again and Again," which messaged through beeps, dips, swirls, howls, droops, sloops to close with an ear-hurting pitch listed as 'Rumor.'

Hannah Varnau's "Three Miniatures... " which brought to mind tap dancing, hip hop and Michael Jackson moves.

Frank Felice's "... Glass," which essayed Touch as almost silent waves, Heart as breath-holding, House as wreaking havoc.

Tim Murdock's "Frozen Skies," which patterned objects in flight.

Finally, Kazuaki Shiota's "Interactive Sonic Dance Improvisation No. 1" featured dancer Karen Wissel Shiota moving from yoga repose at one side of the stage through Marcel Marceau-inspired mimicry via a Rube Goldberg-like exercise. She took the most circuitous path possible to reach a jade plant situated mid-stage; it was mesmerizing and funny.


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