By Kristen Rapin
Students and faculty of the School of Media Arts and Studies recently paired up with the College of Fine Arts to record the improvisation of Ossatura -- an ensemble based in Italy -- as part of the CircumAtlantic Improvisations performances.
CircumAtlantic Improvisations began at Ohio University when Marina Peterson, a professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts, received funding to bring musical artists from Europe to create improvisatory situations with like-minded American musicians.
"The collaboration has been a nice opportunity for the artists to have their works recorded in a professional studio with qualified engineers," Peterson said. "The outcome is making something substantial that can go out into the world, with Ohio University's name on it."
"Following in the vein of Arts for Ohio that involves students at all levels, we wanted to make sure people got involved outside of the College of Fine Arts as well," Peterson said. "Pairing with the School of Media Arts and Studies has been a way to involve other students on campus."
The recording session was part of a two-day series of performances sponsored by Arts for Ohio, the College of Fine Arts and the School of Media Arts and Sciences. Following the recording, Ossatura performed May 13 at the School of Music. During this two-day session, students also had the opportunity to partake in a music improvisation workshop.
"We are fortunate that Professor Peterson from the School of Interdisciplinary Arts reached out to the School of Media Arts and Studies to collaborate on these recordings," said Eddie Ashworth, assistant professor of media arts and studies. "Her circle of highly respected international musicians has provided audio production faculty and students with a unique opportunity to help bring their vital, cutting-edge sounds to a wider audience."
This will be the second year that the school and the College of Fine Arts have collaborated in this fashion and the third session of the year. Past participating artists have included Austrians Werner Moebius, who specializes in computer and electronic music, and Mariella Greil, dance.
"This type of session provides audio production majors with music recording experience that is outside of their normal comfort zones," said Ashworth. "Students typically produce recordings which are based on popular music formats, played on familiar instruments making familiar sounds. Working with avant-garde musicians using their instruments in non-standard, indeterminate ways forces students to approach the techniques we teach in the studio with more creativity."
As with all of the sessions, the recordings were made by audio production students from the school in its multi-track recording studio, which opened in 2004.
"The CircumAtlantic improvisations are really about exploring and employing every possible sound that can be made from an instrument and then transferring that into some kind of musical odyssey," said David Frush, a junior who helped with the recording. "Because of all this, when we recorded them, we were constantly moving instruments, equipment and making minor adjustments on the microphones to accommodate their use of many different techniques. The overall experience was exceptional."
For more information on the School of Media Arts and Studies and its state-of-the-art multi-track recording studio, please visit www.mediaschool.ohiou.edu.