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September 23, 2010 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-23

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The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I Thursday, September 23, 2010
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- essentials
Got a friend and a
viable vehicle? Then
head to Detroit to
see Brit import Foals
rock out to electro-
house party beats at
the Magic Stick this
Saturday night. Com-
plete with infectious
hooks and funky beats
a la Talking Heads
on tracks like "This
Orient," this show
will definitely leave
you wondering how
this post-punk band
remained in obscurity
for so long. 8 p.m., $15.
Tomorrow through
Monday, Sept. 27,
influential Japanese
artist Danny Yung will
be displaying his com-
ics at Palmer Com-
mons. The exhibition,
"TTXS - Soliloquies
and Dialogues," will be
corri6'miented by a
roundtable discussion
with Yung tomorrow at
2 p.m., also at Palmer
Commons. The com-
ics will also be on dis-
play at the Confucius
Institute from Oct. 4
through Nov. 30. Free.


n a Thursday, the eight their own projects," explained Asso-
students in School of tiate Professor and PAT Department
Music room 2057 all face Chair Jason Corey.
the wall. Each one sits As complex as it seems - especially
at a workstation outfit- to the non-PAT students, for whom this
ted with a Korg Triton is among the only courses of its kind
synthesizer connected available - PAT 201 is only the tip of
to a speaker, a Mac desk- the tech-arts iceberg.
top and a recording console that's lit- In Corey's "Contemporary Prac-
tered with buttons and knobs. This is tices in Studio Production I" course,
PAT 201, "Introduction to Computer advanced PAT majors delve into the
Music," and the students are about to ins and outs of recording and mixing
write what, for many of them, will be methodology. In a timbral ear training
their first high-tech composition. class, they learn to distinguish slight
For Professor Jennifer Furr's first changes in frequency. And in Assistant
assignment, students will fashion a Professor Georg Essl's "Performance
short piece using Logic, the Apple, Inc. Systems," the instrument of choice is
music production program preferred the cell phone. By the end of the semes-
by the Performing Arts Technology ter, students will actually perform a
department. Besides having to comply 100-percent cell-phonic piece that they
with some basic compositional rules compose themselves.
(six or more tracks, "quantize" - arti- "Traditionally, there's, 'Here's the
ficially aligning the notes using Logic instrument builder, here's the per-
- where necessary), the students get to former, here's the composer,' " said
show off by picking from a list of spe- Essl, who has a joint appointment with
cific techniques to apply to their com- the School of Engineering. "But (in
positions and must integrate some sort 'Performance Systems') we're kind of
of synthetic "sweeping gesture," Furr saying, 'You know what, defining what
explained. an instrument should look like is like
"It basically introduces students to composing.'
electronic music, a little bit of histori- "So we kind of break down those
cal survey - important pieces of elec- barriers and say, 'You're a little bit of
tronic music over the past 50, 60, 70 an engineer, a little performer, a little
years - and gets students working on bit of a composer, and we don't have to

honor those traditional roles.' I think
that's kind of a PAT thing."
From Garage to Studio
Many PAT majors were introduced
to their future course of study by a
technology hardly more professional
than a cell phone: thatirrepressible
anyone-can-be-a-musician program,
"I started playing in a band my
junior year of high school," said PAT
senior Peter Raymond. "After I started
with the band, I realized I had Garage-
Band, and I had one microphone from
connecting to a digital piano. So we
originally just used that one micro-
phone to record everything that we
did. And then from there, I just started
reading more about recording, and I
decided that was really what I wanted
to become involved in."
Raymond decided to go out for PAT
on a whim, after having already been
accepted to LSA. For the application,
he had to send in a portfolio with one
stereo recording (two channels of
sound), one multitrack (multiple mics
picking up different musical parts, not
necessarily at the same time) and a
performance piece of his choosing.
"I didn't have any technical train-
ing," Raymond said - but he did read
into the subject, and he did have Pro
Tools ("kind of the big name in the
recording industry," he explained).
Able to quickly compile the requisite
pieces from his personal computer
noodlings, Raymond' applied one
month before the MT&D deadline and
was accepted.
That sort of gradual and casual
introduction into the music production
world isn't specific to Raymond. Mack-
lin Underdown, a PAT sophomore, also
fell into recording on his own, and has

yet to experience a more polished pro-
duction style.
"I've never personally recorded in
a studio or been at a recording session
at a really nice studio - all the stuff I
did growing up was in my bedroom,"
Underdown said. "I bought a computer
and some software and a microphone
and was just kind of doing my own
Some PAT majors start off with even
less in the way of state-of-the-art tech-
nology - although Raymond pointed
out that nowadays, recording equip-
ment is cheaper than ever before.
"Once (recording techniques)
switched from analog to digital, it was
a lot more accessible to a lot more peo-
ple, because the prices came down,"
Raymond said. "Everybody can have
a MacBook with GarageBand and get
started that way, just like I did, and you
don't really have to own anything to do
something in GarageBand.
"I definitely think that it's tougher
if you don't have the resources to get
started on, but there are kids who have
come here that don't own any equip-
ment, or haven't owned any equip-
What Raymond, Underdown and
many other PAT majors did have, how-
ever, was a solid background in math
and science, and a desire to integrate
practical academics into an artistic
course of study.
Getting Technical
Underdown and Raymond both
expressed pride in being part of the
University's PAT department over simi-
lar programs at other colleges and trade
See PAT, Page 4B

The American Roma-
nian Festival is back
(!) and this Friday
the Cannes-winning
2009 film "Police,
Adjective" will show
in the Helmut Stern
Auditorium. "Police,
Adjective" follows a
Romanian policeman
who refuses to arrest a
youth for offering hash
to his schoolmates.
What results is a story
of conscience and hier-
archy. $10; pre-show
talk with festival Execu-
tive Director Marian
Tanau starts at 7 p.m.
Ellis Paul is a former
athlete who gave up
sport to focus on gui-
tar and write his own
charming acoustic
melodies - sort of
like a talented Jack
Johnson. But unlike
Johnson, the New Eng-
land singer-songwriter
Paul has earned praise
from Woody Guthrie's
daughter and released
14 folky CDs, plus a
book of poems and sto-
ries. Plus, his music has
been featured on "The
Real World." Catch
Paul at the Ark at 7:30
p.m. this Saturday. $15.


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