Turning sounds to music

Adam Montgomery

Unquiet Places: Electroacoustic, Improvised and Fixed-Media Music was presented by Carey Campbell on Feb. 18 with just over 40 attendees, featuring guest artists Dan Jonas, Susan Campbell and Dan Pack.

https://flickr.com/photos/95962284@N00/85346988
A later edition of the Omnichord is seen here.

Campbell, associate professor of music, musicology and ethnomusicology and Music Area Program coordinator, started the night off with a demonstration using a variety of hums, buzzes, beeps and static to create something harmonious and awe-inducing.

What started as the beginning credits to a horror film became a learning moment for all attendees as Campbell showed the audience his step-by-step process in harnessing and manipulating the infinite vibrations.

Following the electronic journey of Campbell’s beginning pieces was Jonas, assistant director of bands, playing the trumpet and Pack on the cello. Together they performed a chilling cover of St. Vincent’s “New York.”

Following the cover, Campbell played his own mix while sampling excerpts from the audiobook of “Pale Blue Dot” written and read by Carl Sagan. He then sent the concertgoers to space in a nine-minute ride.

The Earth from a distance of roughly 4 billion miles away, the "Pale Blue Dot"
The Earth from a distance of roughly four billion miles away, the "Pale Blue Dot"

“The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate,” Sagan said, his voice echoing throughout the space.

Later in the night, Susan Campbell, concert flutist and special projects and grants coordinator for the Salt Lake City Arts Council, played alongside an electronic piece composed by Carey Campbell.

The four musicians interchangeably took the stage throughout the rest of the concert.

Closing out the night, Campbell performed his composed rendition of Radiohead’s song “Creep.” The other artists played their instruments while Carey Campbell inserted some sampling and a send-off with the Omnichord.

Designed as an electronic Autoharp, the Omnichord is a unique and short-lived electronic musical instrument made by Suzuki in the early ’80s that has recently gained popularity in the electronic music scene.

Another performance will take place on March 6 at the Alliance Theatre in Salt Lake City.

Professor Carey Campbell is seen setting up for the electroacoustic concert.
Professor Carey Campbell is seen setting up for the electroacoustic concert.