Grammy winner to come to Wharton
Pat Metheny won’t be bringing his 17 Grammys to campus this Sunday. He will, however, be bringing the music of an entire ensemble in his one-man act.
Metheny will be performing as part of “The Orchestrion Tour” at 7 p.m. Sunday in Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall.
The concert consists of Metheny performing as a self-identified “multi-instrumentalist,” using electronics and various instruments to develop layered music depicting the performances of multiple musicians.
“‘Orchestrionics’ is the term that I am using to describe a method of developing ensemble-oriented music using acoustic and acousto-electric musical instruments that are mechanically controlled in a variety of ways,” Metheny said in an e-mail.
“With a guitar, pen or keyboard, I am able to create a detailed compositional environment or a spontaneously developed improvisation with the pieces on this particular recording leaning toward the compositional side of the spectrum.”
Metheny said his current stage show is different than his previous tours.
“This is such a unique project in every way that I can’t really compare it to anything else,” Metheny said.
“It’s kind of a 360-degree experience for me in that I am responsible for every aspect of every note of it all whether improvised or written.”
Cory Allen, a first-year graduate student in jazz studies, said he admires Metheny for his ability to think outside the box and do things differently than before.
“The cool thing about Pat Metheny is he is an innovator,” Allen said. “He’s always changing his approach.”
Allen has been playing guitar since the sixth grade and said he believes Metheny’s abilities have changed jazz music in recent history.
“He’s probably the most influential jazz guitarist in the past 20 or 30 years,” Allen said.
“I appreciate his musical voice and what he’s trying to say. He’s always trying to do new things.”
Bob Hoffman, public relations manager of Wharton Center, said Metheny’s concert will be a great opportunity for students to see the most nominated artist in Grammy history perform on campus.
“He’s won 17 Grammys and has been nominated 33 times in 12 categories,” Hoffman said. “So when you ask about somebody special, that makes him pretty special.”
Hoffman said Metheny’s tour combines traditional musical stylings with the newest technologies available to performers.
“‘Orchestrionics’ takes musical ideals from the 19th and 20th centuries and incorporates it into the 21st century,” Hoffman said. “So the experience will really be awesome.”
Metheny said music’s influence on his life has gone above and beyond just paying the bills.
“Through music, I have learned about science, math, language, art, physics and religion,” Metheny said.
“All the things I missed in school when I was practicing and should have been studying.”
Although Metheny has been to MSU before, he said he’s thrilled to be returning with a new project and thrilled his latest work has sparked new excitement from the audiences for whom he’s performing.
“People are going totally crazy. Just about every concert has been sold-out, and I can say I’ve never gotten a reaction like this for anything,” Metheny said.
“I often say it is a great ‘date night’ concert — you will have a lot to talk about afterward.”
Tickets for students are $15, while general admission starts at $35. For more information on “The Orchestrion Tour,” the performance here or purchasing tickets, visit whartoncenter.com or call the box office at (800) WHARTON.