As part of MSU's Musique 21, students performed pieces from the last century at Fairchild Theatre on Monday, including Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the end of time” and John Cage’s “4’33,” to represent the balance of humans and the Earth.
Kevin Noe, director of orchestra and co-director of Musique 21, said Musique 21 is project-based group, which means that the performers shift around based on the need and specializations. Instrumentation, giving each project a specific identity.
“I think this group specializes in new work,” Noe said. “It tries to do a lot of commissioning, which means we ask composers to write brand new things and we do premieres and we it is in part an advocacy group for how great new music can be and the power of its meaning today.”
The performance included particular lighting on set to help evoke emotion within the audience. Music performance junior Daniela Diaz said that’s exactly what happened.
“It was a really interesting concept," Diaz said. "It’s not what audiences are used to getting from performances of classical music. Very interesting concept, very different, very innovative putting this, not only music, but also theater, images, lights — it’s just pretty cool.”
The musicians blended different stylings of music that might not traditionally happen in most musical performances.
“I like the variety of it, I like the textures," composer and doctoral student for music composition Gonzalo Garrido-Lecca said. “I enjoy the harmony and the sense of time it has and how the different sections of the piece contrast with each other and they make a whole, which is very rich. I also like how he treats the instruments and how he combines them differently in each section.”
The students who performed were chosen based off their specialization and the instruments they played. This one included piano, percussion, violin, flute and the cello.
“They’re very into it, they’re very devoted to what they do," Diaz said. "It seems like they truly understand and feel what they’re doing. They’re in the concept, it’s not only the musical stuff but also the background.”
As for the performance as a whole, Noe said he hopes the musicians know their talents are much more than just talents — they are helping the audience connect with a deeper message.
“I hope it teaches them that everything they do on the stage matters, to never forget about the communicative power they have with the audience and how things that might, at times, seem extra — these are not small things," Noe said. "These things matter and they matter a great deal to the audience and they go way beyond just the playing of notes.”
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