Have you ever walked through a maze? Which pathways would you choose to venture? Would the choice be easier if beyond each doorway different music was playing? The music blends but it is separate. The music is loud but sometimes it is quiet. The music is chaotic but it is focused. What if every doorway was the right choice? This is a music circus.
March 19, University of Richmond hosted "Musicircus," a composition by John Cage, within the many doorways of Booker Hall of Music. Brian Jones, a professor of music and Richmond College alumnus, organized the event. He said he hoped the musical chaos would engage a mobile audience.
"When you go to a concert you sit and watch but never see such a collision of sound. I think we experience it constantly, but never consciously," Jones said.
What Jones considered to be an "assault of sound" surprised the wandering audience. They weaved in and out of each room and heard everything from jazz to rock, and techno to a man singing with his harmonica in an empty practice room. While kneeling in front of a woman playing a miniature grand piano, Nico Doreste, a junior, said "It's really a beautiful thing, I don't know -- at times I don't feel as though while being on campus I feel creatively inspired. But things like this, this is why I'm here getting an education."
Along with many Richmond students and professors, parents with their children also traveled through the organized chaos. The looks on their faces illustrated the moods of each performer's sound. At times they would scrunch up their faces to loud, eerie flutes plugged into an amp, while at other times huge smiles would flash across their faces at seeing a man jam it out on the drums, an electric guitar or even an amplified game boy.
Jones said, "You get to see musicians doing something they usually don't do. The goal for the audience is just to feel what they feel."
Contact reporter Tracy Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org