Steinhardt Students Experiment at Bleep Bloop

A Steinhardt student performing at Bleep Bloop.

Bleep Bloop is as zany as it sounds.

NYU’s Bleep Bloop concert, which was held on Feb. 25, is a showcase featuring some of the most experimental music students have to offer.

One of the school’s weirder events, Bleep Bloop is organized by NYU Composers’ Collective, a group of Steinhardt students who put on concerts for students in the Music Composition program and by the Steinhardt Music Technology department, which was supplied the staggering mass of equipment required to host the concert.

“This is basically as experimental as it gets,” said Steinhart senior and Composers’ Collective Vice President Ellen Hardcastle, the student tasked with organizing the event.

Bleep Bloop featured eight performances this year. The first artist was Music Technology graduate student Steven Nelson, who performed an original composition entitled “Cracked.” The song is an ambient composition, sounding at times unsettling to the ears and at others, beautiful.

Duo Steinhardt junior Theo Woodward and CUNY Brooklyn student Don Hollis followed with a piece entitled “River Phantom Spectral Display of the Shimmering Cloud for the Flowering Gnosis Ceremony.” The piece begins with a barrage of sounds, which eventually fuse into a cohesive track. Woodward provided the vocals, having been trained in North Indian classical vocal technique in the style of Kirana Gharana.

The third performance, “Untitled” by TrGr, was one of the hardest to digest and describe. “Untitled” involved a series of distorted noises with trippy visuals accompanying TrGr in the background.

Afterward, Bafometz –– Music Technology senior Brendan Metz –– introduced his improvisational “Etude En Sinusoids,” which began with a simple melody that eventually built upon itself, slowed down, distorted and faded into a mysterious oblivion. The program notes that “Etude En Sinusoids” and its improvisational nature come from the desire to make music that can only be performed once, never to be heard again.

Next on stage was Steinhardt junior Daniel Ramirez performing “Wash and Filtration,” followed by Steinhardt senior Sebastian Zel and Steinhardt junior Rohan Chander. Performing their “Improv for Tabla and Live Electronics,” the duo sat on the floor as they too showcased an improvisational tune lit only by flashlights of the audience’s phones.

The next artist, Steinhardt junior Amanda Berlind, played in an even darker environment –– the stage was only lit by her laptop and the screen behind her, itself mostly dark. The composition, “Lunch Time,” is a “rumination on nostalgia and lunch,” according to the program notes. The unique song sampled the sounds of birds chirping and food being eaten. Bon appetit indeed.

Finally, Steinhardt graduate students Boris Nazarov and Erich Barganier ended the concert with “Manhattan Waltz Sequence,” which was a love letter to rent in New York City. The track involved electronic rhythms accompanied by a bowed mandolin, played by Nazarov and Barganier, respectively.

One of the many aspects that separates Bleep Bloop from other events on campus is that every performance was supported by some form of visual accompaniment, ranging from simple to psychedelic. This is largely due in part to Tisch graduate student Dominick Chang, who received footage and imaging from the participating artists and distorted them.

While Bleep Bloop isn’t NYU’s most well-known event, it’s certainly one of the most interesting.

 

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 5 print edition. Email Joshua Jones at [email protected]

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