The University of Indianapolis Faculty Artist Concert Series presented the “Science, Math and Music” concert in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. The concert featured the Ronen Chamber Ensemble with guest lecturer and Associate Professor of Physics and Earth Space Science Stephen Spicklemire.
According to the Ronen Chamber Ensemble’s website, the group’s mission “is to give music lovers an opportunity to hear both the small intimate works by great masters and the new, fresh contemporary works for chamber ensemble in a setting that lets listeners hear and see music-making at close range.” In Ronen’s programming, its repertoire emphasizes music featuring winds and strings.
The concert began with a piece composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed with a clarinet, viola and piano entitled “Rondo: Allegretto.” Once the ensemble finished playing the piece, the artists left the stage and a set change occurred. The next ensemble walked out along with Spicklemire, who stood at a podium and gave the audience a history on the science behind the piece. On occasion, the ensemble would play only a section of the song and Spicklemire would provide more of a scientific explanation.
The Ronan Chamber Ensemble also played “Sehr mäßig,” by Anton Webern; “Lassú” and “Friss,” by Béla Bartók; “Praeludium,” by John Berners; “La cathédrale engloutie,” by Claude Debussy and “Jupiter,” by Gustav Holst.
Sophomore music major Luke Garrigus said he felt like he could not miss the concert and left thinking he would start analyzing the science behind his own music.
“I feel like that was the whole point that [of the concert], for me, to find the science behind that [the music], to alter perception and hopefully to spark some sort of awareness in people listening to music and their perception of listening to music and viewing the world,” Garrigus said.
Sophomore music performance in piano major Carrie Atkinson also attended the concert because she loves the Ronen group and because it ties in research she is hoping to do this summer.
“I wanted to explore science and how it relates to music, so I thought it would be very cool to come to this,” Atkinson said.
Garrigus said he is trying to learn how to limit the senses in his own music, so when Spicklemire mentioned sound being an anesthetic to other senses, Garrigus learned something important.
“It [the anesthetic] turns other parts of the brain off, so the perception of the sound is much more refined and more specific,” Garrigus said. “So, I took a lot from that, as a composer for sure, and as a composer seeking and exploring harmony within the universe and spirituality I feel like this was a really important concert for me.”
Garrigus feels that more people should come to the Faculty Artist Concerts.
“I would highly advise that anybody, musician or not, should start coming to these concerts,” Garrigus said. “They’re every Monday night and there’s fabulous music and if you’re looking for any sort of mental stimulation or entertainment, all you have to do is come and stop thinking for a minute and listen.”
The next concert, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Chamber Ensemble, will take place on March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.