It’s a good indication that another New College New Music season is beginning when the ugly, sterile Sudakoff Conference Center, usually used for student orientations, is transformed into a club.
Turn off those lights. Replace them with colored spotlights, round tables in dark tablecloths, LED candles. BOOM: an intimate club atmosphere where you can see your squad across the tables and really feel connected to what’s going on around you.
It’s a feeling that New Music New College producers Stephen Miles and Ron Silver have worked very hard to perfect. Each concert’s setting, lighting, and tone are carefully planned so that the content of it meets what they call “the frame.”
Two performances — the larger ones — will be held in the “standard” Sainer Pavilion (basically, rows of seats and a stage, what you’d expect) but more will be held in Club Sudakoff and the outdoor space called the PepsiCo Arcade.
“The PepsiCo Arcade is a wonderful space, we’ve used it many times now,” said Miles. “It’s an open space because it’s outdoors, but there’s this colonnade that forms a square. So it’s both containment and openness and it kind of bleeds on the edges. There’s something intimate about it that people just love.”
Being able to lounge on grass or walk around and talk while listening to some dope brand-new music with friends? Sign me up.
The other cool thing about these programs is that even though it’s probably music you’ve never heard, you can be sure they will push boundaries. The season’s opening performance on Oct. 1 features Kathleen Supove, a New York pianist who sometimes uses tools like boxing gloves and fishing wire in the playing of her piano.
Each performance is exactly an hour, and for $15 not too much of a monetary commitment either.
Silver said that part of the allure of the program is the “vital, focused and open energy” that develops between the audience members and performers. It’s chill and experimental — simply people, audience members and performers alike, redefining music together.
The first New Music New College performance is at 8 p.m. on Oct. 1, featuring pianist Kathleen Supove, guitarist James Moore and violinist Jennifer Choi. For more information on the season’s concerts, visit newmusicnewcollege.org.