Four years ago, I came to the University of Oregon as an excited, scared, and incredibly biased freshman music major. That same year, [m] was born. Over these four years, we have both evolved into different creatures entirely, me into a competent musician, and [m] into one of the largest student-run events I have ever seen.
This is my last year being able to participate in [m], and it is bittersweet to be revving up for the concert on May 5th. I have been traveling a lot this year, and I managed to cross paths with David Vickerman, the main initial administrator/conspirator of [m]1 and [m]2. He told me that one of the wonderful things about Oregon was the joy that people had there for new music. It is true. The enthusiasm I have seen over the last four years to put together electronic instrument petting zoos, sound based installations, and mass readings of “In C” has been inspiring. The creativity to create improvisations around taste, re-imagine medieval folk song, and perform all sorts of beautiful electronic and acoustic pieces humbles and astounds me. There is an interest in Eugene to make music that is unique, but more than that, there is an interest to make music that is important to the performer. I have seen rock, funk, jazz, avant-garde, improvisatory, and, of course, classical music all housed under the [m] concert’s banner and played with pure energy and joy.
This is what I will cherish and remember about my time playing and administrating [m]. Even though my experience right now is utter stress as I am sending email after email trying to keep performers in the loop and avoid miscommunication, my memory will thankfully fade that out, and I will eventually remember a few pieces from each year, then a few pieces in general, and finally just a vibe. That vibe is a sort of dedicated joy, a consciously cultivated desire for connection, communication and sharing.
For me, the [m] concert has been an inspiration in how music should be presented and performed. I feel very lucky to have been a part of it these four years.