M-Theory by Grayson Fiske (premiering 5-5-12)

M-Theory is an extremely rhythmic piece that is made up of several small motives of varying length all happening simultaneously creating occasional and profound alignments.

The extra musical inspiration behind this piece come from the study of the cosmos.  M-Theory, in astrophysics, is a term that comes out of the study of quantum mechanics and is an idea that attempts to quantify the currently six and likely more different incarnations of string theory, all of which can currently not be disproved. The ultimate goal of M-Theory is to be able to combine quantum mechanics and Newtonian physics into one grand unified theory. It is this idea of combining the macro-cosmic with the micro-cosmic that was really the driving force behind the creation of this piece.

M-Theory, the piece, is divided into three large sections.

      The first is a time-line of the creation of the universe starting with the big bang. In the beginning of the universe everything was so energetic that no solid matter could form. As things began to cool down the most basic elements were able to form starting with an endless sea of hydrogen. From there stars and planets were able to form and be come solar systems. Then galaxies began growing and forming there own clusters. All of these things continued and still continue to form the universe we know inhabit.
      The second section explores a paradox that arises when an object approaches the speed of light. On the surface of the Earth we all experience time passing at the same rate. If you were to observe some one accelerating to the speed of light you would notice a few things: that the traveler was becoming more and more massive the faster they went; that time seemed to be going by slower for them. This is because things that are traveling at high speeds literally do experience time slower, a fact that has been confirmed by scientific testing. From the perspective of the observer time is going by normally for them and slowly for the traveler. Conversely from the perspective of the traveler time is also passing normally for them but is passing at an accelerated rate for anyone not traveling with them.  I found that rhythm was the perfect medium for expressing this natural phenomenon in a way that is easy to grasp. The listener will hear a melody and ostinato in the percussion that remain constant through out this section and accompaniment that is constantly getting faster.
     The third section deals with black holes. A black hole is an object in space that has infinite gravity and consumes anything that comes within its grasp. This is represented musically with an ostinato that is almost dance-like and the deconstruction of the four note theme that was evident throughout the piece.
     Nearly every moment in the music represents some specific concept or event that happens in the cosmos and the composer would be happy to discuss the music further with anyone who has an interest.
-Grayson Fiske

[m]4 Schedule Release!

The [m] team is happy to release the schedule for this year’s concert!  Over the past few months, we have collaborated with a range of departments and groups across UO’s campus.  Together, we gathered a diverse cross section of student performances from the emerging artists of the UO School of Music and Dance.

This year’s concert reflects the new themes and ideas generated by the current members of the Oregon Wind Ensembles.  Students have come together to curate themed blocks of performances, resulting in Living Room Music, an edible music experience, and the Chalk Block.  Collaborative elements are woven throughout the concert, like Nayla Medhi’s Kinetic Spacial Motion Structure, the “Bottle Improv” Soda Pop Bottle Band, and the “Beat Lab” masterclass on digital beat making.  And range of soloists and small ensembles are performing everything from jazz duos to contemporary premiers!

We hope you can join us for this exciting line up of contemporary music right here in Eugene, Oregon!  Stop by the UO School of Music and Dance (map) this Saturday May 5 between 3 and 7pm for [m]4.

[m]4 emphasis on 4

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.

Most Sincerely,

update from the inside

[m] is less than a month away and things are happening!  All applications have been submitted and we’re in the process of scheduling over fifty wonderfully creative acts ranging from improvisations to poetry, watercolor, and beverages, to works by Luciano Berio, John Cage, Libby Larsen, and Vincent Persichetti, to student jazz combos and funk bands.  Stay tuned for the official festival schedule release coming later this month.

One of the most exciting recent developments is our new partnership with the UO Arts Collaboration group (check out their facebook: UO Arts Collaboration).  They have dancers, visual artists, set designers, actors, and more excited to collaborate with [m] concert musicians.  If anyone is interested in this great collaboration opportunity for one or more of your submitted [m] concert performances, please fill out the form below and email Becca (rebecca.olason@gmail.com) and cc Kate (haller.katherine@gmail.com).
YES!  I’m interested in Collaborating!



Desired collaboration:

In case an artist isn’t available for your desired collaboration, would you be interested in another type of collaboration?  If so, what?

Performance Theme Ideas

Interested in performing at the [m] concert? Here is a list of possible themes…

  • improvised music
  • music from other cultures music and electronics
  • music and the senses
  • student compositions
  • audience participation
  • dance music (live or recorded)
  • collaborations with other artistic mediums

[m]4 is COMING!

Brought to you by the Oregon Wind Ensemble: [m]4

May 5, 2012

…stay tuned.

Program Coming this Friday!

The official program for this year’s [m] concert will be released THIS FRIDAY!  Check back in for exciting developments.