GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The COVID-19 pandemic has shut doors and opened others.
The latter involves creativity, such as “Adam Gaines: Trumpet and Electronics.”
The music professor’s online presentation “is anything but just another trumpet recital,” he notes before any note is played.
Adam Gaines is a member of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music faculty, an adventuresome outfit. One of its explorations is the “6:30 Concert Series,” which in normal times performs live and in-person in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus.
This no-so-normal year, Adam Gaines took his opportunity for a spot in the series and ran with it.
The result premiered Monday night and now may be seen at youtube.com/watch?v=cc7FYllEDoQ.
Adam Gaines performs eight selections.
“Performs” has an expanded meaning in this case. Involved are trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn Midi programming and sequencing and audio and video editing – all “performed” by Adam Gaines.
Music is heard, and complementary video is seen.
This is something new beyond live… an enhanced experience.
One piece is a slow-motion, high-resolution spacecraft pass of the surface of the moon – visually – with electronic sounds blended with trumpet. This is sweetly eerie, like dreaming while awake.
Adam Gaines doesn’t play daring trumpet loop-dee-loops like in a live recital. The loops are where the eye goes as part of his encompassing products.
Another of the riveting pieces involves slow, haunting trumpet sounds interspersed with elaborate images of mandalas. The visual is akin to looking into a microscope that continuously zooms in. Continuously, continuously, continuously zooms in.
Here is the program with my observations/notes added:
+ “Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury” – Benjamin Britten
Video adapted from “The King’s Trumpet,” New World Productions, 1960, archive.org.
Regal aura, with layers of trumpet. Video like chalk drawings on a blackboard.
+ “Prayer of St. Gregory” – Alan Hovananess
Video adapted from “Discover Armenia and Artsakh,” CC license YouTube user AR A.
Aerial scenery. Organ and trumpet sounds float in the picturesque scenes.
+ “Recercada Ottava” – Diego Ortiz
Video: “Lego Castle Stop Motion War Building Classic Knights Sets,” CC license YouTube user, Happy Happy Toy Toy.
Subtly regal undertones as Medieval knights clash.
+ “Children’s Song No. 3, No. 15 and No. 14” – Chick Corea
Videos: Home movies from Canada and Ohio, archival footage supplied by Internet archive (at archive.org) in association with Prelinger Archives.
Trumpet in higher range – bright, in keeping with images of children and a town’s parade in the ’50s.
+ “… might as well fall in…” – Michelle McQuade Dewhirst
Video adapted from “Hidden Mandalas – A Deep Zoom into the Mandelbrot Set” and “Free Free Greenscreen Glitch Effect,” CC license YouTube users Visualmaths and green screen garf.
This is the zoom show described above. Very cool. More about it is in the talk session after the performance.
+ “Little Boy in Space” – Rastislav Dubovsky
Video adapted from “Oceanus Procellarum,” based on NASA/JPL images CC license YouTube user Krakenkraft.
This is the moon show described above. Very cool.
+ “Electrobash Live 12” – Ray Cobley, arranged by Adam Gaines
Video adapted from “Electrobash Live 12,” Ray Cobley, CC license archive.org.
Seen is a computer-ish grid in multicolor. Trumpet is pensive, in slo-mo.
+ “Visibility” – Adam Gaines
Video adapted from “Gandy Flyovers EB Version,” CC license – community video, user Hawkwind-1, archive.org.
Imagine traveling on an Interstate with puffy clouds above and trumpet speaking “ahh-life” in a slow soul-ish/R&B aura with a rhythmic backbeat. “Composition” means idea+music+visual+digital execution.
The follow-up talk session is between Michelle McQuade Dewhirst, organizer of “6:30 Concert Series” and composer of one of the works, and colleague Adam Gaines recorded live Monday night in Fort Howard Hall.
Some parts are techie talk – all the electronic stuff Adam Gaines used and had to learn and took on to create this pandemic-caused program. “It’s like life right now,” he says. “Everything takes a little extra planning than it used to.”
The do-it-yourself element arises. He made all the decisions and created all of whatever to come up with the program that was not a video of him standing in a recital hall and performing with piano accompaniment. Along the way, he says, he definitely got the feeling of “It’s all on my shoulders.”
Michelle McQuade Dewhirst talks about the series and the creative process and thinks out loud this way: “How do we make a thing and share it with the world?”