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Seeing Sound: A Musical Journey of Water and Light

Reopening Announcement & Current Visiting Guidelines
Buy tickets starting October 1

If you could see sound, what would you see? Immerse yourself in a sensory experience like none other that offers an answer to that question.

Seeing Sound: A Musical Journey of Water and Light

October 14 & 15  at 7:30PM
Tickets on sale October 1, 2021

This original multimedia production from Bardo Arts Center synthesizes live music across genres into colorful light. Each note played by a musician creates a color registered by an LED that first shines its light into water, allowing the rippling reflections of that note's color to project into the space.

As explained by Scott Ashley, BAC Technical Director and Production Manager, and brain-child of the Seeing Sound experience, "In the image below you are looking at the musical note - F. The note is being played on a Crystal Singing Bowl then Mic'd and played through the exciter you see in the image.

Resonator in water making multi-colored lights


The exciter, or as I call it resonator, is laying just beneath the surface of a bowl of water. The note - F, causes the water to vibrate creating that specific geometric shape. It would appear different if we looked at a "C" for example. The colors of light represent the different potential colors we could use to illustrate what an "F" feels like to us."

Tickets on Sale, October 1!

This performance includes transitions from a dark theatre to bright light. While there is no flash or strobe lighting used in this performance, patrons with sensitivity to light transitions should be advised.

Production Manager: Scott Ashley
Lighting Interpreter: Leo Lei
Audio Engineer: Zay Jarret

Stage Manager: Ana Faithe Allen
Creative Consultant: Kevin Kirkpatrick
Musical Director: Michael Yannette
Software Consultant and Exhibit: John Seefeldt

Seeing Sound is a collaboration of all the different departments in Belcher College, along with members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), who are coming together to celebrate the miracle of water as interpreted through music and light. We are pulling technical resources from the School of Stage and Screen, artists from the School of Art and Design, and musicians/composers from the School of Music.

Scott Ashley, Bardo Arts Center Technical Director and Production Manager, has brought together an incredible team of artists across the campus and community. From Stage and Screen, we have Sound Engineer and wizard, Zay Jarrett, a senior in the Entertainment, Design and Technology program. He receives the sound from the instruments on stage then refines them and redistributes the signal to be sent to the lighting board. At the lighting control board, Professor Leo Lei receives the audio signal and then brilliantly translates the specific notes to specific colors determined by the synesthetic composer, Alexander Scriabin. 

Our Musical Director, Michael Yannette, comes to us after years at Cherokee High School. Serendipity brought my concept together with Michael, who has been experimenting and researching the Russian composer, Scriabin's, synesthetic understanding of color and music. Michael, enthusiastically, helped me turn these abstract concepts into something that we can physically put on the stage, collaborating with me both on the script and on the types of music to best illustrate our concept. 

A dynamic Cherokee Chamber Ensemble, along with Mathew Tooni and Yona Wade, will bring exceptional musical and vocal skills to us from the EBCI community.

Professor Margi Underwood and her students from the School of Music will by performing a fantastic new modern classical piece composed by, Alex Shapiro. They will also be performing in various other pieces throughout the evening. 

Professor Pavel Wlosok and Professor Damon Sink are composing brand new pieces which embrace our WCU Campus Theme of Water. This will be the world premiere of each of these pieces. Professor Wlosok will perform his own solo piano jazz piece and Justin Kennedy's student "Tech Ensemble" will perform Damon Sinks' new work. 

The School of Music will also lend us the voices of their sopranos, Professor Kristen Hedberg and Simone Vigilante, to sing a rendition of Offenbach's "Barcarolle".  

From Art & Design, Professors John Seefeldt and Kevin Kirkpatrick will be contributing their talents. Professor Kirkpatrick will collaborate with BAC Technical Director and Production Manager, Scott Ashley in designing and installing our reflective water feature. Professor Seefeldt is creating elaborate satellite art installations that integrate with our show and will act as a teaser for the live performance, he is consulting with the production team on software development. 

Synesthesia is a condition in which individuals often experience stimulation in multiple senses when an experience is meant to only stimulate one. For example, often individuals say they can "see music as colors" when they hear it. This idea sparked an incredible process that led to Seeing Sound: A Musical Journey of Water and Light where all audiences will have the opportunity to truly see music transformed into color before their eyes. 

Return to the main BAC Blog to explore more events. 

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