TIMARA students, faculty, and alums are frequent presenters and award winners in the annual Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the U.S. (SEAMUS). For instance, TIMARA students have won the Allen Strange Award for Undergraduate composers 6 times since it was initiated in 2008, including most recently by Rachel Gibson in 2020 and Hunter Brown in 2017. 

Due to the pandemic, this year’s annual SEAMUS conference will be held remotely, but TIMARA students, faculty, and alums are no less involved. Special concerts and panels feature TIMARA past and present, including works by Alex Christie, Hunter Brown, and Rachel Gibson, professor Aurie Hsu in collaboration with former visiting professor of Dance, Alice Blumenfi, visiting professor Eli Stine in collaboration with Oberlin Conservatory faculty Dana Jessen, former visiting professor Joo Won Park, and technical director Abby Aresty.

In particular, under the supervision of TIMARA professor Tom Lopez, the Oberlin Synthesizer Ensemble solicited compositions from artists around the U.S. to perform on a featured concert during the symposium. Compositions make use of TIMARA’s extensive collection of Vintage synths including the Arp 2600, Pittsburgh Modular synthesizers, Peter Blasser’s Plumbutter synthesizer and many more. The four member ensemble has been communicated with composers and recording compositions in our analog synth studio for the past month. 

TIMARA senior Drew Smith has been instrumental in organizing the event. Asked about their inspiration for the project, Drew said: 

“I remembered seeing an iteration of the Oberlin Synth Ensemble with Margaret McCarthy and Natty Baker-Salisbury, back when they opened for an OINC show that I was playing in my freshman year. I got the idea of one day doing the group again, after finding out that it had happened in a few other past years as well. The group has functioned in a lot of different ways, but it has more recently been a group that improvises and plays music with TIMARA’s synth collection. It seemed like a great opportunity to really jump headfirst into doing live performance with these instruments, which is a very unique but fun challenge to pull off, especially in a group. But it’s also really fun to hear all the crazy things that happen when there’s 3-4 synths playing at the same time.” 

Check out the schedule for more details here.