TIMARA students are active curators of events on campus. One outlet for this work is the Modern Music Guild. MMG is a student group that brings contemporary composers and performers to campus to share their work. Last December, MMG brought the composer collective Pamplemousse to campus for a workshop and evening-length multimedia concert featuring student performers alongside the guest artists. TIMARA fifth-year Jack Hamill, a member of MMG reflected on the experience: “I was really struck by the elaborate and bizarre music videos for [their] works, which felt to me to be really imaginative, and lacked the kind of exhausting seriousness that exists in a lot of contemporary classical music. I was also really curious as to what a live performance of their work would be like, since they tend to opt for these separate video art versions of their work, rather than the usual fixed documentation.”

Jack has been booking events for MMG since his junior year. “Learning how to intelligently navigate the booking process is a really valuable skill, both as a curator and an artist myself. With the pandemic, an extra layer of complexity was added, as different artists had different levels of comfortability with performing online, coming to campus, etc. So the fact that this actually even happened at all was really thrilling.”

Working with Pamplemousse was a particular treat for Hamill: “I was blown away by how amazingly kind and approachable the members of the group were. Three of us (Beth Ann Jones, Sam Friedman and myself) had the incredible opportunity to rehearse and perform live with them. Students also had the opportunity to talk to all of the group members during their stay. I think we all learned a lot from doing that — on topics ranging from the details of their artistic work to their experiences as composer/performers in the 21st century.”

This was the first live concert Pamplemousse presented since the start of the pandemic. “It was awesome to provide an outlet for that to happen, and I could tell that the ensemble members were really happy to be performing again. I think that during these times where we all have to be a little more isolated from each other, it’s especially important to push for these kinds of events.”