By Olivia Gard
Ames247 Staff Writer
“Godzilla Eats Las Vegas,” a band composition by Eric Whitacre, will put Wind Ensemble musicians on a new level of musical storytelling. As the audience shuffles through scripts outlining the classic tale of Godzilla, the ensemble will play music meant to represent the story line.
“It’s a really cool piece to be in the audience for, and I think it will be fun to play,” said Rachel Petsche, senior in music and bass player in the Wind Ensemble.
Petsche said the musicians become an even more integral part in the Godzilla story when they take on extra actions such as yelling and stomping. The audience will need to use their imaginations and scripts in order to help them fully understand the music, she added.
“[‘Godzilla Eats Las Vegas’] features pretty much everybody in the group, and it is a lot of fun. It is just a riot,” said Michael Golemo, Wind Ensemble director.
The concert will take another unusual turn when it reveals “Glass House Concerto,” a premiere piece by composer Andrew Ardizzoia that will feature Matthew Coley, lecturer of percussion at Iowa State, while Wind Ensemble will play in the background. Coley will play the concerto on “a variety of nontraditional percussion instruments,” said Golemo, including glass bottles and glass and stone xylophones.
“I have had a passionate interest for some time in utilizing glass as a percussion instrument, as well as assembling many sounds from one material, whether found or manufactured,” Coley wrote about the concerto on his website.
Coley also utilized glass instruments when he collaborated on the “CLEARLY” installation displayed in Brunnier Art Museum in December 2011.
Even with all the unusual instrumentation, “Glass House Concerto” sounds surprisingly similar to other concertos, said Lee Plummer, senior in music and percussionist in the Wind Ensemble. Pieces like this one allow percussionists to learn about a wider variety of instruments and techniques, Plummer said.
Ardizzoia has planned to be present at ensemble rehearsals and at the Wind Ensemble’s performance Sunday. Ardizzoia will have the opportunity to give feedback to the group about “Glass House Concerto” before its premiere.
“I think he might end up changing some things once he’s in there and hears what it sounds like coming from a real band,” Petsche said.
She said he might clarify or alter parts because he will be hearing the music for the first time from the ensemble.
“It’s always neat to have the composer there. It brings another level to the performance. The goal of any group, any performer, is to convey the intent of the composer, and when the composer is with you it’s great,” Golemo said.