Liz Maday-Looking Outwards-1

Alumni Concert Hall transformed into a dream-like environment through lighting and inflatable structures.

A project that has really intrigued and inspired me was CMU’s “Snoozefest”, something that I was able to experience in person. Snoozefest was an all night concert meant to be experienced while asleep, a project spearheaded by Professor Golan Levin (of Carnegie Mellon) and created in collaboration with CMU’s Exploded Ensemble and Soft Sculpture and Inflatables course. It took place in Alumni Concert Hall, which was converted into a strange dreamlike environment, complete with a huge inflatable structure that filled the entire room in addition to eerie but mesmerizing lighting. The music was primarily electronic and of the more experimental variety, and it was performed throughout the entire night by students in CMU’s Exploded Ensemble (one student’s set consisted of chord progressions produced through machine learning).

Prof. Jesse Stiles mentioned in this article that he was partially inspired by his time studying classical music in India, where he would attend peaceful overnight concerts. I hope that Snoozefest will happen again, perhaps in a new or altered environment. I felt that this event resulted in an amazing experience like I had never had before, one where everyone was experimenting with new ideas of what music and performance could be, something that I am always excited by and always looking to find more of.

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