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Press Release

Cal Poly Soundings Productions to Feature Boston-Based Transient Canvas May 30-31

Bass clarinetist Amy Advocat and marimbist Matt Sharrock of Transient Canvas stand with instruments in front of a colorful mural

Contact: Michele Abba

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Music Department’s Soundings performances will feature the Boston-based contemporary duo Transient Canvas at 7:30 p.m. May 30 and May 31, in the Pavilion of the Performing Arts Center.

The annual Soundings multidisciplinary productions showcase original compositions and instruments by music technology and composition students with original choreography by Theatre and Dance Department students.

Bass clarinetist Amy Advocat and marimbist Matt Sharrock of Transient Canvas will perform the work of student composers on the program of electroacoustic music, electronic music, pre-recorded sounds and singer-songwriters performing original songs. Fusion, indie folk, metal, pop, electronic dance music (EDM), modular synthesis and other types of music will be featured.

“This year’s show explores the theme of memory — the ways we use technology to remember our stories, forget ourselves and imagine our futures,” said Soundings director Julie Herndon.

Guests Artists
Transient Canvas has been thrilling audiences for more than a decade with what described its “engaging musicality and easy sense of ensemble,” and the Boston Globe called superb performances. The San Francisco Chronicle lauded “the versatile imagination they both display and inspire in others.” Advocat (she/her) and Sharrock (they/them) relish the creative potential of working with living composers and have a commissioned repertoire of more than 90 works.

Since 2017, the duo has hosted an annual paid Composer Fellowship Program that is free and open to composers of all ages. They maintain an active touring schedule with recent performances at the Alba Music Festival in Italy, Festival of New American Music at Sacramento State University, the University of Pittsburg’s Music on the Edge, New Music Miami, and the Illinois State University’s Red Note New Music Festival in Normal, among others. The pair’s recent educational residencies include Longy’s Divergent Studio at Bard College, New York University, University of Miami and University of Southern California. They have three albums released on New Focus Recordings: “Right Now, in a Second,” “Sift” and “Wired.”

The show’s dance director, Diana Stanton, directs the Theatre and Dance Department’s dance program and directs and choreographs for the Orchesis Dance Company. She has created original choreography for the Music Department’s Cal Poly Symphony, Cal Poly Choirs and RSVP productions. Her dances for the camera, “Breaking Bread” and “State of Grace,” were selected for screening at several film festivals in the U.S., including the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. Stanton was one of the three Cal Poly faculty to receive the Distinguished Scholarship Award for the 2020-21 academic year. She co-founded and is co-artistic director of the San Luis Obispo-based Variable Velocity Performance Group. She has also created original choreography for the group for over 12 years.

Soundings Director
Herndon is a composer, performer and sound artist whose work frequently explores the body’s relationship to sound. Her compositions and installations have been presented at MATA Festival and National Sawdust, both in New York, Artistry Space in Singapore, Sonorities Festival Belfast in Ireland, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca in Mexico, Croatia’s Music Biennale Zagreb and by Forest Collective in Australia. Recent collaborations include a chamber opera with the Decoder Ensemble, live video scores with the JACK Quartet, and electronic glove instruments with the New York duo andPlay. Herndon directs Cal Poly’s music technology program and teaches composition.

Tickets are $20 general, $10 students and can be purchased from the Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849). Event parking is sponsored by the PAC.

The performances are sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit the department’s calendar website.

Student Composers
The featured composers include: aerospace engineering major Grady Gallagher; business administration majors Kaia Aldridge, Mucio, Jacob Renert and James Smyth; civil and environmental engineering graduate student Matthew Robinson; electrical engineering major Alex Elliott; general engineering major Tommy Sperling; interdisciplinary studies major Connor Wright; liberal arts and engineering studies major Carter Jason O’Neill, manufacturing engineering major Domenic Iovine; music majors Simone Olivia Gabriel, Jacob Megaw, Edwin Muñoz, Alyse Murray and Victoria B. Reyes; philosophy major Andrew J. Johnson; and psychology junior Zoe Dovydaitis.

Student Dance Troupe
The student dancers, directed by Stanton, are: anthropology and geography major Dylan Hahn; art and design major Aviv Kesar; biochemistry major Carly Morris; biological sciences major Kaitlyn Kelly; business administration majors Hannah Bielcik and sophomore Melissa Nemec; child development major Emily Olster; environmental management and protection major Melissa Evans; nutrition majors Chloe Rosero and Eleanor Simon; landscape architecture major Gracie Mitchell; physics major Ellie Johnson; and sociology major Katya Tsikina.