Music department hosts its first-ever Music Electronic Week

The brazen trumpet sounds alert the crowd that the show is commencing, while the escalating electronic dance music beats give the venue energy and the dynamic tones emanating from a trombone land a sweet drop Friday afternoon at Knuth Hall.

SF State’s school of music hosted its first ever Music Electronic Week Monday, March 7 through Friday, March 11, which consisted of two music lecturing days at Knuth Hall and two live concerts at The Depot and Knuth Hall.

“It was freaking amazing,” said Benjamin Martinez, jazz major, who attended the concert at Knuth Hall. “The horn players were really tight and it was a good combo of electro and brass. There was a lot of energy and a lot of fun.”

Benjamin Sabey, professor of composition and electronic music, organized all of the events at SF State.

“We believe this is a huge opportunity for students,” Sabey said. “So that a lot of students will be interested in it and we want to build it up, so that we can increase enrollment at the school of music.”

The music department hoped the events would raise awareness of its programs and financial difficulties and boost enrollment in the program, according to Sabey.

Beauty Slap, a band hailing from Pittsburgh, taught seminars Monday, March 7 and Wednesday, March 9 from 1-2 p.m. in Knuth Hall. The band labels its genre as an electro-bass-thunder-funk machine, which is a combination of four horns, a computer and keys.

 Beauty Slap band’s Scott Nadelson from Pittsburg performs as part of the SF State School of Music's first Music Electronic Week in The Depot at Cesar Chavez Student Center on Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2016. (Perng-chih Huang / Xpress)

Beauty Slap band’s Scott Nadelson from Pittsburg performs as part of the SF State School of Music’s first Music Electronic Week in The Depot at Cesar Chavez Student Center on Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2016. (Perng-chih Huang / Xpress)

“It’s really like a throwback meets new stuff,” said Gabriel Colby, Beauty Slap’s trumpeter and co-founder. “We like to call it electro-thunder-funk, which is a funk, soul, electronic sound, so it’s kind of like an EDM meets soul funk.”

Both of the band’s seminars discussed music technology. Beauty Slap presented how to properly use equipment in order to create the band’s unique, thunder-funk sound and a step-by-step process of how to coordinate their shows from a technical standpoint, according to Sabey.

“I hope to get a good perspective on mixing electronic music and live performance, because they (Beauty Slap) have horn players playing at the same time (as) key players and DJ mixing, (which) sounds very interesting,” said Michael Bang, a graduate student studying music composition.

Beauty Slap also taught students new, innovative ways to produce lyrics and beats. The band’s last topic, business and marketing, gave students insight into the music industry and how to navigate their lives if they become traveling performers, Sabey said.

“I thought the event today was pretty cool,” said Tyler Wood, a third-year jazz bass major who attended Wednesday’s seminar. “It was a nice integration of two different music mediums. I thought their performance was nice. They had a lot of energy.”

In addition to the seminars, Beauty Slap performed at The Depot in the Cesar Chavez Student Center Tuesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. and in Knuth Hall Friday, March 11 at 1 p.m.

“We are really happy with how the week went,” Colby said. “We played a show at The Depot, which was really awesome because the venue set a club atmosphere, and we just had our last show in Knuth Hall, and we had a lot of people grooving in the crowd. ”

SF State’s orchestra also contributed to Music Electronic Week with a performance March 9 at 7 p.m. in Knuth Hall.

“We all hope that they’re inspired to go create something new because we believe that’s what this field is all about, and we have been privileged to be able to do what we have done so far,” Colby said.

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