SDSU hosts 21st electronic Music Marathon

by Isabella Place

This weekend calls for a much-needed end-of-the-semester treat. San Diego State is invited to indulge in the sights and sounds of the the Electronic Music Marathon. In the 21 years this event has been around, it has been memorable and successful for the mere fact that people really care about it.

“Showing off something that you created all the parts of can be rather unnerving but it’s also terribly addicting,” student-organizer Dan Shaw said. “The first time anyone presents anything, it really is like standing up on the stage naked. But once you get past that it’s that very sensation that makes us all care so much about the event as a whole. We want it to work, so it does.”

The Electronic Music Marathon was created by Joseph Waters, who started an electro-acoustic music composition major in the School of Music and Dance on campus. This distinctive marathon consists of student-written material and is the final for every class in the six-semester electro-acoustic series, as well as for a GarageBand class offered every spring. “It is a place where students can try out their latest musical ideas, refine old ones or simply get their feet wet,” Shaw said.

He continues, “The performers and composers range from people who had never played or written a note, to people who have won international competitions and performed at festivals across the country, and everything in between … As with any venue for artistic expression, there is a chance that some people might find some of the material offensive … We want to reach everyone and I can assure each person that there will be at least one piece that totally resonates with them and their individual taste, perhaps several pieces. The range of genres is too wide to list without sounding generic … We treat the whole thing like a rock concert with professional lighting design and top-of-the-line sound equipment.”

Besides the free pizza and appealing $7 ticket price, spectators are also treated to a very funny improv comedy team, Iota Eta Pi. Dancing is also encouraged: “This is hardly a formal event,” Shaw said. “It’s sort of like a big party with better music and lights.”

The event is from 5:30-11 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Smith Recital Hall.