Last year, Music History Associate Course Director Chris Belt joined the ranks of those spearheading the music scene in Central Florida by creating the Accidental Music Festival, a multi-day celebration of modern, contemporary, and avant-garde music and educational programming. Sponsored by the non-profit Timucua Arts Foundation, the festival’s focus is to increase awareness for professional musicians and composers.
“I started the Accidental Music Festival out of appreciate for the musicians in Central Florida that have been doing creative, expressive, and challenging music here for so long,” says Chris. “My desire was to present national and international artists alongside the best of our local musicians, to expose their work to a wider audience and to let creative musicians know that Orlando is a great place to perform.”
The second year of the festival starts today and runs through Sunday, with nine different performances – the majority of which are in Orlando, but some will also be held in Tampa and Sanford. A couple of the highlights, and what Chris suggests Full Sail students might enjoy most, are experimental noise band Deerhoof on Friday night at the Plaza Live Theatre and the 90-member Symphonic Orchestra of Guanajuato on Saturday afternoon at Edgewater High School.
“Deerhoof is one of the most creative and imaginative bands in pop music,” says Chris. “And the Symphonic Orchestra of Gunajuato is a fantastic orchestra that has performed all over the world. They’ll be performing contemporary classical pieces by Mexican composers – definitely not the typical classical program.”
Besides Chris, several other Full Sail faculty members are involved with the festival, taking part in the Central Florida Composers Forum performance on Saturday evening at the Timucua White House near downtown Orlando. The forum, including Full Sail faculty members Keith Lay (Music Technology Chair), Rebekah Todia (Music Production), Charles Griffin (Music Production), Dr. Timothy Stulman (Music Production), and Thomas Owen (Recording Arts) will present a series of Electro-Acoustic compositions, a fusion of live instruments and electronic music.
“I’m doing a couple of songs from an electronic opera I did years ago, and the musician Michelle Amato will be singing,” says Keith. “I’ll be using the Wii-mote as baton for the conducting to control the electronics. Tim’s piece is for saxophone and electronics, and Rebekah’s is a first-person ambient sequence with live piano.”
Every performance is free, but reserved seats are available for a charge. For information on times, locations, and tickets, visit the Accidental Music Festival’s website.