Spotlight on the Artist: Mike Veloso

Could you explain the Independent Music Project?

Well, the Independent Music Project is a group of students – a student run organization that’s devoted to getting student pieces performed. Pieces that I guess would be called classical. Maybe art music. Art music might be a more accurate term, but also a problematic one because of the implication of non-art music. Um, and it was begun by me and Kenric in the spring of last year.

When will the next performance of IMP be?

Sometime in late April or early May. The piece I’ve written doesn’t involve notes. It involves rhythms, it involves. . .it actually grew out of this one day Kenric was feeling kind of wacky and asked people to warm up just by wailing basically, just by yawning up and down with their voices saying “AAAAAAH,” which I thought was really cool. And then he just pointed at someone and said, “DO THIS: Taka Taka Taka” and so that person started doing that and it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard.

And so I wrote a piece based on it. So I stole his idea. I’m hoping to have something like that done at the next concert.

Could you talk about some of the stuff that you play on the radio?

Well! I appear on two radio shows regularly. I have a classical show Monday at 8 pm. What I try to do is to get as much unusual music out there as possible. Not unusual as something really freaky, like Diamanda Galas. WCFM has a CD of this performer Diamanda Galas, and all it is is her screaming. That’s a bit out there. But, making people aware of the direction that twentieth century classical music is taking.

Word on the street is your senior thesis is good stuff.

My senior thesis is a string quartet in five movements, entitled “Mares.” And it’s loosely based on the idea of the moon: it’s an evocation of a mood. The title of the movements, very obviously allude to the seas on the moon. Hence the title, “Mares.” In a more general sense, the entire piece works as a kind of ebb and flow. A buildup in intensity. The first is cold, completely detached. The second is more involved, playful even and mocking in some ways. The third is manic depressive. The fourth movement is — lost. The fifth is a release from the turmoil which precedes it. More than anything the piece is an exploration of mood.

What other creative things do you do?

All I do is perform and compose music. I try my best to explore literature, painting and sculpture, but I can’t create in those fields. I can probably be an awful poet, an awful writer, or an awful painter. But I wouldn’t want to be.

I’m somewhat afraid of coming off as stupid, shallow, and arrogant, but that’s probably because I am.

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