Saturday, January 7, 2017

El Paso: UTEP: Commercial Music

Commercial Music Faculty Recital, UTEP, El Paso, Texas. October 2016.

October 2016

Until I attended the UTEP Commercial Music Faculty Recital last night, I had never heard of the concept of "commercial music."

Here's how UTEP defines its commercial music degree: The Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music degree is a music degree with special emphasis on elements needed to succeed in a variety of careers in the music industry. Students may have an instrumental or vocal performance concentration, or may have an arranging / composition concentration. Special courses in improvisation, commercial arranging and composition, music technology, recording, audio production and music business prepare the student to be competitive in the music industry in the twenty-first century.

Given the creativity involved in producing music, couldn't musicians have come up with a more lyrical name for their field?

But anyway. The performance was great, even though the apparent leader had made the decision not to have an intermission, which I would have appreciated, if only to stand up for a bit and get a drink of water. Clear the head for a space and then pack in more music.

Mostly jazz.

We heard a couple of pianist Chris Reyman's original compositions. Talented.

Here's a video of him playing a few years ago:

Fell on the Flow - Chris Reyman from in2improv on Vimeo.

And here's the guitar player, Shaun Mahoney, from this evening's ensemble:

We heard one of his original songs as well (or perhaps I should say "tunes," as that's how all of the songs were introduced), called Austerity Measures, so named because he liked the sound of the phrase. I totally get that.

Erik Unsworth played the bass. I'm fond of the bass - it's so versatile. You can be all serious with it, and you can be all get-down-low and sexy with it. You can pluck it or you can slide the bow on it.

Andy Smith on drums.

It was a fine evening, made all the more so because I can walk to the music hall from my place.

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