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ISSUE 118 VOL 16 PUBLISHED 4/15/2005

'Hill' alive with music

By Carolyn Albert
Contributing Writer

Friday, April 15, 2005

In an era of iPods and mix CDs, a St. Olaf student organization has released an eclectic album of student compositions which bridges the musical gap between the late WCAL and its replacement, The Current.

The CD Music from the Hill 2005 is a continuation of a project conceived in 2002 by Carl Schroeder '05. It contains music written by 17 current St. Olaf students and was released at a short and lively recital April 5.

Muziko Nova, the student-run contemporary music organization at St. Olaf, oversaw the Music from the Hill release. The organization aims to provide opportunities for student composers, performers and new music fans.

The CD release event provided glimpses into the personalities and creative processes of the young musical minds whose works are featured on the recording. Jake Fitzpatrick '07 performed his minimalist solo piano piece "Tokata" from the CD. He said the project offered him a "first step to creating [his] own CD" and "a hint of what the music of the future will be."

Schroeder hopes the CD will provide a viable way for St. Olaf student composers and songwriters to share their music with a wider audience. Prior to the release of Music from the Hill 2005 was the production of Muziko Nova’s first CD release, Music from the Hill 2003. Funded in part by a grant from St. Olaf's Finstad Office for Entrepreneurial Studies, the CDs showcase works written by more than 30 St. Olaf students. Musical style varies greatly and includes jazz, classical instrumental, pop, choral, electronic and experimental. Most of the audio recording and production work is done on-campus by professional audio engineer Joshua Wyatt '05.

"I feel like we're bridging the gap between the folk and classical traditions, which have so much to offer each other,” Lucas Paine ‘06 said. “It's more than just getting your name on the CD. It's about creating a community.”

The community of composers who collaborated on this year’s project came from all four current St. Olaf classes. Though many of the artists who worked on the project will graduate this year, a hearty crop of younger composers cut their teeth on the CD as well. Greg Sylvester '08, who contributed the electronic work "The Persistence of Memory," said, "I'm excited for the future of Muziko Nova and hope that in the future we can continue to bring composers together."

Matt Peterson '06, vice president of Muziko Nova, whose string orchestra work "Veturnaetur" is featured on this year's CD, will replace Schroeder as the organization’s head.

"Every time I listen to this CD I just get giddy," Peterson said. "There is so much talent recorded there. So much hard work. I know we can continue and even expand this project for future St. Olaf composers."

If Music from the Hill 2005 is any indication of what St. Olaf students can be expected to achieve, the future sounds good indeed. In the meantime, the current Music from Hill CDs can be purchased via the project's website at

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