From March 25th to April 2nd Artist Zoe Nowak visited Texas A&M giving workshops, interviews and ended with a night of performances along with students of the Texas A&M School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Art.
Conceived by Dr. William Connor
The visit was conceived and facilitated by the new faculty member of the SoPVFA Dr. William Connor, a Texas-based scholar and percussionist who is a lecturer and currently teaching Performance in World Cultures (PERF 301), Electronic Music Composition (PERF 318) and as well as supporting an Independent Study (PERF 685). In addition to his teaching, in the fall of 2022, Dr. William Connor was able to garner resources and funds to develop of Analog Music lab. This lab has proven to be popular with the students and faculty a like. The Media & Gaming Lab visited the Analog Music Lab at the beginning of the Spring 2023 semester and it was a good time.
In an effort to further build out the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Art’s public facing activities, Dr. Connor applied for one of the schools Interdisciplinary Collaboration Grants. He pitched Zoe Nowak coming to Texas A&M where she would give workshops and put on a show incorporating students from multiple disciplines. The application was accepted and the Media & Gaming Lab is proud to say we were chosen to be part of this collaborative interdisciplinary effort!
The Artist: Zoe Nowak
Artist Zoe Nowak is a U.S. based electronic music artist. Through out her teenage and early twenties Zoe developed a love for musical performance, performing with bands as a drummer, as well delving into her interests with electronics, specifically, tape looping, sequencing and live electronic performance. Zoe now performs electronic in a wide array of spaces using hardware interfaces that allow her to integrate with other performers. She also creates solo pieces that involve poly rhythms and noise that translates into sound spaces that are known to envelope the listener and audience.
High Impact Visits
In addition to performing, Zoe visited multiple classes such as a graduate communication course about gender and identity, as well as music courses. In addition Zoe gave a talk at the Transcend meeting, a groups whose goals are to:
“Transcend exists to better fit the needs of the growing population of students that identify in the transgender, bi-gender, agender, and gender nonconforming spectrum(s).”
As stated by the title, these visits proved to very high impact and allowed students to directly engage with Zoe and her work.
Media & Gaming Lab Monday Meeting & Interview
On March 27th, Zoe Nowak met with the Media & Gaming Lab for an interview and then discussion. Rick Pulos of the Media & Gaming Lab volunteered to head up the weeks worth of on location shooting. For the interview Rick produced and shot the video and Rolf Rydahl was the boom operator. Director of the media lab, joey, interviewed Zoe Nowak. The interview went very well and when it becomes available we will post it here, until then, here are some behind the scene shots.
After the interview Zoe Nowak and the students jammed on her work and also showed their work. It was a great time and the students really enjoyed the experience.
KAMN Radio Visit
Dr. Connor lined up a KAMN Radio visit for Zoe Nowak and boy was it a cool session. KAMN Radio is TAMU’s radio station and they produce a segment called “KAMN Library Sessions.” Zoe put on a good show, check it out.
This section will be broken up into two sections. Professor joey’s reflections and Dr. William Connors, so as to give an attendees view and production.
My reflection of Zoe’s Saturday performance was one from the theater’s cat walk as I was charged with making sure we captured a wide angle with our Sony A7iii. This position gave me a super unique view and one that I loved as I not only got to see Zoe and the students performance from a unique view but also the dancers.
The unique position I was in also allowed me to use my iPhone 14 pro to capture both photos and video of the performance.
The performance itself was amazing. Zoe and Dr. Connor’s students performance was integrated very well and as a quasi audience member I found it to be seamless. I will admit that I am a huge fan of Zoe’s genre, industrial electronica/noise music. The dancing added depth to the performance as well and gave the space an aura that exuded a human experience of body, sound and vision. The length of the piece also worked well for me as I have a short attention span and felt that the works has a progression that allowed for breath in the work while having poly rhythmic features that kept the piece engaging.
Dr. William Connors reflections