Artists around the world have been affected as precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged individuals to stay home, practicing “social-distancing.” What was supposed to be a three-day festival held at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music has been converted into a unique concert experience that can be joined from the comforts of your home.
You can enjoy the remote multimedia concert on Friday, March 27 at 7:30pm MST here.
So what is the goal of this festival and who is the team organizing such an amazing project?
I had the amazing opportunity to interview the Turn-Up Multimedia Festival’s Director and some of the members of the student team. Here’s what they had to say:
Meet the Team
Griffin Guttenberg- Event Producer
“Hi, I’m Griffin Guttenberg. My major is Business Management and I’m an event producer for the concerts in the festival.”
Meggie Keung- Event Producer, Audio Producer, Technician
“My name is Meggie. I’m a sophomore and I currently have a Music Via Integrative Studies major and then I’m also an arts administration minor. What I do for the festival is that I’m an event producer for the concerts that we have on Friday and Saturday and I’m one of the audio and [tech] producers.”
Caleb Urrea- Event Coordinator, Videographer, Social Media Manager
“My name is Caleb Urrea. [I’m] currently a freshman Film major with a minor in Economics. What I do in Turn-Up [is that] I’m the event coordinator for the Saturday 7:30 p.m. concert as well as the videographer and one of the social media managers.”
Tamir Oknin- Event Producer
“I’m Tamir and I am an Econ major. I am one of the event producers for [the concerts on] Thursday and Friday. The reason why I wanted to join this event was to get some experience in the entertainment world.”
Gigi Ruiz- Photographer, Poster Designer, Event Producer
“Hi, my name is Gigi. I’m a Neuroscience major and [I’m] possibly [adding a] Music Therapy [major]. I am in charge of all the photography and producing the posters; and I am also an event producer for the Thursday and Saturday concerts.”
Dr. Kay He- Event Director, UA Faculty
“Hi, my name is Dr. Kay He. I’m the director of this festival. I’m a Chinese composer and multimedia artist. I am also teaching composition in electro-acoustic music here at the U of A.”
What does this project stand for and what are your personal motivations for getting involved in this project?
Dr. Ke shared that during her doctoral studies in electro-acoustic music and multimedia, she was the only female international student in her class. The fact that she had no one like her in her field inspired her to create role models for future generations of underrepresented artists, and that’s why the festival was named “Turn-Up”—because she wants to “turn up the volume of the underrepresented artists.”
You can listen to Dr. Ke’s full story here:
The student team has decided to help Dr. Ke organize this event because of their appreciation of the project’s mission and the opportunity to gain early exposure and experience in the field.
[0:00-0:15] Griffin hopes to use this opportunity to gain experience in the music industry and help produce an event.
[0:15-0:42] Meggie enjoys the process of music producing so she wanted to help produce and market a festival in preparation for her career goals.
[0:42-1:18] Caleb believes that it is extremely important to give artists from all across the country the opportunity to exhibit their art and personalities to a greater audience.
[1:18-2:00] Tamir wants to work with companies like Insomniac and Relentless Beats in the future and this festival will give him the experience to understand how to organize such events.
[2:00-2:30] Gigi loves what the festival stands for and giving underrepresented artists the opportunity to present themselves.
Listen to the details of the student team’s personal motivations here:
How have you selected which artists will be part of this event?
Dr. Ke explained that a 3 person panel reviewed the artists’ submissions and ranked them in regards to how well they fit the program’s mission of representing minorities.
This year they received 162 submissions, of which 36 artists were invited to participate in the event. 19 of them are females and 12 of them are international artists.
What are some of the performances you are are looking forward to? **
[0:00-0:23] Tamir is looking forward to a piece titled “Shaken to Your Core” in which the artist makes music out of unconventional objects like matches and head massaging combs.
[0:23-0:50] Gigi can’t wait to experience “Things I Have Seen in My Dreams”, an amazing audio-visual piece, in a concert setting with over 8 speakers.
[0:50-2:06] Caleb is excited about the festival’s last piece—a kind of grand finale—that has been choreographed by UA Faculty Autumn Eckman: “Drift.”
[2:06-4:41] Griffin and Dr. He hope to see the complex piece that is being brought to the UA in collaboration with NAU and NYU with the help of their expert technicians.
Hear the details of these performances here:
**Note: These performances will no longer take place in-person at the UA’s Fred Fox School of Music.
As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to and Dr. He and her team have put in months of planning to organize this festival. Despite the cancellation of all in-person events at the University of Arizona, the Turn-Up team and participating artists hope you will enjoy their remarkable multimedia projects. So let’s TURN it UP!
Interviewer Name: Hibah Ilyas