The link between musical talent and mathematical aptitude will be explored in the Discovery Music Series concert on Sunday, May 15 at 5 p.m. at the White Chapel at the west end of campus. This special event is free and open to the public.
The concert will feature classical pianist Clare Longendyke, PhD, of Bloomington, Indiana, and Madison, Wisconsin-based percussion quartet Clocks in Motion. They will perform a collection of contemporary music by living composers that includes “Empathy” by Ivan Trevino, “Shui” by Juri Seo; “Democracy Dies in Darkness” by Jennifer Jolley; and “Rise”, by David Colson. Audiences will also hear “Credo In Us”, written by the late American experimental composer John Cage.
For the past 20 years, Rose-Hulman’s Hatfield Hall Theater has presented quality performing arts events as part of its Mainstage Series, performed by artists from across the United States and around the world. The Discovery Music Series, offered by the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts, complements these offerings by focusing on music programming directly linked to the department’s course offerings and featuring musicians and artists from across the Midwest.
A math and music class is being taught this spring by math professor John Rickert, PhD, and associate music professor David Chapman, PhD. The class explores how the concepts of math and music foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of both disciplines.
“Musical sound can be analyzed and manipulated mathematically, whether describing pitch frequencies or calculating rhythmic values or identifying mathematical processes at work in creativity and composition,” Chapman explains. , a music historian with an interest in music theory. It encourages Rose-Hulman students to explore the creative, expressive, and intellectual aspects of music as part of their science, engineering, and math studies.
Longendyke and Clocks in Motion member Christopher G. Jones proposed the next Discovery Music Series concert after hearing about Rose-Hulman’s math and music class. In the remarks of the musical program prepared for the show, the musicians declare: “Although not everything musicians are excellent at calculation, the links between musical structure, form and rhythm imply at the very least an appreciation of the inextricable link between musical composition and mathematics.
John Corkill, Adam Rosenblatt and Sean Kleve join Jones in the quartet Clocks in Motion. Their passion for education and reaching new audiences is a natural fit for Rose-Hulman’s Discovery Series.
Meanwhile, Longendyke combines a passion for the classical musical tradition with an infectious commitment to what she calls “the music of our time”. Her advocacy for innovative music and programming is evident through Music in Bloom, an annual summer music festival in Indianapolis that she founded in 2019. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University and now leads workshops and masterclasses whenever she presents more than 50 concerts each year in the United States and Europe. Longendyke is a frequent and favorite performer on the Music Discovery series.