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Missoula Symphony Orchestra Uses Technology To Put Spin On Music

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MISSOULA -

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra is taking its music to the next level using technology.

Music filled the Dennison Theater Friday night, as a dress rehearsal took place for the Missoula Symphony Orchestra's second concert this season, but this rehearsal was different from any other. The sound in one piece of the show is being manipulated by a computer.

"The violist has a microphone on the viola, and the signal comes into my computer, and in my computer, I've programmed it so it takes his sound and does things to it," said the concerto's composer and former UM professor, Charles Nichols.

In the second piece of the concert, as part of a world premier, Nichols will blend computer technology and string instruments.

"With the equipment Charles has, it really opens up expressive possibilities, because all of a sudden, it sounds like an electric guitar or sounds like a chorus, or an organ. It's really neat," said Missoula Symphony Orchestra music director, Darko Butorac.

Using some technology Nichols will mix the music as soloist, Brett Deubner, plays the viola. He'll do everything from distorting the music, to making it sound like multiple instruments are playing.

"I love it. It's Charles' music, but it's my sound, so my sound being distorted in a good way, it is exciting," guest soloist, violist Brett Deubner said.

Nichols said technology is opening up the possibilities of what we can do with music.

"What's exciting for me is the computer allows you to extend the possibilities, and virtualities of the instrument. It's breathing new life into the possibilities for orchestra," Nichols said.

The concert takes place Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday 3 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre at UM.

For ticket information, visit the Missoula Symphony Orchestra online.

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