The Arts Institute of Western Maine (AIWM) in collaboration with the Emery Community Arts Center of UMF will be presenting a concert of vocal and electronic music by BC Life, three 2014 graduates of Mount Blue High School, in an outdoor performance on Wednesday July 16 at 6-8 outside the Emery Center at the University of Maine Farmington. This will be the final event of UMF's 150th anniversary, recognizing the importance of arts education and arts in the community to the university's mission.
The BC Life trio--Alex Pane, Noah LePage and Luke Wooden—along with their classmate and guest for this program Eli Cohen, have been active contributors to the musical scene at Mt. Blue HS and in the Farmington community. Next fall they will be moving their separate ways: Alex Pane, the winner of a prestigious Beautiful Mind Challenge scholarship award for his original musical composition, is heading to Marlboro College in Vermont. Noah LePage is heading to New York University's Film and Television program. Luke Wooden and Eli Cohen are heading to Boston to the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music respectively to pursue careers in musical performance.
The members of this talented and thoughtful group have grown together “organically” into a performing group through their shared interest in music and electronic media. The name “BC Life” was chosen to suggest something more encompassing than a typical band, giving the creative room for their collaboration to continue even as the three explore their disciplines in divergent paths. Two years ago they developed a web record label of the same name to showcase their work: (https://soundcloud.com/bcliferecords) According to Alex Pane, electronic music became an exciting medium by allowing them to move beyond instruments to any sounds imaginable, like flat tones, buzzings and screeches, even breaking glass, “without having to clean up the floor.” This has led them into paths not typically explored in pop music but shared with many 20th century composers like Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Babbitt and Cage, as well as in Jazz, to give a new vitality to music. Rather than setting music as an art separated from the noise of everyday life, this approach allows the mingling of music and noise to heighten awareness of music in everyday experience.
The group acknowledges the support of the Mt. Blue HS music program and particularly the chorus director Carol Shumway for instilling the importance of commitment and hard work over natural talent in the arts.
The audience on July 16 can anticipate, in addition to guitar and drums and vocals, a reliance on laptops, keyboards and “lots of speakers.” The group likes to “push sounds in uncomfortable directions” to escape from the boredom of conventional musical expectations into the fascination and even beauty of jarring screams placed in a melodic line. Weather permitting, the concert will be on the lawn below the Emery Center. The audience is encouraged to bring chairs and picnics, but not alcoholic beverages. Donations will be taken for concert and performer expenses. If it rains, the concert will be moved inside the Emery Center.