Con CD released as student project
It may not be so odd any longer to listen to a professional CD recording of fellow Obies. With the release of Aural Capacity Vol. 3, the Conservatory of Music student works CD, Oberlin students and music lovers can listen to a variety of works for free.
The CD, which holds 12 tracks of music from the Conservatory’s Contemporary Music Division, features four pieces each from the jazz, composition and TIMARA (Technology in Music and Related Arts) departments. Produced every other year, the CD is in its third release.
Tom Lopez (’89), coordinator of the CD and chair of the Conservatory’s TIMARA department, presents this volume as the largest and best to date.
“The whole project is basically an educational process; it’s a chance for students to get a glimpse of what a real CD production schedule might be like, what the recording sessions are like, what it takes to put the artwork together,” he said. “Also, I think it’s an opportunity for the school to show off how great [its] students are.”
The project, though supported by the dean of the Conservatory and other faculty, is made a reality because of the students.
“It’s basically a student project in that as much of it as possible is actually done by students,” said Lopez. “So there are student composers, student performers, we have a student in the art department who does the artwork and we had two [musicology] students do the program notes and bio[graphies].”
Students who are interested in performing for the CD must present a piece of music to the faculty. The application process usually occurs in the fall and is finalized in the spring.
“We try to keep it as open as possible,” said Lopez, “so any student in the Contemporary Music Division who is interested can submit a piece. It can be whatever they want. It could be a string quartet, it could be solo piano, it could be weird electronics, it could be a jazz improv. But ultimately, it’s the faculty in each department who make the final choices.”
The CD has remained fairly consistent since its first volume, growing in interest with each release.
“The CD has become more popular and we’ve gained more support. The first year we had eight pieces on it, and now we have 12, so it’s as big as it can get for a single CD. All the pieces on the first couple [of] volumes are good, but I think that this one is really strong,” said Lopez.
Proud of the variety of music on the release, Lopez encourages students to find the CD, because of the high quality music it offers.
“The people who are involved in these are people that are going to be out in the world in five and ten years performing and making names for themselves, so meet and [listen to] them now,” he said.
The CDs are not available in stores; only 1000 were produced for the release.
They may be attained for free by going to Lopez’s office in the basement
of the Conservatory or by contacting him at