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Ohio State faculty and alumni present live, interactive concert

In conjunction with the Columbus Cultural Arts Center’s art exhibition, “Sight of Music,” Ohio State School of Music faculty and alumni will present a special performance “Sight of Sound” Friday. Credit: Michael Lee | For The Lantern

In conjunction with Columbus Cultural Arts Center’s art exhibition, “Sight of Music,” Ohio State School of Music faculty and alumni will present a special performance Friday.

The concert, titled “Sight of Sound,” will not only feature a live concert at the exhibition space, but also will consist of short lectures about the music that will be played.

Collaborating on the concert are Anna Gawboy, an associate professor in music theory at Ohio State, and Chamber Brews, an events series and performing arts association that performs interactive concerts in accessible venues.

Gawboy said the name “Sight of Sound” was inspired by synesthesia, a condition where someone can relate senses of the body together.

“There might be a brother and sister who both have synesthesia, but one person hears sound and gets specific sensations of odor, another person might taste things and feel prickles in their hand,” Gawboy said.

In this case, the concert focuses on chromesthesia, which is a type of synesthesia that involves seeing colors after listening to music, said Devin Copfer and Elisabeth Jeremica, Ohio State alumnae and co-founders of Chamber Brews.

Jeremica, who received a doctorate of music in cello performance in 2015, said the inspiration behind the program came from trying to find pieces by composers who had synesthesia.

“It was challenging because the older generations of composers were not known synesthetes, so it was hard to know,” Jeremica said.

Copfer, who graduated with a bachelor’s of music in music performance and a bachelor’s of art in arts management, said the concert aims to invoke feelings in the audience, whether or not they have synesthesia.

“With or without synesthesia, people still — I myself included — still have very visual response to music,” Copfer said. “Part of what we’re doing which I think is so cool is we are actually talking about what are some of the ranges of responses that audience members might have.”

With the concert, Jeremica hopes people who attend will be willing to try the classical concert experience again in the future.

As for Gawboy, said she believes the audience will experience something new.

“[The audience’s] listening experience is going to be different than an ordinary concert where they’re just passively taking in the music,” Gawboy said. “It’s going to be a really fun experience, it’s going to be relaxed and low-key, but I think it can also be very profound.”

The concert will be held at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center at 139 W. Main Street.

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