Stephen Weigel says:
Let me tell you about how cool UnTwelve is.
YOU get to experience something you have probably never experienced before.
YOU get to be the boss of your own music theory.
YOU get to experience something so ahead of its time, and revolutionary, that it permeates all historical periods, cultures, times, and spaces.
And, FINALLY, finally…
There is a real community of people to discuss tuning with. No one judges, no one is hurtful, no one is boring, and no one is grumpy. And nature is everywhere. It’s so refreshing that hardly any of it seems real.
Everyone is happy to be there, and to simply share whatever innovations are brought to the table. And the cooperative spirit of the camp is to be encouraged. We wash the dishes together, we take out the trash together, and we rehearse together.
Folks, the truth is, microtonalists aren’t esoteric. Their desire to explore tuning is not odd. The only reason it might be considered an odd desire is because of its tendency to remain in the minority.
Microtonalists are creative because they have to be in order to assemble proper instruments. Some of the crazier inventions I saw were re-fretted guitars, udder-bots, The Sagittal songbook, Tonescape, wacky piano tunings, and hexagonal keyboards! It’s a gear-head’s dream, an inventor’s dream, a Renaissance man’s dream.
Microtonality also doesn’t “destroy” the tuning system we’ve had for the last hundred or so years, it increases our understanding and provides a better explanation for its existence than merely saying…
“Oh, our tuning? It’s there, I guess… *mutters about misunderstood overtones* ”
Don’t you want to know WHY the major chord is in tune? Why our musical instincts are wired the way they are? Why are instruments are designed the way they are? Do you want to improve your hearing and performance skills? There’s nothing that boosts those skills quicker than microtonal experience, especially at this camp. I cannot recommend this collaborative experience enough, ESPECIALLY if you are a closet microtonalist. Come out and celebrate your identity! :)
Nothing else provides a better understanding of not only the music that has existed for most of the Western canon, and in all world canons, but also of the music that must inevitably unfold in the future, than microtonality. It is truly one of the last fertile fields for exploration and novelty, accompanied by the joy of discovery, of seeing something new for the first time, and repeatedly, after that, each time it visits bringing something more beautiful, or more shocking, each time, in a way that 12-tone equal tempered music simply does not allow, and never will allow, it its static state.
The people I met at camp were just wonderful. They were accommodating, kind, and scheduled everything so nicely. I made friends there that I know will talk with for a long time, Joe Monzo and Douglas Blumeyer being two people who I have especially enjoyed working with, and to whom I talk on a regular basis. I never thought I would get to talk to so many brilliant composers, theorists, performers, and learners all in one place. My expectations, which were HIGH, were BLOWN away.
So, basically, if you like new things, being good at music, and inherently interesting subjects, you should try to make it to this camp. That’s about it.
BSU XMA President
BSU SCI Secretary
Aural Skills GA
Choral Administration GA