RSVP: Soundings focuses on Artificial Intelligence
RSVP: Soundings presents a multimedia showcase of music, technology, dance and theater, and it’s coming to the P.A.C. pavilion on June 1-2. This year’s theme is centered around Artificial Intelligence.
All the music for the show is produced by Cal Poly music and theater students who began their preparation months ago. They take the Music 411 class where they meet each week to compose and produce their pieces in a presentable way for the upcoming concert. This year a guest ensemble line will accompany the work of the students.
“There will be these world class drummers coming that are available to play our pieces that we compose, so a lot of them will be percussion based,” music sophomore Victoria Reyes said. “They don’t all have to be. This whole class is in order to have a concert at the end and be able to display all that we’ve learned in the sound design series.”
Reyes is composing a piece that will display what she’s learned throughout the sound design series. The theme was not decided by the students, but has brought them out of their comfort zones within music production. Aldo Rominger, theater senior, said that was his favorite part of the process.
“The prompt of making something that’s related to AI is a way of writing something that you wouldn’t necessarily write on your own ordinarily,” Rominger said. “And so it’s an interesting way of being drawn out of your artistic habits and the themes that you might enjoy working on, and you get to try some new stuff that’s fun and exciting.”
Ten dancers accompany a little over half the music pieces. A majority of the dancers are Cal Poly students, with a few Cal Poly alumni performing. A wide variety of dance will be showcased including jazz, tap, tango and ballroom. Dancers perform to a mix of recorded music and live music with musicians on stage with them.
Melissa Evans, an environmental protection and management junior, is both a co-director and dancer in RSVP. She says the process for choreographing the pieces is highly collaborative between the directors, dancers and musicians.
“We’re all inputting ideas all the time. But if somebody’s like, “Oh, I really have a great idea for this piece,” or, “I have a vision,” let’s try to make it work,” Evans said. “Then we do that. But we also use a lot of input from the musicians. So if they want to, they can specify this is the theme that I’m going for.”
The dancers have been rehearsing for RSVP since the beginning of spring quarter. Evan Ricaurte graduated from Cal Poly in 2020 and this is his fifth year directing the dance portion of RSVP. He is also a dancer in the show and says that the preparation for dancers is fast paced and intense.
“We’re rehearsing for six hours a week for six weeks, and we’re getting ten or eleven pieces out of it,” Ricaurte said. “It’s a lot more fast paced and creative because we’re really not just creating movement, but creating ways that we can structure and redefine how we use choreography to be efficient with our time and create a really beautiful and unique show.
Both Evans and Ricuarte both say that RSVP is sure to be different than anything you have experienced before.
“I really love to invite people to watch the show because I really like that we are on the same floor level as the audience. So it’s very interactive and I love being able to say, ‘Hey, like I’m not inviting you to a dance show, I am inviting you to this multimedia experience.’”
Tickets for RSVP soundings can be found at pacslo.org.