Inspired by significant places from Ben’s life and childhood, his honors thesis features two interconnected three-movement works. Each piece is written for different instrumentation in an effort to explore different musical idioms. Written for a traditional jazz group and an ensemble featuring strings, vibraphone, saxophone and piano respectively, the two pieces feature themes that evoke images and memories of three different locations that have played noteworthy roles in Ben’s life. Each theme is thus explored through both jazz and rock-inspired music, as well as a Romantic context with hints of Americana and bluegrass. To be performed entirely by Amherst College students, Ben’s thesis is a culmination of his study of multiple music genres.
Ian Stahl combines jazz improvisation and harmonies, rock grooves and electronic beats for his thesis. Although influenced by these seemingly disparate backgrounds, his songs could not be squarely placed in any of these genres, nor do they seek to be. His lyrics and vocal approach bring these elements together and create his musical style. The final performance will be his best songs.
The concert is free and open to the public; seating is by general admission.