Monday, January 9, 2012

Erasable Color: Contemporary, Entrepreneurial, and just so darn sweet!

NAU's student ensemble, ERASABLE COLOR will play on Jan. 13 at Sundara 
  Some days I just absolutely adore my job, like the days when I get to meet students so excited and passionate about their futures that I want to help them in whatever way I can--because they deserve to accomplish their dreams.

  I spent a little time recently talking to the NAU student ensemble, ERASABLE COLOR, and got a complete buzz from their energy and enthusiasm for their art.  ERASABLE COLOR is a contemporary music quartet made up of Liza Stegall (saxophone); Drew Worden (percussion); Owen Davis (percussion); and Jess Ryan (piano).  They are all seniors at NAU, and pretty close to graduation.

They're busy--but they also decided to use this time at school to create a DIY business for their professional lives.  They started ERASABLE COLOR because they loved to play together, got along so well and had so much free time, that forming a new start-up was NO PROBLEM.  Most music students learn about theory, performance and composers in the classroom, and find that having a social life outside of practice hours is pretty near impossible.  But ERASABLE COLOR goes way beyond classroom learning.  They have formed a real business model that takes care of their own press kits, bookings, social media, website ( and managing their funds.

  All of this, on top of performing contemporary music of a most exciting caliber.

  ERASABLE COLOR is made up of classically trained musicians who share a passion for fresh, versatile music by 20th and 21st Century composers--"living, breathing music that's fresh on the page."  They have mad classical skills and apply them in crazy, avant-garde ways.  They aren't interested in playing in the pub scene, but they are interested in playing for a young audience.

  "Contemporary music is misunderstood," said Jess Ryan.  "We want to educate our audiences and create more recognition and appreciation for people that are alive and writing today." For instance, they will be performing a concert this Spring with music by composer John Cage (one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde musical movement,) and often commission works from their peers and colleagues.

The NAU School of Music director, Todd Sullivan calls them "an interesting model for new musical endeavors."  He went on to explain that entrepreneurship is the the new way to make a professional living in music, and ERASABLE COLOR is breaking ground and setting precedence for other student groups at NAU. 

 But not only is this group musically and entrepreneurially exciting, they are just so darn sweet!

"When we play music together, that brings us closer.  We can count on each other musically, we have each other's back.  We can also count on each other logistically," Jess explained.

And now you understand why I do so love my job.

You can go hear ERASABLE COLOR play “Meaningless Patterns in Meaningful Noise” at Sundara Café and Boutique, located at 22 E Rt 66, on Friday, January 13th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

Tickets are $5 before the concert and $7 at the door. Contact or Sundara for purchasing information.


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