Last week I followed a group of Berklee students to Havana, where they worked with Cuban students to create musical pieces influenced by their surroundings in less than a week. Electronic Production and Design (EPD) professor Neil Leonard handpicked the students in the Interarts Ensemble to go along with him on this trip: MP&E/EPD alumnus and pianist Enrico de Trizio, EPD major and bassist Katie Bilinski, pro music major and vocalist Julia Easterlin, and MP&E/EPD major and guitarist John Hull.

Interarts Ensemble in Cuba

The Interarts Ensemble and professor Neil Leonard at the home of Cuban musicians Eugenio and Feliciano Arango.

The ensemble is used to creating under pressure, having undertaken a similar trip to Italy in September. There, students recorded impulse responses and instrumental sounds in the Marble Caves of Carrara, ambient street noise of the medieval town of Fosdinovo, church bells, and sound unique to the Castello Malaspina, which they later manipulated and incorporated into their music. Instead of an Italian castle, here in Cuba they stayed in an apartment near their studio at the Laboratorio Nacional de Música Electroacústica, to get a feel for day-to-day life in Havana.

Stay tuned for updates about their work from Cuba.

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