My friend Chris is a certifiable genius. He is a Music Composition major here at Ithaca College, though his work goes beyond just being a student.
As his website states, Chris began studying piano at the age of six, and began composing at the age of eight. Eight. At eight years old I was doing a lot of things, and most of them involved playing soccer, pretending to be a power ranger, and overall NOT COMPOSING MUSIC. Sometime between the age of eight and eighteen, Chris got accepted to the program here at IC, a competitive one to be sure.
From there Chris hit the ground running.
During his time at IC he has scored several films, written music for two plays, released six albums (available on iTunes), two of which have benefited the Bravest Fund and Make-A-Wish Foundation. How is someone that accomplished?
His junior year in college he spent time in Vienna studying Composition at the university of Vienna. P.S. he's fluent in German. He will be returning to that school to receive his Master's in Music Composition.
This past friday, Chris held his senior recital in Ford Hall here in the Whalen School of Music at Ithaca College. It was one of the most movingly beautiful musical experiences I've been a part of. Chris was kind enough to allow me to be the speaker in a orchestra/poetry presentation called "Elegies and Laments", but beyond that, just hearing the depth of his talent, and emotional connection was amazing. He started with an electroacoustic piece made from the sounds of storms, followed by this spoken word piece. Chris and I then ran around to the audience to hear his masterpiece, The Iris. The Iris is this piece of music which is beautiful beyond compare. I sat there, with tears streaming down my cheeks, just blown away by this piece of music. A long-time member of the Ithaca music community behind me stated, "I've been here for a very, very long time, and that is the best damn piece of music I have ever heard coming out of this place." After the intermission, we were treated to an SATB a'cappella chorale using the words of poetry written by Chris' grandparents. Once again, as close to perfect as I've ever heard. The whole concert ended with a double quartet, fighting each other in their melodies, rhythms, and ideas to create a constantly panning experience where the quartet on the left vs the quartet on the right so that even your ears were getting different musical experiences. As the concert ended, the audience leapt to its feet, making Chris take far too many bows, and joined him for a reception afterwards. It was probably the best concert I've seen at IC.
I don't really have a point to this post except to spout his praises, but really, for those of you who don't know Chris, head over to his website and listen to some of his works. Head over to iTunes and buy one of his cds, they're amazing. Most of all, just support his work, because someday he's going to be changing the face of music as we know it.
For more information on Chris, head over to his website at www.chrislarosa.com
Photo by Danny Bristoll
(fac·to·tum | \ fak-ˈtō-təm) noun - a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities
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