Instruments Designed By Dartmouth Engineering Students Debut New Composition

May 3, 2017

Expect strange, ethereal sounds to bounce around Dartmouth’s campus on Thursday.

To help celebrate the 150th birthday of the Thayer School of Engineering, composer Molly Herron will debut a new piece of music played on student-designed instruments. Herron, 34, has spent the past several months working with students on their creations: from large chimes to string-lined buckets to a heightened take on the musical saw.

“I wanted to show a bunch of wildly different approaches to making sound with objects, which is all an instrument is--an object that makes sound--which is basically everything around us,” says Herron, who grew up in Peterborough and now lives in Princeton, N.J.

The composition, to be performed by the Brooklyn-based percussion ensemble TIGUE, along with guest vocalists, uses the range of pitches and acoustic properties of the instruments to trace 40,000 years of musical history.

The performance is free and open to the public inside Thayer’s Glycofi Auditorium. The commissioned work is funded by Dartmouth's Hopkins Center for the Arts.