The Rite of Spring Capstone Project
On May 3, 2008, I was among the first to graduate with UCF's new BA in Music degree. The final and weightiest requirement for this course of study is a capstone project, serving as a demonstration of the student's ability to utilize and synthesize his or her education in music and other related subjects. It calls for the completion of a self-designed Project that exhibits the student's mastery of the chosen subject areas and ability to think critically and work independently. The final document must include a written self-evaluation of and reflection upon the project by the student.
My choice was simple. I was somewhat familiar with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring before I began studying music in school. It's the soundtrack to the dinosaur segment of Disney's original Fantasia film, which I had watched several times as a child. But listening to the piece as a music student was a different kind of experience. The piece took on new meaning in my life. I spent much time trying to read the complex score, a skill I had never developed before; I would listen to the piece at work and in my car repeatedly, trying in vain to remember the cacophonous time changes; at least a year before I began work on my capstone, I had decided that I would somehow arrange the piece for a contemporary ensemble featuring guitar, piano, and saxophone among others - instruments not used in Stravinsky's orchestration. The project that resulted from my years of study and imagination was far more ambitious than I could have possibly imagined then.
For the entire semester of Spring 2008 I worked on a recording of the first two movements of the epic Rite of Spring, using only guitar sounds. As the semester quickly came to a close in late April, I worked tirelessly on a twenty-page research and reflection paper on my project, to be handed in to my humanities professor as a final grade for my contemporary humanities course.
All pertinent files can be heard and viewed at the links to the right. Enjoy!
Listen on myspace: The Rite of Spring
Reflection paper: Stravinsky and Me
These first three shots were taken on 2/21, 3/11, and 3/27; the last two taken on 4/14.