George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Arts By George! collaborative project designed for audience involvement

September 23, 2016   /   by Jamie Rogers

More than 20 George Mason University students have worked and brainstormed since last spring on an installment that will allow Arts By George! goers to experiment with the way music technology, lighting and sound is used.

The “Interactive Noir” installment is part of the annual Arts By George! benefit and showcase of talent from George Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.  The event is dedicated to supporting scholarship funds for visual and performing arts students, and the Great Performances at Mason season.

“Interactive Noir” is a collaborative project of the Music Technology program, the School of Theater and the Computer and Game Design program, said Jesse Guessford, director of Mason’s Music Technology program.

At the installation in the choral room inside the de Laski Performing Arts Building, guests can experiment with the way music technology, lighting and sound is used.

“They remix music, they can change levels, bring different instruments in and out, manipulate live video; they can change the mood in the room by changing the lights,” he said.

Guests can also play a computer game designed by students,  Guessford added.

Mason theatre students will perform the German stage play “Threepenny Opera” later this fall, so music technology students incorporated a song from the piece into “Interactive Noir,” but with their own modern twist, Guessford said. The opera is from the early 20th century and uses acoustic instruments. Students chose a more aggressive take and used electronic instruments in their rendition, he said.

Arts By George! will feature other showcases by visual arts, dance, music, arts management and Film and Video Studies students throughout de Laski, the Music/Theater Building and Harris Theatre.

The evening ends with a performance by The Midtown Men, who had a three-year run on Broadway in “Jersey Boys.”

"Where else can you see inspiring work by young artists in every imaginable form and style, enjoy an amazing variety of fine food and drink, get lucky at one of the best silent auctions anywhere, hobnob with a lively community, and top it all off with a world-class headliner show in the Concert Hall, said Rick Davis, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Arts By George! is at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 on Mason’s Fairfax Campus. For more information, visit or call 703-993-4188.


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