Yes, this has been brewing for some time now. Finally it is happening on a weekly basis.
What exactly is it, you ask? Well, the Urbana-Champaign Udderbot Marching Choir (a not-terribly-elegant play on the UC-IMC acronym) is intended as an experimental community marching band. What’s the experiment, you ask? There are many:
- The Pedagogy Experiment: The udderbot is a new instrument which begs for and suggests a new way of teaching music. How does one teach udderbot, anyway?
- The Composition Experiment: As a new instrument, the udderbot begs for new music. How can udderbot music resist decaying into gimmickry or securing a comfortable niche in an existing “scene”?
- The Social Experiment: What effect can a bunch of clowns playing instruments they can’t yet play have on an otherwise quiet street? What about a nursing home or elementary school? What if they dress up as insects and teach mathematics?
- The Design Experiment: How can an ensemble serve as an invitation for ANYone who meets it to compose something? What does an inter-generational anti-ageist ensemble look like? How does one instigate a radical institution that doesn’t forever depend on its founders for its continuation?
- The Language Experiment: What happens when you get a bunch of friends together and convince them they are the Udderbot Marching Choir? Does an Udderbot Marching Choir emerge? What language will it speak?
As you can see, the project is trying to do several things at once. That is much too much for one person (me) to keep track of, but aha, that is where the design comes in!
- You must have an udderbot in good repair. Come an hour before practice to get help making one.
- You must commit to come to weekly rehearsals (Saturdays 2-4 PM)
- You are also responsible for your costume.
- You have to want it.
We will perform in a variety of situations, formal and informal. There is a public-peformance component to our rehearsals.
You don’t have to be in Udderbot Marching Choir to compose for it. If you have an idea, let’s make it happen! Get oriented during the communal composing time, Saturdays 1-2 PM.
For the first phase, our hands will be full with udderbots, though we hope to expand to other junk-built marchable instruments in the future.
For more information, talk to someone in the group, or visit http://udderbot.wikispaces.com/UC-UMC