Multi-Departmental Collaboration Through Fluidity Confined

Published: April 12, 2021 | Author: Ashley H Palmer | Read Time: 4 minutes

An image inspired by Perfectly Voiceless, Photograph by Conner CushmanThe Department of Music at Southern Utah University (SUU) will host their final concert for the school year on April 17, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. and will be live streaming at The SUU Percussion Ensemble will be the group to close out this amazing and challenging year with their exciting collaborative concert titled Fluidity Confined under the direction of Dr. Lynn Vartan.

Dr. Lynn Vartan, Director of Percussion at SUU, shares, “The concert is titled Fluidity Confined, and the title also comes from our partnership. It is a multi-department collaboration, including Music, Art & Design, Theatre, and Troy from Marketing Communications as videographer! We will be playing a piece called Perfectly Voiceless by Grammy nominated composer Devonte Hynes, while a film made of over 1400 student photos shows as another performer of the piece. Other works on the program include the playful Brush Hour for brushes on snare drums, Proposal for tambourines, and Helix for large ensembles. Also making an appearance is the entire Percussion Methods Education class, playing a percussion ensemble piece called Disguised!”

Professor Rheana Gardner-Reeves, explains, “For this collaborative project, Fluidity Confined, students explored how artistic disciplines can support each other with inspiration, energy, emotion, and motivation. Each photography student submitted six feet (nod to the unique pandemic environment we find ourselves in) of black and white film, 48 frames to be scanned in for a post-production stop-motion movie. The stop-motion film is comprised of 1,471 still images, timed to express the mood and movement of the music. Additionally, each student produced ten professionally printed darkroom photographs, selecting one to be displayed for an exhibition during Southern Utah University’s Festival of Excellence.”

The Southern Utah University Percussion Ensembles perform historically significant works for percussion, contemporary percussion literature, novelty percussion, and traditional non-western percussion music. The ensembles are comprised of both music majors and non-majors, and they welcome students with a variety of levels of experience. Several performance opportunities are available to members of the Percussion Ensembles.

Jessica Langston, photography major, shares, “Working on the images for the Fluidity Confined video was both an educational and artistic experience. This project allowed me to experiment with new techniques, interpret music and art in a more thoughtful way, and learn the benefits of collaborative, cross-discipline work. The entire project, from the initial planning stages to seeing the final piece, allowed me to grow as a photographer.”

Conner Cushman, senior music major from New Mexico, says, “While preparing for this concert, I discovered how exciting and fulfilling it is to be a part of collaborative arts projects. In creating the multi-media piece using Perfectly Voiceless, the quartet was able to be a part of a holistic art experience, incorporating imagery, sound, and videography. I feel that by tying all these lines together, the most enriching art can be produced. Working in both the music and photography aspects of the piece was so rewarding. This crossover in arts has been one of my most memorable experiences at SUU.”

Be a part of something wonderful by watching this collaborative arts experience on April 17, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. live streaming at For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts at SUU, please visit

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University comprises 26 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, music, and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring nearly 800 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) making SUU the first public university in the state of Utah to be accredited by all four associations. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit

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