By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
What does Milwaukee look like? If this isn’t something you’ve thought about a lot already, don’t worry, you’ll find out soon.
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music creates a song for Milwaukee by Milwaukeeans through its station MusiCreation. The station came into being three years ago when Aurora Healthcare contacted the conservatory, Mike Standal said.
Standal is a faculty member at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for the Departments of Guitar, Jazz, and Contemporary Music. Aurora Healthcare wanted to create something that would showcase the diversity of Milwaukee for its Better Together campaign, he explained.
The MusiCreation was so successful that when the conservatory expressed interest in doing something similar, Standal suggested bringing it back.
The MusiCreation Station is a mobile music creation sound laboratory. It has a keyboard, drums, electric guitar, microphones with autotune, lyric writing station, mallet synthesizer and more. It’s a mobile recording lab, Standal said.
“We invite people to come and play with us,” Standal said. “So far, it has been a joy to see people engage with us.”
The station is currently set up at Summerfest, 200 N. Harbor Dr. Originally it was only supposed to be there for one day, but last month festival organizers invited the conservatory to settle in for the nine days. .
Earlier this summer, the MuisCreation Station stopped at Washington Park and later this month it will be at the Paliafito Eco Arts Park for an Arts @ Large event.
Once the registration is complete, Standal will have 12 day registrations to sort through. But the final song will be around three minutes long, he said.
“We wanted to celebrate our community and have as many people as possible there,” Standal said.
The goal is to release the Milwaukee song on Jan. 1, 2022. It will be a New Year’s gift to Milwaukee, Standal said.
“I don’t know how the song is going to end,” Standal said. “What we start with and what we end with as a final song is going to be different and I hope it will.”
He added: “Milwaukee is a very diverse city and we hope to bring that into the fray.”
Milwaukee as a city has a rich musical tradition, Standal said. The city has a strong work ethic that can be seen among its residents, he said. While Standal noted that Milwaukee tends to favor classical music, he found it to have an adventurous side that he hopes will be incorporated into the final song.
The purpose of the MusiCreation Station is multiple. The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music wanted to engage and connect with the community and provide an educational aspect.
People have this idea of the conservatory, Standal said, and the music lab allows them to change the public perception of the school and show that it’s a place for everyone.
Besides educating people on the various instruments and classes at the conservatory, including his new music production class, he also shows people how to make music. For example, sections of the song require a call and a response, so people visiting the tent can be asked to clap in response to the beat.
The music is designed to be interactive, Standal said, and the bed tracks allow musicians of all skill levels to engage in the song.
Milwaukee is extremely gifted when it comes to musical talent, he said. There are so many people making music for their own enjoyment and the MusiCreation Station allows people to show off their talent.
“The opportunity to interact with the community is invaluable,” he said. “It was amazing.”