BOZEMAN - A student at MSU found inspiration for his first composition at the Duck Pond at Montana State University.
Austin Whisler, a sophomore music student, found a spot underneath a tree following a band rehearsal to relax and unwind. Looking up, he saw a snow cloud amongst the Bridgers passing overhead.
“The light was hitting it just right, so you could see its depth and volume,” Whisler said, “I had the concept I knew that I was writing it for, I just had to figure out how to say it.”
His piece, ‘I Saw a Cloud’, began as one chord in Whisler’s mind, and after time of workshopping the composition, ultimately became his audition for the SoundSCAPE composition and contemporary music festival.
“It was more an experiment really,” Whisler said.
This ‘experiment’ has led to Whisler preparing to attend the festival in Italy, by composing a new piece—surrounding the life of a drop of water.
“Seeing some of the passion and inspiration that students have is very gratifying. It takes hard work, but if you really love it, it doesn’t feel like work,” Greg Young, Professor at the MSU School of Music.
When beginning the process of composing, Whisler notes that he wishes to speak through his music, in his own style of speaking, finding inspiration through other musicians.
“I’m pulling ideas,” Whisler said, “Not saying the same thing, but adapting that and using my own voice, and it has been wonderful!”
Whisler’s horizons, now on Italy and the festival, rest on a new piece of music; however, his moment at the MSU Duck Pond and the cloud will stick with him.
“I’m probably going to remember the piece for the things I could’ve done better, but also all of the doors that it’s opened,” Whisler said.