There have been many changes to the Washington College GIS lab over the past few months. We have begun work on numerous new and exciting projects, grown our workforce (both interns and staff), and even renovated the lab. One of the newest additions to the GIS program is the addition of a Music Production team. Richard Grouser III and Samuel Stuhler are the first employees of the lab’s new team. Stuhler, a junior here at WC, is a business major and music minor. Grouser is just the opposite; he is a sophomore majoring in music with a minor in business. Their first assignment in the lab was to work on creating theme music for the Pluckemin Project. You can check out what the composed by following the link posted below.
The Pluckemin Project requires a lot of work from different teams throughout the Lab. This project involves creating a 3D recreation of the first military cantonment in America, which is now destroyed. Everyone working on the project is collaborating to create a high quality video of the area with rendered scenes, narration, and information to present to the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum. Both Stuhler and Grouser have been working as a creative team during their time at the lab so far, but for this project Grouser gives Stuhler the credit. “Sam did all of the composing himself”, says Grouser, “I made a few contributions to overall concepts”. They are currently in the process of composing more music for different scenes, credits, and more as part of the Pluckemin Project.
With the help of new technology that the lab has provided, Stuhler and Grouser will have the opportunity to create music with just the two of them and a computer. Using a program called Ableton Live they are able to create the wonderful music that the Lab will use in videos and other various projects. Stuhler noted that “Ableton provides hundreds or samples and recording capabilities that allow us to compose music that would normally require a whole band.”
Their newest project is called the Sandbox Gallery Project. This project is in conjunction with Washington College’s Kohl Art Gallery, located on campus is the Gibson Center for the Arts. The goal is to have music for all the different exhibits that come through the Kohl Art Gallery. Grouser is excited about this project, commenting “it is one thing to have original background music playing for the gallery but the idea for this project is to “Location Aware” music. This means as you walk around the gallery the music changes depending on where you are in the exhibit. It’s an incredible concept that has been done before, but rarely has it been well executed.”
Both Grouser and Stuhler commented that they have really enjoyed working in the GIS Lab so far this semester. Grouser says that the best part about working at the Lab is the range of projects that they have the opportunity to be a part of. “Each project is entirely different and presents a completely new set of challenges as a composer and songwriter. No two pieces are ever going to sound the same coming out of the GIS Lab. Some of the music projects that the lab wants to do are pushing the boundaries a little bit as far as music application is concerned. Some of the projects have hardly been done before, even on a professional level.” Stuhler agrees, saying that his favorite part about working for the lab is “the open ended projects, we are encouraged to work on projects that interest us and be creative in our work, the constraints are very minor on our work.”
Stuhler stated, “I am very excited to be a part of the music production team and even more excited to contribute to the great work that the entire GIS team creates.” The goal and purpose of the Music Production Team is to compose music to accompany the work that the GIS Lab produces. In their short time here at the lab they have already completed one project they were assigned to, and throughout their time here they hope to complete many more.