Shoki Nemoto ‘21
It is an incredible honor to have this opportunity to share with the Mercersburg community, via The Mercersburg News, my electronic dance music album, Op. 1. I was immensely delighted to have presented this album as my Springboard project — not only because it would serve as a memorable reminder of my music career at Mercersburg, but also for the simple reason that I was able to complete it in time.
Op. 1 is an instrumental, electronic dance music album. It has four tracks in total: Still Here, Go On, Moon, and The Dark. In the past, I have focused on writing classical music, so producing music in this genre was a brand-new experience. I have always been a fan of electronic dance music, and musicians such as Zedd, Lady Gaga, and Sia are staples in my listening history for this genre.
My process of composing and producing music, regardless of genre, usually does not begin with a specific set of emotions in mind, nor do I have a specific story I want to tell in the beginning most often. My constant goal is always to write music that sounds good — this has served me well thus far.
As many of my fellow senior classmates have experienced or are experiencing, this academic year’s unique schedule shortened the amount of time available to complete one’s Springboard project. Time management or, more accurately, the correct assessment of the time it takes to complete a particular task is an important skill that I have acquired through this project.
Out of the four tracks in the album, I hope listeners will find the track, Moon, the most to their liking. This piece does not necessarily fit the traditional mold of electronic dance music, in the sense that it feels much slower and less crowded than what people would expect from such a track. One of the many fantastic qualities of music is its sheer size of possibilities from its astounding malleability. This characteristic can be best observed by the numerous genres of music that exist. I believe Moon is able to embody this in its experimental manner.
I want to convey my utmost gratitude for the encouragement that Director of Music, Brian Morgan, and former Director of Music, Richard Rotz, have given me during my time at Mercersburg. Their encouragements have been instrumental to developing my keen passion for music, and I have found many like-minded musicians in the Jazz Band, directed by Brian Morgan. Many members of the Mercersburg community may have heard us practicing outside the Burgin this past fall.
I would also like to acknowledge English Faculty, Michelle Poacelli, and Assistant Director of the Burgin Center for the Arts, Kelly Dowling, for offering incredible platforms that have allowed me to present my musical works. These opportunities have been formative to my music career at Mercersburg.
Science Faculty, Franklin Bell and Mathematics Faculty, Andy Brown, have also been incredible resources during a somewhat turbulent academic year in navigating through an unprecedented time.
Mercersburg is such a creative community where I have always been able to find my artistic motivations simply by living and learning next to my peers and faculty members who are so inspiringly confident and always have so much to express. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage fellow Mercersburg students to pursue their interests, in music or other areas, without letting worries about the outcome deter them. No matter how the endeavors turn out, the experiences are always worthwhile.
Here is a link to Shoki’s album on Sound Cloud: