What I Learned This Summer: The World is Our Musical Oyster
My name is Ryan and I’ve had the privilege to be on Superfood’s musical direction team for the past two years. Being Musical Director of the group comes with a lot of responsibilities, ranging from snapping a lot to mastering the art of the “I’ll wait until everyone’s ready” stare, but my favorite part of the job has got to be arranging music for the group. This process, which involves dissecting a song that the group has chosen for performance, transposing it into sheet music, and transforming it into something that fits the Superfood style of “bold” a cappella, can be incredibly challenging! At the same time, it’s an amazing creative outlet that serves as an escape from the busy world of Georgetown academia.
I was lucky to be surrounded by musical diversity as a child. Whenever I think back on the influences I grew up with (artists like Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, James Taylor, and even *NSYNC), I know I can use them to arrange music for the group.
But the best part is that there’s always more to learn, and each day is a new opportunity to be inspired by new sounds and melodies. This summer I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to travel the globe on scholarship and conduct research (read about it here)
During my travels, I’ve gotten to hear music from all around the world, and I’ve become exposed to many new types of music that I hope to draw upon next year as I continue my goal of improving our group’s arrangements.
Here are just some of the things I’ve heard overseas:
· A salsa/timba rendition of Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” overheard on the radio in Lima, Peru:
· The theme for the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, heard in Oslo, Norway:
· The amazing timbre of the digeridoo from the Australian outback:
The rest of our musical direction team has been spending their summers overseas as well! Leanna has been interning in Cyprus, and Austin spent time in South Korea. With the new school year fast approaching, I can’t wait to see how we’ll get to contribute this new wealth of knowledge to the music our group produces next year. I can say with confidence that next year will be our best yet, but make sure to keep up with us so you can hear for yourself!
In the meantime, you can check out some of our most recent performances here!
-Ryan Sudo, SFS ‘17