Two college students work with an intricate instrument known as a ghost box, a wooden box that has noisemaking features.

‘Analogue’ Concert To Feature Students Playing Experimental Electronic Instruments

Breanna Loredo-Rayas had never encountered a haunted box prior to the beginning of the spring semester. Fast forward a few months and she’ll play it live at “Analogue Electronica” Tuesday at Rudder Theatre.

The concert is part of Venture, the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts’ weeklong celebration of student work from April 25-29, and features students from the Electronic Music Composition course taught by Dr. Will Connor.

Loredo-Rayas, who will be joined onstage by classmate Nat Cortez, wasn’t the only one unfamiliar with the instruments explored in the class, Connor said. These include analogue synthesizers, theremins, no-input mixing boards, step sequencers and Kaossilators.

“Many students started the class not having any experience with any musical instruments, let alone the experimental, often-complicated analogue electronic instruments used in the course,” he said. “Through weekly engagement with the instruments in the new Electro-Acoustic Sound Lab in the Liberal Arts and Arts & Humanities Building, they have developed an understanding of the instruments that is allowing them to create on a complex and detailed level, as well as express themselves sonically through their recently gained experience.”

Loredo-Rayas described the haunted box as “a lot of gadgets and gizmos put on a wooden box.”

“That’s basically how Dr. Connor explained it to us,” she said. “A whole bunch of door stoppers, skewers, even fidget spinners were attached to boxes people had made at home. They added reverb and connected it to an input. That’s where you get all those scary movie effects — the way you bow a certain string, or the way you flick a spring is really what gives it its name, because the noises that come out are very spooky or eerie.”

Earlier this month, Loredo-Rayas was among the students who performed alongside electronic musician Zoë Nowak on campus, which has helped her prepare for “Analogue Electronica.” But the order of the performers caused some preshow jitters.

“I was nervous, especially because I was the first one going up with Zoë,” she said. “I was very intimidated. This time, I’m not first. I get to sit back and enjoy my classmates’ work and also demonstrate what I’ve learned in my piece.”

Connor said he is “exceptionally proud” of the students.

“Whether they explored patching synthesizer circuits, creating polyrhythmic sequences, improvised with a previously unfamiliar instrument or built their own soundscape-making devices, the students have truly gone above and beyond expectations,” he said. “The concert is bound to please and entertain everyone as a result.”

Details: “Analogue Electronica” is Tuesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. at Rudder Theatre. Free.

Photo: Breanna Loredo-Rayas and classmate Nat Cortez practice on their haunted boxes for the “Analogue Electronica” concert. Courtesy of Breanna Loredo-Rayas.

About Venture

Introducing Venture, the inaugural celebration of creativity from students in the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts. Join us April 25-29, when the sights and sounds of these talented artists will be on display at venues throughout the Rudder complex on the Texas A&M University campus.


The dance program’s annual Perpetual Motion performance will be in Rudder Auditorium for the first time. It features works by faculty members, students and guest artist Jane Weiner from Hopestone, Inc. in Houston. Students will perform “Sierra,” a 23-minute dance created by Carisa Armstrong, associate professor and dance program director, and Christine Bergeron, clinical professor and associate dean for academic affairs.

Details: April 27-28 at 7:30 p.m. at Rudder Auditorium. Tickets are $12; $6 for students, seniors and military, available at the MSC Box Office.

Related story: ‘Perpetual Motion’ Dance Event Gets Bigger Stage, Includes Return Of 23-Minute ‘Sierra’ Piece

Experimental Performance

The Live Art Student Showcase will feature projects created by students in Seminar in Performance Theory (PERF 460). Works will include encounters with “experiencing live,” experiments in performer/audience relationships, and explorations of the interwoven affective, embodied, cognitive and emotional experience of live performance. The students have been influenced by a wide range of artists and movements, from Dada to Bauhaus, Merce Cunningham and John Cage to Fluxus.

Details: April 27 at 1 p.m. at Rudder Forum.


The “Waste Wear Wearable Arts Runway Show” comes from the Dress in World Culture course (PERF 156), taught by Grace Adinku, which examines the social, psychological and cultural aspects of dress and appearance. Students are creating handcrafted, one-of-a-kind wearable arts dress designs using recyclable waste items including plastic, paper, metal and face masks, as well as clothing and textiles.

Details: April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Rudder Forum. Free.


“Analogue Electronica” is a showcase of composers and performers from the Electronic Music Composition course (PERF 318), taught by Dr. Will Connor. Students are introduced to a variety of analogue electronic instruments and asked to improvise and compose for them to create a final project. The instruments include analogue synthesizers, theremins, no-input mixing boards, step sequencers, Kaossilators and haunted boxes — noise-making devices the students designed and built themselves. The 90-minute concert will feature compositions written and played by the students.

Details: April 25 at 7 p.m. at Rudder Theatre. Free.


The Student Research and Creative Works Symposium will show the wide variety of creativity explored in the various disciplines within the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts.

Details: April 26 at 10 a.m. at Rudder Forum. Free.


“Rhinoceros,” Eugene Ionesco’s play, translated by Derek Prouse, is the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts’ first theater production, and also its first collaboration with Blinn-Bryan Theatre Troupe. It is co-directed by Anne Quackenbush, Texas A&M lecturer, and Greg Wise, Blinn theater instructor. After three shows April 20-22 at Blinn-Bryan Student Center Theatre, “Rhinoceros” comes to Texas A&M as part of Venture.

Details: April 27-29 at 7 p.m. at the Black Box Theater in the Liberal Arts and Arts and Humanities building. Tickets are $5, available at


The 30th edition of Viz-a-GoGo is the visualization program’s presentation of curated student work, including an exhibition of digital and traditional flatwork, photography, sculpture and interactive media. A theater screening is held to showcase time-based media, including animated and live-action films, game demos and CG renders. Awards known as “the Vizzies” are announced at the end of the screening, one for each artistic medium and an overall award for best in show. 

Details: The exhibition is April 25-28 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Rudder Exhibit Hall. Gaming and virtual reality projects will be available to play from 2 to 7 p.m. The screening is April 27 at 7 p.m. at Rudder Theatre. Free.

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