This past Saturday, Nov. 5, the Margaret Fowler Garden transformed from a quiet, idyllic oasis of the Scripps College campus to an eclectic electronic music venue, with Los Angeles DJ’s and producers Maral and Bludwork performing their latest mixes.
Scripps Live Arts (SLA), a student-run organization that brings underrepresented artists with a non-normative sound to campus, put on the event. Students were seen dancing around the fauna and the statues; the music could be heard from all around Scripps campus, drawing students in as Maral and Bludwork played the role of Pied Piper.
Opening the concert was student DJ “nina no chill,” one of the co-presidents of SLA. Though this was their first concert of the semester, SLA has also organized other events in which students may share their own sound, such as a number of open mics at the Motley. They also frequently collaborate with other 5C organizations like KSPC to promote traditionally underrepresented music around campus.
When asked how they find the artists they choose to represent, SLA co-president Nina Posner SC '17 said, “We want to represent under-represented artists in a variety of genres. We did a lot of rock shows in the past, but as our tastes have changed, so have the artists we’ve booked, and it’s been really great that we’ve been able to get turnouts and still do that.”
The concert was one of the first electronic music shows that the organization’s put on.
Mural and Bludwork’s sets were a testament to the new ways of creating electronic music and these techniques have pushed the boundaries of normative sound.
“Mural was playing tropical bass, to 80’s punk music, to even an Elvis song at one point,” said SLA's other co-president Iman Salty SC '17. “It was a really eclectic mix of music.”
The blending of genres by the artists SLA chose represented a pushing of musical boundaries that may not yet be accepted by mainstream media.
Very few artists that the organization chooses to represent have a presence beyond their online one, where Salty, Posner, and the other members of the club discover them. The music-hosting website Soundcloud is a huge asset in this sense, as it allows for up-and-coming artists to showcase their music for free, allowing for people like Posner and Salty to have easy access to their work.
Usually, the artists they choose are based in LA, and fairly new to the music scene.
The decision to use the Margaret Fowler Garden as a concert venue is a testament the organization’s non-normative ways.
“The Margaret Fowler Garden is just beautiful, and it really lends itself to an atmosphere, ” Posner said in regard to the space. “The only thing we worried about with it being outside was sound quality, but we found that even with the electronic music, it really translated nicely.”
The event attracted people of all types, and SLA was happy with how the diversity of the crowd reflected that of the artists that they chose to represent.
“By underrepresented, we also mean that because the industry is made up by the heteropatriarchy, and controlled by cis, straight, white dudes, we often try to book people that are not like that—not in a tokenizing way, but that’s what we are, and we want to reflect that,” Posner said.
The event was a success in that it achieved this goal, and provided a fun, inclusive environment for all to enjoy last Saturday night.