Good afternoon and hello to everyone. My name is Max; this summer I have the privilege of working here at CNMAT on a variety of projects, with the generous support of the Amherst Center for Community Engagement and it’s Fellowships for Action programs, as well as the help of Richard Andrews and the rest of the CNMAT staff. I’d like to briefly lay out the sorts of things I’ll be working on here, as well as the things I’m interested in outside of my work here. Ideally I guess this would be a good introduction to the CNMAT community as well as something of an inlet for those outside the Center.

I’ll start with my pursuits outside of my work. I’m a nineteen-year-old student at Amherst College, where I’m currently majoring in English, and potentially adding a second (interdisciplinary) major in performance, centering on combining music and poetry. I’m an avid reader and writer, having studied poetry with former United States Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur spring ‘09; some of my favorite courses at Amherst have been centered on Dostoevsky and existentialism, with Profs. Ciepiela and Drabinski. I have studied electronics and improvised music Prof. Jason Robinson, jazz performance with Senior Lecturer Bruce Diehl, and electroacoustic composition with Prof. Eric Sawyer. For the first time, two of my poems will be published this summer in the Hanging Moss Journal.

This summer, I have several projects. At the moment I’m beginning to work on compiling a list of all the performers and composer associated with CNMAT over the twenty years of its existence, including people like Vijay Iyer, George Lewis, David Wessel, Ed Campion, Georg Grawe, and so forth; at some point, this list will be used to generate interviews with between ten and fifteen musicians, which will then be edited (by me) into a short documentary segment narrating the performers’ relations and experiences with CNMAT. Aside from this, I’ll be helping the Center to step into the world of social networking, including sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, in order to increase its presence and accessibility to the community its situated in.

Outside of my work, I’ll be writing for The Scene, a small independent newspaper based near my hometown of Neenah, Wisconsin, reviewing different concert and venues I’m hoping to frequent over the course of the next two-and-a-half months. This is exciting, because it means I may get a good chunk of free access to concerts and recordings. Solid, indeed.