Liam Ramsey-White, Current BM Student
Moon Halo (2017)
In late November of 2015, a group of students pulled the Read resident hall fire alarm three or four times every night between the hours of 12am to 7am. This repeated until they were apprehended ten days later with no announcement of motive, only speculation that it was for fraternity pledges. Moon Halo follows the emotional response of my fellow dorm mates and me during this incident. When the alarms first started, there was much anger. In fact, there was an angry mob on the men’s side of the dorm.
Around the 5th night, most of us were growing delirious from lack of sleep. It was then that I noticed the moon halo that night. Looking at the moon halo was a way to cope with my dreadful situation, that at least I get to see something so beautiful when I’m outside at 3am. People then started to go a little crazy. They were still mad, yet it seemed that the culprits would never get caught as they had been evading police and student patrols. They still had hope that it would end soon, but that hope lessened with every evacuation.
Near the end, everyone had stopped being angry and had just given up. It was silent in comparison to the first few nights. After being subjected to multiple evacuations every night, people would silently walk out side with dead expressions on their faces. Perhaps the main idea of this peace is to show how people handle situations that are out of their control. You get angry at your lack of control, you try to cope, you maybe go crazy because you don’t want to believe you don’t have any control, and your anger finally turns to despair. However, there can still be beauty in such ugliness. You may have just never noticed it. If you ever do find that inner peace in the end, you will appreciate what you have. For me, that’s a nightly eight hours of sleep!
Liam Ramsey-White (born 1996) started composition studies at the age of 12 when asked by his orchestra teacher to write a piece of music in lieu of a music history paper. Throughout middle and high school, he has been mostly self-taught, composing pieces that his school orchestra would play on a yearly basis. Currently a junior composition and music education double major at the IU Jacobs School of Music, Liam has studied composition with Don Freund, P. Q. Phan, and Claude Baker, all while continuing his violin studies with Brenda Brenner. Liam recently attended the Midwest Composer’s Symposium where his piece If We Meet was performed. His piece Moon Halo was chosen as one of five new works to be performed in IU’s inaugural “New Voices” call for scores which featured the music of IU students played by the IU Concert Orchestra.