Blue Man Group brings color to campus

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Blue Man Group brings color to campus

Blue Man Group member Dan Carter and Jesse Nolan, assistant professor of Jazz Studies lead students in exploring  non-verbal communications skills to illustrate the significance of conversation via body language during the interactive workshop

Blue Man Group member Dan Carter and Jesse Nolan, assistant professor of Jazz Studies lead students in exploring non-verbal communications skills to illustrate the significance of conversation via body language during the interactive workshop "Painting With Sound" on Tuesday in Smith Recital Hall.

Ryan Fischer

Blue Man Group member Dan Carter and Jesse Nolan, assistant professor of Jazz Studies lead students in exploring non-verbal communications skills to illustrate the significance of conversation via body language during the interactive workshop "Painting With Sound" on Tuesday in Smith Recital Hall.

Ryan Fischer

Ryan Fischer

Blue Man Group member Dan Carter and Jesse Nolan, assistant professor of Jazz Studies lead students in exploring non-verbal communications skills to illustrate the significance of conversation via body language during the interactive workshop "Painting With Sound" on Tuesday in Smith Recital Hall.

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Members of the Blue Man Group revealed what lies under the azure makeup in Smith Hall Tuesday.

The workshop was focused on channeling the inner Blue Man through the harmony of motion and sound and how the audience is used as a propeller during improvisation.

“If you’ve seen the movie ‘Birdman,’ most of that music is all drums, but you can tell that it was composed kind of with the action of the story in mind,” former Blue Man Group Norwegian Cruise Line performance music director Jesse Nolan said. “Its a good comparison so that people who are sort of uninitiated to the Blue Man thing can see how we can really use rhythm and different musical instruments and different sounds to describe the emotion of a scene through improvisation.”

The workshop was led by Nolan, along with active Blue Man Group band members Terry Tungjunyatham and Anthony Riscica and current Blue Man Dan Carter.

Carter said the Blue Man experience as an actor is honed on structured improvisation and it is a driving force of the show because, in this way, no show can ever be the same.

“It a little less contrived when it’s improvised,” Jesse Nolan said.

Riscica said the Blue Men and the band are always given new directions from show to show which can include lengthening or shortening certain songs, or eliminating parts entirely and starting fresh for certain stages.

Members of the internationally renowned group were invited by Nolan.

Jesse Nolan and his wife Amy Nolan settled down in Huntington after ending the touring experience and Jesse was hired as assistant professor of jazz at Marshall. The couple now have a son, Arlo.

“We went to a lot of places and I actually quit my job so that I could tour with him sort of,” Amy Nolan said.

Amy Nolan said she was able to tour for about eight weeks with Jesse Nolan on the cruise.

The group offered a question and answer session at the end of the workshop. Sophomore music education major Alec Steiding said he was interested about the Blue Man Group’s largest “gigs.”

Carter said the largest show he had played was in 2014 in Rio, Brazil were about a “million” people were waiting for the performers to take the stage.

Ryan Fischer can be contacted at [email protected]

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