Guest recitalists visit campus during tour

The Pottle Annex Recital Hall saw a change of pace on Wednesday, Sept. 14, when it played host to guest recitalists Duo Fujin. The duo, consisting of music professors Misty Theisen and Marc Ballard, combined classical music with contemporary concert-style performance.

“We’re not your typical traveling chamber ensemble,” said Ballard, to the audience. “We like to wear jeans. At most universities we’d get shot trying to play a recital.”

According to their Web site, Theisen received degrees in music education and flute performance from the University of Southern Mississippi. Ballard received a Bachelor of Music degree from Henderson State University, and degrees in Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi.

When not teaching, Ballard and Theisen manage to tour regionally each year.

“We usually tour twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. We’re touring the Carolinas in the spring,” said Theisen.

Ballard and Theisen kicked off the performance with Mozart’s “Duo, K. 424,” following it up with Jindrich Feld’s “Cinq Inventions” and Georg Philipp Telemann’s “Sonata in B-flat.”

The final piece was written by Neil Anderson-Himmelspach, specifically for Duo Fujin. Titled, “Gonzo and the Velocipede,” it was based off of the Hunter S. Thompson novel, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

“Neil is a big fan of Hunter S. Thompson, who wrote the book and we’re all huge fans of the movie. I guess one day Neil had this fleeing vision of Raoul, who was Johnny Depp’s character in the movie, and Dr. Gonzo, who was played by Benicio del Toro,” said Ballard. “He had this fleeting vision of the two of them, for lack of a better word, high on ether, and they were riding velocipedes, the big French bicycles with the huge front wheel and the little tiny back, which is where we got the title, ‘Gonzo and the Velocipede.”

The duo bid the audience farewell by playing “Andante Cantabile from Duet Op. 137, No 5″ from Anton Furstenau.

The performance was highly thought of by audience member Benjamin Livingston, a junior music performance major.

“It was a fantastic musical journey, and it took us to many strange and beautiful places,” said Livingston. “I liked ‘Gonzo and the Velocipede,’ because it challenged your views on music and changed your perception of things.”

Duo Fujin finished their fall tour on Sunday, Sept. 18. For a schedule of their spring concert dates and to learn more about Duo Fujin, visit their Web site at www.duofujin.com.