KANSAS CITY, Mo. – While many of us are tied to our computers typing, reading or (these days) meeting, Kansas City musician Tim Harte is creating. He's the first and only student admitted to the University of Missouri Kansas City's prestigious Conservatory of Music and Dance with his computer as his instrument.
Through his unique talent and ambition, he's built a following in Kansas City. Harte, 40, has found community among fans and fellow artists.
Most of his work has been performed in small venues – record shops and art galleries, many located in the Crossroads Arts District.
That, of course, changed when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March.
His classes, and his music, have been moved online. Now, his performances take a form similar to a talk show. His computer compositions now live where they are created – in a digital world.
"As a composition student, I think the (UMKC) faculty is doing an excellent job of adapting," Harte said. "Virtual concerts are frustrating but we are still finding ways to work through those issues. I find a theatrical approach to performance is more exciting because the audio limitations of streaming prevent the kind of clarity I feel is necessary to do what a lot of us are trying to do."
Harte entered the conservatory as a freshman in 2015 as a composition student and is now a fifth-year senior. But he's not even close to done. He plans to pursue master and doctoral degrees.
With the pandemic putting much of our lives on hold, Harte is still looking forward, focusing on long-term projects as his community continues to weather the pandemic.
The coronavirus has taken a lot of what we do away. But it hasn't left Harte void of inspiration.
"I'm working towards a December multimedia project that demonstrates a performance that is socially distanced while including the concepts of distance into the writing process."
To sample his work, visit his website at Mother Russia Industries.
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