The Arts News

Hybrid-Electric Orchestra

Posted on September 17, 2015 by Scot Allen

These days, the words hybrid and electric are popular words used with cars but most people would never think to associate them with music. Electronic violins and similar instruments have been around since the early 1990s. Professional electronic string quartets such as Bond have existed since 2000 but the technology to incorporate such a thing into the classroom in an economical way has not existed until fairly recently. Mr. Masaki, the director of Mid-Pacific's orchestra has started an experiment with electronic instruments to create the first "hybrid" orchestra on the island. A hybrid orchestra is an orchestra that is comprised of a combination of electronic and acoustic stringed instruments.

"The best part of having a hybrid orchestra is the number of different timbers you can achieve with the instruments," he said. "The instruments blend well with the acoustic sounds but we can also add distortion and other effects to create new sounds that you would not expect to find in a regular orchestra. One of the cool things about the hybrid orchestra is that we can take the electronic instruments out and use it to play chamber music. The students are able to play a number of different styles of music from classical, to rock to jazz to just about anything you can think of!"

The photos above show students performing at the Waialae Country Club for the Mid-Pacific Annual Fund Kick-Off Dinner.

-- Elton Masaki