It’s March in Iowa City and all of my small talk conversations start with the question, “What are you most looking forward to during Mission Creek?”
The wide variety of responses I hear demonstrates how dedicated organizers are to creating a well-rounded festival experience. Selectors at the Iowa City Public Library have added materials to our collections to highlight this year’s lineup, so be sure to check out these and other items before finalizing your festival schedule.
Celebrated composer Philip Glass’s performance on April 3 at The Englert Theatre is undoubtedly many attendees’ anticipated highlight of the festival, if not the year. The library owns a representative sampling of his numerous works, including examples from early minimalist works to his more recent film scores and neoclassical symphonies. Some favorites include Glass works, the soundtrack to “Koyaanisqatsi” and “Music in Twelve Parts.”
Opening for Glass is electronic artist Daniel Lopatin, performing as Oneohtrix Point Never. His latest album, “R Plus Seven,” opens with meditative sustained organ notes before being hit with Glasslike keyboard synth arpeggios and a slight dance club beat. Lopatin is fond of building interesting melodies that he can undercut with some new competing sound or altered version. He playfully jumps from a church-like organ over rumbling bass notes to staccato voice samples that pop like bubbles, the effect is a strange form of repeated short-term hypnotism.
Equally mesmerizing, but with more traditional pop-sensibility, is the performance of singer and multi-instrumentalist K Ishibashi, known as Kishi Bashi. He builds his songs from sound loop layers of his violin and voice, altering the pitch or playback speed until it sounds like he’s fronting a full band. Ishibashi can hit any Brian Wilson falsetto note and follow it up with killer beat box bass. The library lends his 2012 album, “151a,” which NPR named Best New Artist of the Year and found him featured on both All Songs Considered as well as a Tiny Desk Concert. Catch him April 4 at The Mill.
Regardless of which events you choose to attend, the Iowa City Public Library collections allow you to recreate the sounds of a Mission Creek Festival all year-round.Jason Paulios is senior librarian, adult services at the Iowa City Public Library.