Plastic Musik returns to Rowan After Hours

This article was published at on Nov. 10, 2013.

Plastic Musik performing at Rowan After Hours. The abstract percussion band uses boomwhackers to create music. This marks the second time the group performed in the Student Center Pit. -Staff photo/Davin Jurgensen

Back for a second time and using nothing but colorful plastic tubes, plastic laundry tubs, a plastic beam and a synthesizer, the five-man group Plastic Musik delivered a new style of music, putting a different spin on well-known tunes at Rowan After Hours.

The plastic tubes, called “boomwhackers,” come in different sizes and colors, and are a type of instrument that delivers a pitch once it hits a surface.

Similar to the Blue Man Group and STOMP, Plastic Musik put on a choreographed performance on Nov. 8, drumming along to different types of genres that ranged from jazz to classical to modern. Some of the songs played were The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” A-ha’s “Take on Me” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Snippets of other recognizable songs like Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” were also heard.

Sarah Olsen, a graduate coordinator for RAH, said that after she saw how much positive feedback Plastic Musik received last spring when they were at RAH, she wanted to bring them back for another event this semester. Olsen said she enjoys watching the group and was happy to have them come back to Rowan to perform their music.

“It’s music everyone knows, which is something I love specifically because it doesn’t separate the audience,” Olsen said. “Everyone in there can enjoy the event because they play music from different genres, different sounds. It’s a very all-encompassing event for all types of audiences, which is definitely one of RAH’s missions, to get as many people to enjoy the event as possible.”

In the middle of the show, one of the band members, Andy Burnette, answered some of the audience’s questions, explaining that the group formed and started using boomwhackers when Jeremy Price, one of the group’s members’ brother, was teaching drum lessons in a music store when a shipment of boomwhackers came in.

“But then he was like, ‘well I wonder what would happen if I called my drummer friends,’” Burnette said. “So he did and it just all started as us being bored and having a whole lot of time on our hands, and then it just kind of caught on. The people really seemed to enjoy it so we decided to try to pursue it a little bit.”

Burnette also explained to the audience how the members control the pitch of the boomwhackers.

“It is all based on how long this tube is,” Burnette said. “The shorter the tube, the higher the pitch. We tell them apart by the colors. I don’t see ‘C’ anymore, the note ‘C,’ I see red. Or an ‘E’ is yellow. A ‘D’ is orange.”

Nicolette Camishion, a sophomore civil engineering major, said she was impressed by Plastic Musik’s show.

“I don’t really know what I was expecting but they were really cool,” Camishion said. “I thought they were gonna be like the Blue Man Group but they were really fun.”

Although the group doesn’t use traditional instruments, senior Spanish major Elena Guzman said she thought its music was just as enjoyable.

“I thought it was awesome,” Guzman said. “I would say it can compete with regular music with instruments. I would see it again.”

Josh Meadows, a member of Plastic Musik, said that although the group performs over 100 shows a year, he had a nice time playing at Rowan again.

“I thought [the show] was really good,” Meadows said. “The crowd response was good. It could have been better, but it’s always like that with us, people always get in awe or shock when they see us because they don’t really know how to take us, whether we’re serious or goofing off or just whatever.”