Sounds Like Teen Spirit: Noise Floor, Live Music at Mudd
If you’ve ever heard the beats of live music pulsing across campus or seen a poster for a concert at Mudd, Noise Floor, the college’s club for live music and art, is likely behind it. Founded two years ago by Madi Pignetti ’17 and Rebecca Harman ‘17, this student organization tries to increase the presence of live music on campus, showcasing both local bands and student talent.
“When I came to college, no one seemed interested in music,” said Pignetti, who would regularly attend concerts throughout high school. In this attempt to bring more concerts to campus and increase Mudd’s musical awareness, Noise Floor was born.
During their first year at Mudd, Pignetti and Harman put together Noise Floor’s first concert, showcasing two local bands. After emailing the musicians, proposing the event to ASHMC for funding, and negotiating the costs, Noise Floor set the date for the concert. However, a variety of unforeseen challenges faced the club as they tried to set up for the event. Moving equipment, setting up microphones, and many other logistical tasks needed to be accomplished with just the few people who initiated the club. Despite these early difficulties, friends and other Mudders interested in music soon came together to help the growing organization.
“Every show, people rally. So many of them come through for us, and we’re really grateful for that,” said Pignetti.
Now, beginning its third year of operation, Noise Floor has concerts, student musician showcases, and open mic nights throughout the semester. They even went to L.A. last year to visit Amoeba Records, the biggest independent music store in the world, and are starting a record collection for Mudd. In the future, they want to buy a record player to go with their growing library. To foster the growth of other artistic aspects of Mudd, Noise Floor has also held button-making and Zine-making workshops open to the whole student body.
In the future, Pignetti wants Noise Floor to collaborate more with music groups from other colleges, which are more established than those at Mudd. She also wants to give student musicians more opportunities to perform for the community.
“Since [Mudders] don’t have time, you don’t know what they do when they do have time,” explains Pignetti, pointing out the lack of opportunities for student performances at our college. To appeal to a wider variety of student music tastes, the club also welcomes requests for bands to bring to campus. Noise Floor is a way for Mudd students to explore the musical world without leaving the comfort of our campus, which will hopefully introduce more Mudders to the world of live music.
As for Pignetti, founding and leading Noise Floor has revealed to her the process of negotiation with booking agents and made her more connected to the SoCal music scene. In fact, by building the club from scratch, Pignetti has realized the power that just one student can have at Harvey Mudd.
“I wanted to make this change, so I went to ASHMC, proposed it, and it happened,” describes Pignetti, “The fact that I can have this idea, hold this event, and have people actually come to it seems so strange. It’s surprisingly easy and accessible to make changes on campus, even if it’s a small cultural change.” Noise Floor has certainly made an effort to bring a cultural music change to Mudd, and hopefully, the students will take the opportunities that this club offers them and make some noise on our campus.