In December 2015, 18-year-old Towson freshman Tyler Green waited with his brother, Eric, at the 9:30 Club in Philadelphia to catch a glimpse of electronic dance music producer and DJ Marshmello.
Having followed Marshmello since the beginning of his career in early 2015, the two brothers were excited to finally see him play.
“To see him play a huge concert at a well-known venue was just awesome,” Green said. “Me and my brother just had the best brotherly moment in disbelief that we were watching it.”
One year later, Green, a sophomore physics major from Cecil County, still has a large interest in the culture surrounding EDM and DJing, and credits his brother for influencing him.
“My brother took up an interest in that probably like four years ago, and then I’d say I caught on around three years ago once he just kind of started blasting the music around the house,” Green said. “I couldn’t avoid it.”
EDM describes a broad genre of music produced electronically that is generally played at nightclubs, festivals, concerts and raves. Ever since it gained more traction in the music world, it has taken a turn down many different paths of subgenres.
For Green, one of his favorite parts of EDM is the culture that follows it, a culture that he describes as “very accepting.” A wide variety of people attend concerts and festivals, according to Green, and many of these people tend to have a broad taste in music that stretches beyond just EDM.
“Anyone can take anything away from it that they want, but the main themes that most people seem to share is just that anyone is welcome,” Green said. “There’s literally no discrimination…everyone just wants to have a good time, somehow.”
Junior electronic media and film major Josh Tope described the concept of PLUR, or “peace, love, unity and respect.”
PLUR is an ideology that describes how people are expected to behave at EDM gatherings. This ideology can provide a strong sense of communal unity for anyone who attends these concerts and festivals.
“Everyone at the raves and at the events are just supposed to be unified through the music,” Tope said. “So there is definitely this big culture behind it.”
Tope is the president of the newly-formed EDM club at Towson, founded during the fall 2016 semester. After seeing that other colleges and universities also have EDM clubs, Tope figured that there would be a large interest at Towson too.
The club hosts on-campus events, usually at Paws, that allow student DJs to perform in front of audiences of students. Many of these student DJs have never performed before, and these events can oftentimes bring between 50 to 60 audience members.
Within its first semester, 193 people joined the club’s online Facebook group, and Tope hopes to see it grow further.
“The club is being used to bring people together through music, which is really cool,” Tope said. “One of the main things about the club is meeting new people.”
Green is the club’s scribe, and has DJed at its on-campus events throughout the semester, most recently at the club’s “DECK the PAWS: Winter Wubs” event on Dec. 4.
He is also one of two recipients of the Jess Fisher Pre-Engineering Scholarship in the class of 2019.
The scholarship covers the full cost of in-state tuition and fees, and is renewable up to four years, as long as the student remains a major in the Fisher College of Science & Mathematics.
“I never expected that I would be on a full-tuition scholarship,” Green said. “That blows my mind.”
Green enjoyed researching moving parts and objects in high school, and he had aspirations to become a mechanical engineer. He did not know what being a physics major would entail.
Knowing that Towson was already an affordable option for college, his mother pushed him to apply for the Fisher scholarship during his senior year at Elkton High School.
“Once I started writing the essay, I took it really seriously,” Green said. “Before you know it, I got a call back from the dean and I had it. It was pretty cool.”
One result of Green’s interest in audio production is a developed hobby in creating portable speakers out of objects ranging from suitcases to old wooden furniture. By wiring the objects and adding features like a volume knob and an auxiliary input, Green can manipulate the most basic objects to create sound.
“It makes for an interesting speaker, rather than just some Bluetooth thing from Walmart,” Green said.
Green also took up an interest in car audio, and has spent a lot of time working with the sound systems in his 1997 Chevrolet 1500.
“I’ve always been a kind of hands-on person, so I didn’t want to take it to an install shop and have them do it,” Green said. “I wanted to do it myself. And then I realized it was really fun and there’s a lot more you can do with it other than just replacing your speakers.”
With his broad range of interests related to sound, Green hopes to one day bridge the gap between physics and music in his future career.
Green’s main goal is to combine research in the sciences into live concerts and venues to improve the soundstage for attending audience members. He also hopes to work with recording artists to help them manipulate audio using different sound reproduction software.
“My perfect career path would be working with sound in a way that I could see how it’s implemented into EDM,” Green said. “I’m just trying to make new programs and new software…and just trying to push what EDM can do.”