Dillon Cloonan ’20
At the Intersection of Rock and Rap
My journey obtaining my major in music did not start till I was a sophomore. I had an intense passion for music, but I was unsure on how I could express myself until I met Dr. Laura Moore Pruett. Between our first classes of Music and Politics and The Architecture of Music, she convinced me to undertake a music minor. I was completely happy with the idea of the music minor, knowing it was as high as I could go. However, through talks with Dr. Pruett, Band Director Paul Geresy, and a past student with the same passion, we came up with a plan to create a contract major for music that would coincide with my communication major. It was the best decision I have made at Merrimack without a doubt.
For my senior capstone, I wanted to do something with the things I love the most: Rock and Rap music. Dr. Pruett and I came up with the idea of completing a thorough research project on the two genres fusion over time, from before when rap was conceived, to the modern day. Originally, a performance of original songs I wrote, in reference to the fusions, was going to be the send-off part of the project. However, due to coronavirus complications, it was impossible to do an in-person performance and also difficult to record music as I was unable to access all the performance equipment and recording technologies provided by the college (great drums, jazz bass, amplifiers, microphones, recording and editing software, etc.). To compensate, I have provided a small handful of instrumentals and a complete track from the resources I have available at my home. It was a real bummer to not perform the music I had been crafting.
Although stressful at times, this project has been nothing but an extraordinary experience for me. Putting hard research into something you actually love feels rewarding, and the idea of creating music, even with limited resources, is my dream. I want to thank the entire VPA department for letting me live out my fantasies in reality. The only thing that could have made this more surreal would have been to perform the music live. I hope whoever reads the paper learns something new and adopts a new understanding for both genres’ success. And to whoever listens to any or all of the tracks, I hope that at least just for one second, you find yourself in a moment of joy.