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ISU Research, Innovation, and Creativity Insights with 2022 Distinguished Researcher, Dr. Thom Hasenpflug

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Thom Hasenpflug and VP for Research and Economic Development, Marty Blair, talk about music as a pursuit of knowledge and discovery. Listening to several of Dr. Hasenpflug’s recent compositions, they make parallels between creative pursuits in the arts and hard-science disciplines such as engineering and biology.

ISU’s 2022 Distinguished Researcher, Dr. Thom Hasenpflug, an ISU Professor of Music, Percussion and Composition, talks about his journey as a percussionist, music composer, and educator. He helps listeners understand how a creative artist is also a distinguished researcher. Dr. Hasenpflug and host Marty Blair listen to several of his recent compositions, discuss how they came about, and ways in which they help listeners feel and experience what the composer intended. Music is “good” if it moves a listener, or makes her feel something; bad music creates listener apathy.

Two of the pieces discussed in this episode can be accessed on YouTube. Dr. Brad Meyer plays Hasenpflug’s soothing 8 minute “Looking Down to See the Sky” composition written after a snorkeling experience in Cozumel, Mexico. Hasenpflug’s internationally-renowned percussion quartet composition, Bicksa, remains one of the most widely-programmed collegiate percussion works of the past 30 years. International performances of his works have occurred in Vienna, London, Barcelona, Moscow, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Dublin, Brazil, Venezuela, Sweden, to name a few. Listen to this rousing 4 and half minute performance by the James Madison University Percussion Ensemble in 2021. Turn up the volume and be ready to stomp your feet, tap your fingers and bob your head!

Learn more about Dr. Thom Hasenpflug and his 2022 distinction as ISU’s Distinguished Researcher:

Dr. Hasenpflug supports an annual music scholarship for ISU students. Learn more about it here:

The chapel that Thom refers to in the interview (around 10:00)

Dunstaffnage Castle - Wikipedia

Dr. Thom Hasenpflug, Professor of Music, Percussion and Composition, ISU College of Arts and Letters.

Martin Blair joined Idaho State University in 2022 as the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Dr. Blair began his career as a special education teacher. Then, spent two decades at the Utah State University Center for Excellence in Disabilities in a variety of research and training leadership roles. In 2013, he moved to Missoula, Montana where he spent nine years directing the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities. In these various roles, Dr. Blair has worked extensively across the U.S. to improve the quality of services, supports and policies for individuals with disabilities of all ages, and their families. <a href=""></a><br/>