Spring to Summer Fest comes from the mind’s eye – and diligent labor – of one Jeana DeLaire ’13, as both a compelling senior project and a testament to her commitment to expression and community. I was lucky enough to sit with Jeana for an informal question and answer session about her musical background, the origins of Spring to Summer Fest, and her band, Attack Pattern Delta. – Erica Allen

A musical performance at COA

Erica: What’s your musical background?

Jeana: I started teaching myself guitar at the age of 13. I always played an instrument throughout childhood. I started on standup bass, which I didn’t last very long, and then I started to play trumpet, which also didn’t last very long. Then I played saxophone, which I still play in the COA Community Orchestra conducted by John Cooper, a master composer that we’re lucky to have here at COA. And he should give me an A for my senior project for all the nice things I say about him! [Laughs]

E: Why did you decide to start teaching yourself guitar, anyway?

J: Actually, I moved a lot growing up, and one person I always have remembered was this woman named Angie. I collect mother figures, and she’s one of my mother figures. She played flamenco classical guitar. I was, like, four, and I remembered it distinctly, sitting there watching her play and being totally amazed by it. So, I’ve wanted to play guitar since I was four. She actually left her guitar at my mom’s house and it moved with us, so eventually I just picked it up and decided to actually learn it and put strings on it.

Jeana strums away.

E: Do you prefer electric guitar – are you better at electric?

J: My band is my biggest vessel of musical expression right now. That’s weird to say; that sounds ridiculous—and that requires me to play electric guitar. I really, really like using analog? effects to create more variations of sound and more ambient noises. These almost transforms the traditional guitar sound into something much more— with reverb and all that. So I use the electric guitar for that. I have a lot respect for classical guitar. I almost consider that more of an exercise for myself. Does that make sense?

E: How would you characterize the sound of your band, Attack Pattern Delta?

J: We don’t characterize our sound.

E: On Facebook, it says, “Band geek meets space jam explosion.” Is that an apt description?

J: No. [Laughs] We intentionally try to avoid putting any genre to our sound. We’ve been influenced by a lot of different things, all of us individually and collectively. We really don’t like how, when you pick a genre, it kind of pigeonholes you. Especially as a band, too, it creates all these expectations, and we really kind of want to break through that.

E: What kind of artists influence you all?

J: We all have our own artists that have influenced us. It varies from classic rock to classical composers to jazz greats to fucking dub music. It varies from extremely technical music to really poetic music. One word I would use describe our music is definitely “technical.” Technical, and—interconnected.

E: Alright! So, you’re doing Spring to Summer Fest. Has this idea been cooking for a while? How did you decide to do this as your senior project?

J: Yeah, totally! There’s a lot of reasons why I wanted to do it. One reason is that, honestly, I feel like COA is moving away from being a cohesive community, and I feel like it’s time that we have an event that really joins forces with music and art. It’s like a common ground for people, you know? Something I feel that is often overlooked in the human ecology education is the emotional response to things. Having a background in history and education—which I studied at the college—I feel like music and art have a way of expressing the emotion that is tied to our reactions to current events. I’m just looking for a way for people to come together and create. Also [the event] really symbolizes change, you know, spring to summer. So does our band name: Attack Pattern Delta. Delta is the symbol of change.

E: So, what are you most excited for?

J: I’m most excited to just get up there and play music with my band. I’ve been really inspired by bands that make the live music experience more expressive—especially using art and visual effects as a way to do that. It takes the attention away from the musicians and allows the viewers and the listeners to have a more holistic experience, because they have more to look at, more sensory.

E: How do you see your music fitting into your life after COA?

J: It’s more about how I can fit my life into music. It’s not really an option, you know? I was talking to a friend of mine and former student who is coming to the event, Desiree Dow, who is becoming well-known for her rock paintings. She called it “The Curse” that artists and musicians get where they just don’t have an option. They should maybe logically do something where they’ll have a stable income, but it’s just not a choice. Attack Pattern Delta—we’re going to be recording our album in the winter. That’s going to be Michael Hueter’s senior project. He’s the bass player and lead vocalist. So that’s our next big plan.

E: Are you going to come back to do his senior project, then?

J: We’re not sure where we’re going to record yet, but we’ll probably record in Philly and then come back to COA for another concert next year. So hopefully, if there’s a good turnout, we’ll have Spring to Summer Fest 2.