The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday August 18th

Experience Music Project's Electric Bus Comes to UNC

After all, a smashed guitar is a far cry from bleating livestock. And the average truck driver wouldn't be carrying handwritten lyrics by legendary singer/songwriters including Kate Bush, Bob Dylan and Chuck D.

The Electric Bus' four-day pit stop at UNC begins today, allowing students to view its artifacts, hands-on exhibits, film and photos.

"If you are into music, you can learn so much there," said John Morrison, the Electric Bus Director of Touring and Logistics. "If you are not into music, it's still enlightening."

EMP sends the Electric Bus to locations across the country, fulfilling its mission of education. Kendall Maffett, an EMP promotions consultant, said the bus is geared not only to college students, but also school children, boys and girls clubs and vocal and band groups.

"We prompt people to start thinking and looking around their environment and say -- oh, yeah, I remember that song," Morrison said. "Teaching is that -- making people think."

Thought about songwriting is a goal of both EMP and the Electric Bus. Among the bus' tents is a Song Lab where visitors can work hands-on to understand what makes a song. Visitors also are encouraged to develop their own songwriting ideas in the lab.

"It's a way of telling the history of rock music through a particular lens," said John Covach, UNC professor of music. Covach, who teaches popular music, will deliver a guitar-augmented lecture, "From Craft to Art: Style and Structure in Beatles Music" at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the bus.

The brainchild of Jody Patton and Jimi Hendrix aficionado Paul Allen, the Experience Music Project in Seattle houses about 2,000 artifacts, only a fraction of EMP's 80,000 article collection. Its exhibits include displays of historical guitars and clothing of artists like Janis Joplin.

EMP spokeswoman Paige Prill said the educational reach of the museum is extended by the Electric Bus. "We really want to inspire students, and adults as well, to test their own creativity."

The bus will be located in the Smith Lot on Skipper Bowles Drive and will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free.

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