“It is such a nice feeling to come back to campus for this show,” Shiner said in an email. “I am excited to bring this music back here for this special occasion.”
He currently lives in Indianapolis along with a handful of the band’s other graduated members.
Other members are scattered around the world, in places such as Australia and New York City.
The original group contained 19 members, and all were students.
All will be at the event tonight, including a couple special guests, he said.
Shiner said he does not want people to think of stereotypical jazz when they hear his music tonight.
“I think that the jazz category has two conflicting connotations,” he said. “Sometimes when people think of jazz, they immediately start snapping their fingers on an imaginary two and four and think of flappers dancing in a speakeasy in 1935.”
However, jazz has evolved so much since that time, Shiner said.
Contemporary jazz music includes rhythms and harmonies from other cultures in Cuba, India, Iran and Brazil.
At times, artists modernize their music by incorporating electronics into their work, he said.
“I think my music has one foot in traditional material and another foot in the present,” he said. “For example, one of the tracks on ‘Fly!’ is my arrangement of Miley Cyrus’s ‘Wrecking Ball.’”
In this interpretation, Shiner said he combined religious music from Cuba with Miley’s pop hit.
“The chart begins in a modern-swing style, but quickly morphs into an aggressive Afro-Cuban vamp,” he said.
Shiner said creating a CD was incomparable to anything he had ever done in college.
It was all-consuming. No long-term research paper, no transcription assignment or anything else could ever top this experience, he said.
Most of the music was written in the summer of 2013, but the skill that went into the work took years to accumulate.
Shiner credited his classes with music Professor Brent Wallarab for his ability to create the work.
Faculty in the Music School were also featured in the CD.
The BloomingTones went into the studio in January and released their CD on Aug. 19.
After a couple months of being on the airwaves, Shiner said his music has been picked up on 125 different radio stations throughout the world.
“It’s really a dream come true for me,” he said. “I am very excited to officially get ‘Fly!’ off the ground.”