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Ben Luce unveils his water dragons

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by Luke Vidic

HOLLAND — Late in the evening, after the sun had set and an eerie fog crept over the surrounding Holland farmland, Ben Luce stood beneath the warm glow of stage lights of the Barrage and began his otherworldly performance.  His hands danced across a trio of synthesizers.  Like music from a space-age opera — or like music made by aliens who were told what music is — Mr. Luce’s “Dragon in the Deep” showcased synthesizers’ strange potential.

A small crowd gathered to watch him play.  Most are students of Mr. Luce, who teaches physics, as well as electricity and electronics, at Northern Vermont University’s Lyndon and Johnson campuses.  On top of that, he is also a professor of psycho acoustics, and he can explain what that means.

“It’s the connection between the qualitative aspects of sound and the quantitative ones,” he said.  “If a sound sounds brighter, how does that relate to the harmonics in it?  …

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