VC++ is an organization of coders, hackers, and designers at Vassar. VC++ has many sub-groups that are devoted to specific subjects. Zach created, and is currently in charge of, the music sub-group of VC++. The group meets every Monday. Each meeting, Zach lectures on various topics in the broad domain of computer music. The first few lectures provided a quick overview of digital signal processing (DSP) and an introduction to several commonly-used pieces of software and programming languages used to manipulate and create sound. At the request of students, Zach has recently begun to focus on using the JUCE library in order to create VST and AU audio plugins.
Infinite Space is a radio show that Zach hosts every Saturday morning (Friday night) from 12am to 1am ET. The show is on WVKR, Vassar’s independent radio station. The show’s theme is progressive rock music from the 1970’s. Zach frequently plays many mainstream bands of the era such as YES, King Crimson, Rush, and ELP, as well as many lesser-known experimental bands such as Henry Cow, Gentle Giant, Weidorje, and Egg.
Tom Cruise is a collaboration between Zach and experimental musician Zane Decker. The name “Tom Cruise” is a comedic reference to the band “Com Truise”, whose name is a spoonerism of “Tom Cruise” (the actor). When Zane or Zach are asked about why they chose the name “Tom Cruise” for their band, they will insist that it is not a reference to the actor, but rather a spoonerism of “Com Truise”. Tom Cruise is generally characterized by a lo-fi, chaotic, and absurd sound that is based heavily on improvisation. Most of Tom Cruise’s albums are improvised and recorded in one take, with little to no preparation. Some of Zach’s favorite Tom Cruise tracks are MESECAM 625 25, Faultless and Immaculate…, Roller Bearing on the Computer Games, and Everything in the Whole Wide Universe.
Zach has worked with VCTV (Vassar College TV) on two separate occasions, scoring for student-produced web series. Zach’s music can be heard in the second episode of The Suit, and in episodes 1, 2, and 3 of The Witness. Currently, Zach is working on scoring a student film about the effects of climate change on The Great Lakes.