Specializing in research regarding image processing, non-linear functional analysis and optimization, and compressions, Dr. Trenary also currently serves as the chair of the mathematics department.
What's the first album you bought?
I think it was Styx's Grand Illusion. When I was in 6th grade I was really into "impossible objects" like the Penrose triangle or impossible cube, so I thought the cover was really cool. I really wanted to be "cool" when I was in 6th grade. Luckily, that turned out to be impossible for me.
Who was your first concert?
There was the Beatlemania concert I went to with my whole family when I was 12 when the lone guy in front of us threw up and my Grandma commented "He probably smoked some of the pot with paraquat on it." But I will always count Laurie Anderson playing the Scottish Rite Cathedral in St. Louis on her "Mr. Heartbreak" tour as my first real concert. It still stands as one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen.
The great thing about these questions is that I have been thinking about music I haven't visited for ages. Looking up Laurie Andersen to see what she was up to, I found her recent documentary "A Dog's Heart". Listening to the title track from her album Big Science, I was struck by how prescient she was about the isolation that comes from the exponential evolution of technology. There's nothing else like that album.
Who is an artist you enjoyed listening to when you were in college?
With the exception of the seven years I spent working at IBM, I have been in college in one form or another for most of my adult life. A coarse and incomplete chronological list of highlights spanning Freshman Year of College to Last Year follows: Phillip Glass, R.E.M., Bach, Concrete Blonde, Andreas Vollenweider, Kate Bush, Bob Marley, Donovan, Pink Floyd, The Bevis Frond, Leonard Cohen, The Velvet Underground, Van Morrison, Bongwater, Brian Eno, Harold Budd, The Flaming Lips, Emmylou Harris, The Grateful Dead, Ween (I had a rough two year period where Ween was just about all I listened to- so much hilarity, anger, and just great music from these two), Sufjan Stevens, John Prine, Neutral Milk Hotel, Andrew Bird, The Olivia Tremor Control, Dayna Kurtz, Youth Lagoon, Grimes, CocoRosie, Sam Cooke, Bill Evans, Miles Davis.
Do you play any instruments?
Yes, I've been playing guitar casually for most of my life, but about a year and a half ago I started studying the electric bass and playing in faculty/student group, Common Core. I'm now playing with a slightly different group of folks at Regis with a possibly different group name. I have been studying music theory and learning to read music for the first time and focusing on improving in every way. It is exciting and humbling to be a student of something I am passionate about and making music with a group of people I love and respect is one of the greatest joys in my life.
Song You Can't Not Sing Along to/Go to Karaoke Song
"The Origin of Love" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
"Many Shades of Black" by the Raconteurs
Odious Artist/Song You Just Can't Stand
There's stuff I heard on the radio too much growing up in small town southern Illinois. It's not so much that I can't stand it; it's just that I find them uninspiring at this point in my life. This list includes songs by Boston, Journey, Aerosmith, Skynyrd, Van Halen, and many others. Okay, maybe "More Than a Feelin'," is still a pretty awesome song for me in small doses.
What artists and types of music do you listen to now?
A crazy wide variety, and I move in phases. About two summers ago, I think all I listened to was Grimes. In the most recent six-month period, it's been: Sturgill Simpson, Brian Eno, Cake, Harry Nilsson, The Head and the Heart, Father John Misty, Pink Floyd (the Floyd is always with me), The Velvet Underground, Bill Evans, Bach, Vivaldi, Brooke Candy, Leon Bridges.
To learn more about Dr. Trenary, check out his faculty biography on the main Regis website.