Raymond Weitekamp ’10 left Princeton nearly four years ago, but parts of his undergraduate experience have followed him closely. In his synthetic chemistry research at Caltech, the Ph.D. student draws on some of the fundamentals that he learned in Princeton labs. And outside of his day job, he uses what he learned as a musician in the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) to write, perform, and produce electronic music.
This month, Weitekamp, who performs as ingMob, released his first album, Marrow. Spin.com reviewed the collection and called “mmm,” his debut single, a “kaleidoscopic blend of bleeps, warbling keys, and echoing vocals.”
Weitekamp’s album bears the fingerprints of his musical studies at Princeton, where he majored in chemistry. One track, “Venture Anon,” began as an assignment for Professor Paul Lansky *73’s Music 104 course; another, “Echo Mountain,” was a junior-year composition for PLOrk. Releasing those songs, he said, was a “molting process” of sorts: He wanted to shed some of his older creations to give new ones room to grow.
In the build up to the album release, Weitekamp has drawn attention from Wired, LA Weekly, andMotherboard, both for the music itself and how he creates it. Weitekamp records samples and pieces them together using a monome, a circuit-board-backed grid of 64 silicone buttons (in Motherboard’s words, a “DIY Tupperware beat box”) that attaches to his laptop with a USB cord.
Weitekamp, a former DJ and music director at WPRB, has booked one gig to promote Marrow (Feb. 21 at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock in Los Angeles), but he has no plans to set aside his science career. Instead, he’d like to keep vocation and avocation moving forward on parallel tracks, like he did as a student at Princeton.
“I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity, as a hard science major, to be able to do so much on the music end,” Weitekamp said. “That is really the beauty — and the ideal — of liberal arts education: You can have multiple loves and explore multiple things.”