AUMI Team's Heartfelt Tribute to Kip Haaheim: "Nosferatu's Ode to Kip"

In a heartwarming reunion of old friends and music enthusiasts, the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI) team at the Lawrence Public Library recently came together on October 25th, 2023, to create something truly special. This session marked not only a return to their cherished routine but also a poignant dedication to their dear friend, Kip Haaheim.

Lego-built Kip stands next to Lego-built AUMI

Credit: Tami Albin

The Rekindling of Tradition

For years, Kip Haaheim was a beloved member of the AUMI team. He shared a unique tradition with the group during Halloween season, which left a lasting impression on all who had the privilege of participating. Every year, Kip would bring a silent movie, and with the help of AUMI technology, the team would craft a live soundtrack that brought the film to life in a way only they could.

This yearly tradition, which began long before the challenges of 2020 changed the way we interact with friends and loved ones, had been a Halloween-time favorite for the AUMI team. The sense of camaraderie and the joy of creating music for Kip's movie was a tradition everyone cherished.

It was a tradition that extended well beyond the scope of music; it was a celebration of friendship and creativity. Each year, Kip's movie selection would vary, but the essence of the tradition remained the same. The AUMI team would gather, excited to explore new musical landscapes together.

The experience of crafting a live soundtrack to a silent movie was nothing short of magical. It required a high level of synergy and improvisation. AUMI technology allowed the musicians to create music in real-time, adapting to the on-screen action and emotions. It was a challenge they all embraced, pushing the boundaries of their creativity and their movement-engaged instruments.


Oliver Hall's band poster for Nosferatu Dead Dance

Credit: Oliver Hall

For the musicians, this annual event wasn't just about playing music; it was about telling a story. Through the AUMI technology, they breathed life into the characters on the screen. They could convey emotions, create tension, and evoke laughter all through their music. It was a deeply immersive experience that not only showcased their musical prowess but also their ability to connect with the audience on a profound level.

Beyond the music, the tradition had fostered a strong sense of family within the AUMI team. Over the years, they had become a tightly-knit group, united by their passion for music and their shared memories of Kip's annual movie night. This tradition had served as the glue that held them together, even when physical distances separated them.

Kip's departure to Arizona had marked a turning point for the group. It was a time of adjustment, and the absence of their friend was deeply felt. But now, three years later, the spirit of the tradition has endured. The AUMI team's commitment has demonstrated their unwavering connection and their determination to carry on despite the challenges that life had thrown their way.

Autumnal Reunion


The timing of the 2023 reunion was particularly poignant. As the autumn leaves began to fall and the holiday season approached, the AUMI team gathered in the Lawrence Public Library, rekindling the tradition that had been such a meaningful part of their lives. The changing seasons and the anticipation of the holidays added an extra layer of emotion to the event.

The crisp air and the scent of falling leaves outside seemed to seep into the library, creating a cozy and familiar atmosphere. The library's warmth and the collective spirit of the musicians provided a comforting contrast to the chill outside. It was a time when nostalgia and the promise of new memories converged.

As the musicians started to play, the combination of the autumnal ambiance and the holiday season approaching made the reunion feel even more special. The music that filled the library was not just a celebration of the present but a bridge to the past, connecting all the beautiful moments they had shared throughout the years.

The Sweet Sound of Reunification


Fast forward to 2023, and the Lawrence Public Library is once again filled with music, laughter, and the joy of reuniting. The AUMI team members, Julie, Drew, Ranita, Travis, Sherrie, and the off-mic narrator, Oliver, were thrilled to be back together, creating music as they had for years.