The Oberlin Review

On the Record with Peter Swendsen, assistant professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

On the Record with Peter Swendsen, assistant professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

October 9, 2015

Peter Swendsen joined Oberlin’s TIMARA faculty in 2007 as assistant professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts. Last year he released an album titled Allusions to Seasons and Weather, in which he captured his experiences in Norway almost 10 years ago. Currently serving as the chair of the TIMARA department, Swendsen gave a talk this past Tuesday about his soundscape compositions in relation to the field of ecoacoustics. You released your album Allusions to Seasons and Weather a year ago around...

On the Record with Jinjoo Cho, new teacher of Violin

On the Record with Jinjoo Cho, new teacher of Violin

September 4, 2015

Jinjoo Cho, a violinist from Seoul, South Korea, is joining the Oberlin Conservatory faculty this fall. At age 26, she was the winner of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis after previous successes at the Aspen Music Festival and the Alice Schoenfeld International String Competition. She has played with artists including Kent Nagano, Michael Stern, Yoel Levi and James Gaffigan, as well as numerous orchestras. Cho is also known for her community and outreach work and her engageme...

On the Record with Steve Coleman, saxophonist and composer

On the Record with Steve Coleman, saxophonist and composer

May 8, 2015

Steve Coleman is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader from Chicago’s South Side. Coleman’s complex style, which emphasizes polyrhythmic meter and unorthodox tonalities, falls outside the realm of categorization. The Review spoke to Coleman on the phone just before his show at the ’Sco Tuesday night about everything from playing in Cecil Taylor’s big band to parallels between music and language. How did you develop your personal sound? Who are your early musical influences? My early m...

On the Record with Tom Knific, Jazz Bassist

April 24, 2015

Tom Knific is a bassist, composer and professor of double bass and jazz guitar at Western Michigan University. His four albums, Home Bass, Siena, Lines of Influence and The Muse, have all received critical acclaim. Knific visited Oberlin last week to teach a masterclass and perform alongside the Performance and Improvisation Ensemble at the Cat in the Cream. The Review sat down with Knific to talk about his passion for jazz, as well as some of the projects he’s worked on. What brings you to Ober...

On the Record with Claire Chase, MacArthur Fellow

On the Record with Claire Chase, MacArthur Fellow

April 10, 2015

Claire Chase, OC ’01, is a world-renowned contemporary flautist. The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal have described her as “the young star of the modern flute” and “a rare combination of grace and guts”, respectively. She is a MacArthur Fellow and a cofounder of the International Contemporary Ensemble, a nonprofit collective dedicated to “reshaping the way music is created and experienced”. On Thursday, Chase was part of a panel titled “The Arts, Entrepreneurship and Higher Education...

On the Record with Andy Statman, Mandolinist and Clarinetist

On the Record with Andy Statman, Mandolinist and Clarinetist

March 13, 2015

Andy Statman, a highly praised mandolinist and clarinetist who hails from New York City, works with a variety of musical genres, including American folk, klezmer and jazz. He has released over two dozen studio albums and received recognition for his work in the field, including a National Heritage Fellowship. On Monday, Statman gave a master class for students and performed at the Cat in the Cream. The Review spoke with Statman by telephone after his return to his home in Brooklyn. Can you tell us a little bit ...

On the Record with Pixar’s Nicole Grindle

Bri DiMonda

March 6, 2015

Filed under ARTS, On the Record

Nicole Grindle has worked as a production manager at Pixar for the past 25 years and collaborated on films like A Bug’s Life, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Toy Story 3 and Monster’s University. She came to the Apollo Theatre on Friday as part of Oberlin’s “Creativity and Leadership Speakers Series.” The Review spoke with her about her experiences breaking into the film industry and Pixar’s culture of creativity. You studied documentary production at Stanford University — what sparked your interest in film and, more specifically, documentaries? I was an undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania, and I did not major in film as an undergrad. My freshman year I was in bioengineering, and then I moved over ...

On the Record with Keith Myers of Dear White People

On the Record with Keith Myers of Dear White People

February 20, 2015

Wednesday night, the Apollo Theatre screened Justin Simien’s lauded satirical drama Dear White People, which focuses on the experiences of Black students at an Ivy League university. The Review spoke on the phone with Keith Myers, who played the relatively small but crucial role of “Black Mitch” in the film and who grew up in nearby Wakeman, Ohio. Meyers discussed everything from his DJ alter ego to Simien’s distinctive directorial approach to drinking mochas at The Feve. What’s the...

On the Record: Tim Page, Acclaimed Music Critic and Visiting Scholar

February 13, 2015

Pulitzer Prize–winning music critic and editor Tim Page, the visiting scholar-in-residence for the spring semester, is teaching the Advanced Music Criticism class for both College and Conservatory students this semester. His musical background propelled him into a fruitful journalism career, writing for publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Page sat down with the Review Wednesday afternoon to discuss his move to Oberlin, Bob Dylan and retro New York. ...

On the Record with Caroline Jackson-Smith

Danny Evans, Arts Editor

February 6, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Music, On the Record, Theater & Film

Over Winter Term, Caroline Jackson-Smith, professor of Africana Studies and Theater, directed Dessa Rose, a musical about slavery in the antebellum South. Dessa Rose follows a long line of politically and socially conscious plays that Jackson-Smith has put on at and outside of Oberlin. The Review spoke with her about what to expect from the upcoming production. Why did you choose to put on Dessa Rose? Is there a particular reason why this year felt like the “right” year for it? Well, that’s kind of ironic, because we actually picked it several years ago. The way we have to pick shows in the Theater department, we have to look over a few-year time period. ... Also, because this was a musical, we wante...

On the Record with Bad Writing Organizers Srijit Ghosh and Paris Gravely

Vida Weisblum, Arts Editor

December 12, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry, On the Record

College seniors Paris Gravely and Srijit Ghosh joined forces to organize a celebratory weekend of poetry titled Bad Writing, in which they brought poets Jaswinder Bolina, Tarfia Faizullah and Richard Siken to campus. The two Creative Writing majors shared their experiences in putting together the student-centric event. So, what was the impetus for hosting the Bad Writing event this weekend? Were you urged by faculty to do this? Srijit Ghosh: [Paris Gravely and I] wanted to bring some poets to campus because we really felt like there wasn’t enough programing coming from the students. Faculty bring poets; Kazim [Ali, Creative Writing department chair] brings a bunch of famous people [to Oberlin], but very in...

On the Record with Kestrel Felt and Olivia de Toma, Pericles Stage Managers

Vida Weisblum, Arts Editor

December 5, 2014

Filed under ARTS, On the Record, Theater & Film

This week, the Review sat down with Pericles stage manager and College junior Kestrel Felt and assistant stage manager and College sophomore Olivia de Toma to discuss their involvement in the upcoming adapted main stage production of Shakespeare’s Pericles. They were excited to share news about transitioning onto the main stage, Renaissance literature and 20-foot puppets. I’ve heard you’re both pouring your hearts and souls into Pericles. Why is Pericles so exciting and important? Olivia de Toma: Olivia nods vigorously! [Laughs.] Kestrel Felt: I care a lot about Pericles because I am also an English major, and I have been focusing a lot on Renaissance literature and trying to combine my interest in ...

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