Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

On the Record with Musicologist Maria Williams

On the Record with Musicologist Maria Williams

February 17, 2017

Professor Maria Williams was born and raised in Anchorage, AK. She received a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from University of California, Los Angeles and currently directs the Department of Alaska Native Studies at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, where she teaches courses in Alaska Native and world music. She recently produced a documentary called A Beautiful Journey, which chronicles Athabascan Elder Daisy Demientieff’s 750-mile journey in search of roots for her tribe’s indigenous basket-makin...

Birenbaum Performance Space Opens in Hotel

Birenbaum Performance Space Opens in Hotel

February 10, 2017

Dozens of students, faculty and community members descended upon the new Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center to attend the Jan. 23 inaugural concert in the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, the experimental new venue on campus. The intimate, modern space occupies a subterranean room filled with sleek, geometric tables and chairs, a bar, a stage and a Steinway piano, where students in the Winter Term Chamber Music Intensive gave their showcase performance. The showcase, comprised of performa...

On The Record With Aoife O’Donovan

On The Record With Aoife O’Donovan

February 10, 2017

Irish-American singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, who graduated from New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation department in 2003, has made her career touring and recording both solo and with other artists, including members of the Punch Brothers. Lead singer for bluegrass-folk band Crooked Still and a member of the female folk-trio Sometymes Why, O’Donovan has previously appeared at Oberlin to perform and teach master classes with the Conservatory’s American Roots residency ...

On The Record with TIMARA Professor Peter Swendsen

February 3, 2017

Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts Peter Swendsen, OC ’99, spent Winter Term in Norway performing his new hour-long, fixed-media piece What Noises Remain with percussionist Jennifer Torrence, OC ’09. Swendsen, who also holds an M.F.A. from Mills College Center for Contemporary Music in California and a Ph.D. in Music Composition and Computer Technologies from the University of Virginia, has written extensively for dance and film and often works collaboratively with other a...

Student Composers Premiere Accessible, Enjoyable Electroacoustic Music

Student Composers Premiere Accessible, Enjoyable Electroacoustic Music

February 3, 2017

With the lights off and many audience members’ eyes closed, the speakers in the David H. Stull Recital Hall growled to life, unleashing a fizzing array of overlapping synth sounds. The various beeps and hums that followed comprised College first-year Fox Milenski’s “The Floor Shatters Beneath Me,” one of 11 pieces premiered Tuesday by students that took the TIMARA intensive course over Winter Term. Taught by double-degree senior Judy Jackson and Conservatory senior Hunter Brown, the course is...

Musicians Perform Winter Tours

Samantha Spaccasi, Staff Writer

February 3, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Features, Music

Many Oberlin students spend Winter Term taking classes, interning at a nonprofit or learning a new instrument. But for student musicians, January presents the perfect opportunity to go on a short tour, as several student bands did this year. College seniors Emma Blackman and Rob Jamner are members of Oberlin-based band Remember the Bees, which toured as a group for the first time this Winter Term. Three of the band’s four members, Blackman, Jamner and drummer Danielle Schneider, had never toured prior to their involvement in the band. Remember the Bees’ bassist, College junior Charlie Kimball, toured previously as a member of Existential Animals with Mark Moritz-Rabson, OC ’15, and Alex Tasker, OC ’16. During...

Music Activism Makes Waves at Oberlin, Beyond

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

December 9, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Features, Music

Since the founding of Oberlin Conservatory in 1865, music has been one of the Oberlin community’s most powerful attributes. Now, with sociopolitical tensions from Standing Rock, ND, to the White House coming to a head, music stands to join both faculty-led and student organized conversations and movements as it becomes an increasingly potent form of activism. Last Wednesday’s teach-in, “Music Activism,” discussed this trend, and Saturday night saw another example with a student-run event called “Water is Life: Benefit Fest for Standing Rock Sioux,” which raised nearly a thousand dollars that will be donated to the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council. On Sunday, the Army Corps of Engineers denied Energ...

Professor Duo Bows Brahms, Shares Bows

Professor Duo Bows Brahms, Shares Bows

December 9, 2016

The Oberlin Orchestra will take the stage in Finney Chapel to perform its final concert of the semester tonight at 8 p.m. With a program featuring selections from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, as well as Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, which features Conservatory professors David Bowlin, OC ’00, and Amir Eldan, the concert is sure to impress. For director Rafael Jiménez, Prokofiev’s masterful suite from Romeo and Juliet holds significance beyond its exqu...

OMTA’s Spring Awakening Ethereal, Relevant

Brendan Eprile, Staff Writer

December 9, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Music, Theater & Film

The Oberlin College Theater Department presented a stunning and poignant rendition of Spring Awakening over the weekend. The musical is an exploration of the emotional turmoil of teenage sexuality, love and angst. Despite its late 19th-century setting, several of the themes it addresses — such as abortion, sexual and domestic violence, depression and suicide — remain highly relevant to today’s social and political discourse. While the societal climate surrounding many of these issues has shifted drastically over the last century, the narrative still speaks to the persistence of violence and repression today and serves as a reminder of just how far from solved these issues are. The story’s emotional impact was enhance...

Beder’s “Composed” Sheds Light on Stage Fright

Beder’s “Composed” Sheds Light on Stage Fright

December 2, 2016

Composed, a new documentary by John Beder, features interviews with professional musicians exploring their experiences with being affected by and coping with performance anxiety. The film had a screening at the Apollo Theatre on Wednesday night, followed by a panel discussion with Beder and Conservatory faculty members. Although musicians may be reluctant to discuss performance anxiety, the film emphasizes that it is a very common phenomenon. “With the documentary, I am hoping that people will understand...

Student Composers Tap Into Myriad Inspirations

Ivan Aidun

December 2, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Features, Music

Emotions ran high at the Student Composers Concert in Stull Recital Hall Tuesday night. 12 Composition and TIMARA students presented original pieces that ran the gamut of sound and structure. Traditional pairings like piano and voice and cello duets were juxtaposed in unconventional arrangements such as massive fixed media soundscapes incorporating visual stimuli and a rhythmic transcription of a Dadaist poem. The pieces varied widely in their subject matter as well, some addressing abstract concepts like constraint or degradation, others paying stunning tribute to national and personal tragedy. One piece, Songs for Marimba Trio by first-year Seare Farhat, scored for a soprano, flute and marimba ensemble, was writte...

Oberlin’s Early Music Ensemble Revels in Tradition

Eilish Spear, Staff Writer

December 2, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music

Oberlin’s Collegium Musicum has a history of bringing medieval, Renaissance and early baroque music to the Oberlin community and has developed an impressive following. The group will perform its holiday concert tonight and tomorrow night in Fairchild Chapel at 8 p.m., featuring tradition liturgical works from the Christmas and Advent season and a 20th century musical take on a 16th century text. Early music performance has undergone a great deal of turbulence and change over the last 60 years, and Oberlin has been at the forefront of its evolution since its resurgence. Groups dedicated to early music performance developed around the world during the counterculture revival of Renaissance music in the ’50s. In Europe,...

Established 1874.