The Oberlin Review

Femme Musicians of Color Confront White Male Industry Dominance

Femme Musicians of Color Confront White Male Industry Dominance

February 24, 2017

When people think of electronic music, their minds often go reflexively to a handful of middle-of-the-road, white male DJs and producers such as Diplo, Calvin Harris or David Guetta. One group on Oberlin’s campus, Femme Artists Breaking Boundaries, founded last year by College juniors Rayna Holmes and Hannah Halpern, is looking to subvert the norms of electronic music culture by showcasing women, people of color and queer people who are doing innovative work in the field. According to the gro...

Cole to Lead Oberlin Orchestra in Classical, Contemporary Show

Ivan Aidun, Staff writer

February 24, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

A thought-provoking mixture of contemporary and classical music awaits listeners at the Oberlin Orchestra concert tomorrow in Finney Chapel. The program includes two pieces written in the last 20 years — the 2003 Violin Concerto by Israeli-American composer Shulamit Ran, performed by Concerto Competition winner and Conservatory senior Christa Cole, and a 2000 piece titled Rapture by Oberlin alumnus Christopher Rouse, OC ’71. In between these two is Totenfeier, an 1888 piece by Gustav Mahler that was later reorchestrated to become the first movement of his Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection.” “It’s a challenging program,” said Director of Oberlin Orchestras Raphael Jiménez, who will conduct tomorrow evening. ...

“Inflatable Trio” Navigates Complex Soundscape

“Inflatable Trio” Navigates Complex Soundscape

February 17, 2017

The Dance department held an in-progress showing of Inflatable Trio, a collaboration between dancer and director Lionel Popkin, OC ’92, and TIMARA Professor Tom Lopez, OC ’89, as well as dancers Samantha Mohr and Carolyn Hall, OC ’91, Monday night in Warner Hall’s dance studio. The ensemble will premiere the finished piece next Thursday in Los Angeles, complete with costumes, lighting and a short introductory film, elements that were notably — though not disruptively — absent from the ...

Faculty, Guests to Perform Collaborative Electroacoustic Pieces

Gillian Pasley

February 17, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Features, Music

The TIMARA basement is uncharted territory for many Oberlin students, even those who frequent the Conservatory. Known for pushing the boundaries of electroacoustic composition and experimental performance, the department is internationally recognized for its impact on the history of electronic music — it was the first conservatory program in the world to focus on electronic composition. The program has a legacy of accomplished and prolific alumni and faculty, and at 8 p.m. tonight in Warner Concert Hall, Oberlin students will get a chance to witness this tradition in a recital featuring TIMARA faculty and guest composers. The recital features faculty members Peter Swendsen, OC ’99, Tom Lopez, OC ’89, and Aurie ...

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...

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