The Oberlin Review

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,...

For SPORTS Fans, ’Sco Turns Stadium

For SPORTS Fans, ’Sco Turns Stadium

November 18, 2016

Oberlin loves SPORTS, as evidenced by the large number of students who attended the basement-rock group’s free show Monday night and the cacophonous applause it received when upon taking to the ’Sco stage. Before their performance, the Review sat down with members of the band. “I love Oberlin,” SPORTS bassist Catherine Dwyer said. “We have a lot of friends here.” “The food is good here, too,” drummer Jack Washburn added. “It’s like a metropolis compared to Gambier.” Th...

Arabic Event Finds Hope Despite National Division

James Fleming

November 18, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Features, Literature & Poetry, Music

Oberlin’s Arabic program, which in recent years has made strides toward expansion following a troubled infancy, hosted its third annual Arabic Language Day Tuesday evening. This event is one of several additions Arabic professor Mahmoud Meslat has pushed for since taking over the program in 2014. Other additions include creating opportunities for students to speak Arabic outside of class and, most recently, the hiring of Professor Basem Al-Raba’a. For Meslat, who described the Arabic language as a “soul to soul” experience connecting people of numerous cultures from all across the Middle East and North Africa with a common tongue, events like the Language Day and the Poetry Night on Thursday exist to celebrate ...

Oberlin’s Own Forth Wanderers Drop “Slop”

Oberlin’s Own Forth Wanderers Drop “Slop”

November 11, 2016

Forth Wanderers is a band with an improbable history: a high school crush turned songwriting partnership, a brilliant band name taken from a random Wikipedia article and a Twitter shoutout from Lorde while all the band’s members were still in their teens. The band’s success, including — but not nearly limited to — praise from NPR Music, VICE, and Pitchfork, a nod from SPIN as one of the 50 best rock bands in 2015 ahead of Grammy winners Alabama Shakes and a selection to play SXSW 2017, could ...

String Quartet Engages Unlikely Audiences

Eilish Spear, Staff Writer

November 11, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music

The members of the Saint Lawrence String Quartet, known for consistently pioneering the definition of contemporary music, will perform a program of Franz Joseph Haydn, John Adams and Beethoven at 8 p.m. tonight in Finney Chapel. Currently in residence at Stanford University, the SLSQ was established in Toronto in 1989, and since its formation has gained a reputation as a champion for new music and innovative interdisciplinary collaborations. The quartet’s commitment to new music is a direct result of its long-standing collaboration with world-renowned composer John Adams. The composer has written three pieces for the quartet so far, one of which they will perform at Oberlin this week. The quartet will perform Adams’s sec...

Conservatory Students Plan Post-Election Support

Conservatory Students Plan Post-Election Support

November 11, 2016

Conservatory students met Wednesday night to discuss the results of the election, what it means for Oberlin student musicians and the many emotions that are spreading through the community. The discussion was unfacilitated and covered everything from ideas for fundraising concerts to the role of music in promoting societal change. The students present agreed to work toward leading a countrywide network of conservatories committed to promoting the music of minorities and to spearhead informed, sen...

In Absurdist Operas, Field Reckons With Gender Roles

In Absurdist Operas, Field Reckons With Gender Roles

November 4, 2016

Audiences can expect temperamental divas, babies coming out of ovens, stage moms and balloons from The Oberlin Opera Theater’s double-billed staging of Gaetano Donizetti’s Viva la mamma and Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias. The shows provide an evening filled with farcical and absurdist humor that confronts and contrasts historical and modern perceptions of gender roles, playing today and tomorrow at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Both pieces will be performed in English. T...

Residency Program Adds New Focus on Songwriting

Residency Program Adds New Focus on Songwriting

November 4, 2016

Aoife O’Donovan arrived in Oberlin this week to lead a Conservatory songwriting masterclass Monday as part of the American Roots residency program, wrapping up her stay with a show at the Cat in the Cream Tuesday. Songwriting is a relatively recent addition to the masterclass program. However, as Dean of the Conservatory of Music Andrea Kalyn was eager to point out, the program represents a rich integration of media integral to the field of music. “Songwriting has a long and vibrant traditio...

Project Unbound Combats Human Trafficking With Fundraiser

Brendan Eprile

October 28, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music

Over 1,200 children have been rescued by The Human Trafficking Collaborative of Lorain County in the past 10 years. To raise money for its cause and increase awareness, student-run anti-human-trafficking organization Project Unbound’s 3rd Annual Voices Against Human Trafficking gathering will bring together various on-campus arts groups in hopes of making an impact. Tomorrow’s event, taking place at 7:30 p.m. in First Church’s Meeting Hall, seeks to accomplish its goals through the avenue of art. The evening will feature performances by OSlam, Pitch Please and The Obertones. College junior and chair of Project Unbound Sarah Blum has organized Voices Against Human Trafficking since its inception. She envisioned a...

Feature Photo: Leyla McCalla Trio

Feature Photo: Leyla McCalla Trio

October 7, 2016

Leyla McCalla, a Haitian-American musician living in New Orleans, has toured the world on the tail of her 2013 debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes. She brought her cello, guitar and tenor banjo to perform at the Cat in the Cream Monday, singing in a mixture of French, Haitian Creole and English. Her music investigates African identity and social justice, and her work has led her to collaborate with famed musicians such as Rhiannon Giddens, OC ’00.

Feature Photo: Bulgarika

Feature Photo: Bulgarika

September 30, 2016

The trans-Atlantic band Bulgarika played at the ’Sco Monday afternoon, led by New York-based husband and wife Nikolay and Donka Koley, versed in the gadulka and vocals respectively. Both graduates of Bulgarian conservatories, the pair performed alongside band members Temelko Ivanoy (kaval) and Kikolay Kodzhabashey (tambura) from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, delivering unique tempos and line dancing music.

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