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The Oberlin Review

Students Play Bonang, Rebab Pieces in Gong Concert

Students Play Bonang, Rebab Pieces in Gong Concert

May 6, 2016

Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Anthropology Jennifer Fraser introduced listeners to a blanket of unique sounds at Sunday’s End-of-Semester Indonesian Gong Ensemble Concert in Asia House’s Shipherd Lounge. The audience was treated to the only concert in the country where gamelan and talempong style music could be heard together. A student gamelan ensemble, which plays traditional music from Java, opened the performance. At first glance, passers-by might have mistaken the group for...

Dâm-Funk to ‘Invite the Light’ at ‘Sco

Paul Mehnert

May 6, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music

“If we invite the light, it will surely come to us / If we invite the funk, it will never let us down.” These words comprise the interlude to DâmFunk’s “Junie’s Re-Transmission,” a track off of his latest LP Invite the Light. Spoken by ’70s funk star Walter “Junie” Morrison, the lyrics are fuzzy yet confident and almost spiritual, like a divine message. Though only 18 seconds of the massive 90-minute record, this brief clip is a sort of encapsulation of Dâm-Funk and the music he makes. It’s abstract and maybe even a little hard to understand, but there’s something endearing in the message. Dâm-Funk, who will perform at the ’Sco tonight at 10 p.m., is one of the most prominent outsider artists ...

Sextet to Bring Indie Folk to Cat

Louise Edwards, Arts Editor

April 29, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music

Coinciding with this weekend’s Folk Fest is alternative folk pop band PHOX, which will per- form at the Cat in the Cream Saturday at 9 p.m. Hailing from Baraboo, WI, the sextet — who have been friends since high school — boasts whimsical tunes featuring exquisite, wistful vocals from singer Monica Martin. The band has played several high-profile events, including Lollapalooza and the iTunes Music Festival in London. College junior Annika Hansteen Izora, who booked PHOX, says she has been a fan of the group’s music ever since she saw them featured on the blog Afropunk. “The band has a beautiful polyrhythmic, sugar pop, indie rock, funk sound,” Izora said. “They have a warm, soft vibe. ... It’s go...

Feature Photo: Dandelion Romp

Feature Photo: Dandelion Romp

April 29, 2016

College first-year Adam Work, Conservatory first-year Daphne Pickens and College senior Arthur Davis of the group Wallaby Darned play a lively tune for dancers at Hales Gymnasium. The 17th annual Dandelion Romp contra dance festival kicked off Friday with a workshop for beginners. Providing blistering renditions of contra tunes was also the Boston-based band Nor’easter, comprised of Cedar Stanistreet on fiddle, Max Newman on mandolin and guitar and Julie Vallimont on piano and accordion. The Anadama...

Top Conservatory Pianists Compete in Dann Competition

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

April 29, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Features, Music

Judges Boris Slutski from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and Steven Spooner from the University of Kansas Conservatory declared Conservatory senior Zi Xiao Li the winner of Oberlin’s Arthur Dann Piano Competition, which was held in Finney Chapel Sunday. Named in memory of a former Oberlin professor of piano, the competition has showcased the talent and hard work of pianists in the Oberlin Conservatory for over 30 years. This year’s finals were a continuation of that tradition. The winner of the competition receives a significant financial award and a charge from the judges to take their talent on the road. “The endowment generates about $2,000 a year,” said Robert Shannon, professor of piano and...

On the Record with Ana Garcia, Breakdancer

Kiana Mickles

April 29, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Music, On the Record

Ana “Rokafella” Garcia is a B-girl who fell in love with breakdancing in the 1990s and danced with hip-hop crews such as the Transformers, the Breeze Team and the New York Float Committee. She co-founded Full Circle Productions with her husband and fellow breaker Kwikstep, where they teach young dancers and provide the community with educational performances. Rokafella came to Oberlin to teach the community some of her moves and discuss her documentary All the Ladies Say. This week, the Oberlin Review sat down with her to talk about her career, future projects, hip-hop and solidarity with other B-girls. Is this your first time coming to Oberlin? What drew you from NYC to campus? [Assistant Professor of Dance] Alysia [Ramos] asked if...

Cleveland Orchestra Drags its Way to Strong Finish

Cleveland Orchestra Drags its Way to Strong Finish

April 22, 2016

In a quintessentially Classical concert, The Cleveland Orchestra visited Finney Chapel Sunday with two enlightening hours of Haydn and Mozart, played to a nearly full house. Despite several imperfections and a tiring selection of typically Classical pieces, the event was ultimately worth the price of admission. The Classical era of European music was dominated by the styles and structures of Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven. These composers relied on simple harmonies, reserved dynamics, elegant...

Cast Gives Haunting Performance of “Dido and Aeneas”

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

April 22, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music, Theater & Film

With the sunset illuminating the stained glass windows of a packed Fairchild Chapel Saturday night, the stage for Dido and Aeneas seemed far removed from the rest of campus life. The opera’s overture, which showcased the baroque instruments used in the performance, immediately transported the audience back in time. The cast of the opera entered in procession and took its place on stage, beginning what was to be an hour of captivating storytelling and a celebration of music and the human voice. The opera, composed in the late 17th century by Henry Purcell with a libretto by Nahum Tate, is a retelling of the fourth book of Virgil’s Aeneid. The story is relatively simple: Aeneas, a Trojan prince, and Dido, the que...

Kweli, Hip-Hop Icon, Discusses Activism in Music

Daniella Brito

April 22, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music, Recent Stories

There weren’t any “murals of Biggie,” but Brooklyn beats reverberated off the walls of Hales Gymnasium this past Friday night as an energetic audience cheered ’90s New York hip-hop icon Talib Kweli onto the stage. Mixing lyrically powerful old-school block party hits over more recent beats, DJ Spinna Black set the tone for Talib’s set: a return to powerful, socially conscious verse in hip-hop. This form of lyricism is what distinguished Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s Brooklyn-based duo, Black Star, in the late 1990s. Rising in the wake of the murders of legendary rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, Black Star countered the violence in mainstream hip-hop. They did so alongside the established hip-hop collective...

Chakrabarti’s Beats Blend Kanye with GoldLink

Chakrabarti’s Beats Blend Kanye with GoldLink

April 22, 2016

Editor's note: This article contains language that may be offensive to some readers. When College senior Robin Chakrabarti arrives at Azariah’s Café for our interview, he walks right past me. Dropping his backpack and coat in the booth next to mine, he settles in, pulling out his laptop and plugging in his headphones. He gets to work. I turn around to face him, puzzled, and give him a little wave. “So either I can come over there, or you can come here,” I say above the sound of latte...

La Tanya Hall Named Teacher of Jazz Voice

La Tanya Hall Named Teacher of Jazz Voice

April 22, 2016

The Conservatory announced Monday that vocalist La Tanya Hall will join the Conservatory faculty as Teacher of Jazz Voice. Hall’s employment will begin in the fall and marks the first time the Conservatory has hired a vocalist for such a position, the first of its kind in the Jazz Studies department. The move comes on the heels of an increase in prospective students interested in jazz voice instruction. The jazz voice students at Oberlin will also benefit instrumentalists in the Jazz Studies...

Feature Photo: Oberlin College Choir

Feature Photo: Oberlin College Choir

April 15, 2016

Gregory Ristow, OC ’01, conducts the Oberlin College Choir in its spring concert Thursday night in Finney Chapel. The program featured two madrigals by Monteverdi, three Tchaikovsky pieces and a collection of Henry David Thoreau’s poetry set to music by Dominik Argento, as well as works by Fanny Hensel, Lili Boulanger and Gabriel Fauré. The choir’s diverse repertoire spanned five languages and multiple centuries, and some pieces included accompaniment from piano, cello, violin, harp, harpsichord...

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