The Oberlin Review

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...

Flaharty’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,...

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...

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