The Oberlin Review

On the Record with Douglas McKenna

September 29, 2017

Douglas McKenna is a mathematician, computer scientist, and software engineer. On Tuesday afternoon, he gave a talk titled, “The Art of Hamiltonian Motifs: Generalized Hilbert Curves with Linear, Self-Similar, Fractal, or Space-Filling Boundaries.” McKenna received degrees from Yale University, and has been creating mathematical and fractal art both with a computer and by hand since the 1970s. He contributed illustrations to Benoit Mandelbrot’s book The Fractal Geometry of Nature, and his d...

Faculty Recital Demonstrates Variety, Virtuosity

Ivan Aidun, Staff Writer

September 15, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

The Oberlin Conservatory’s reputation for virtuosic faculty was thoroughly upheld Saturday night, when Associate Professor of Flute Alexa Still and pianist Allie Su performed three 20th century pieces in Kulas Recital Hall. The recital opened with Sonata in A Minor, Op. 34, by the late Romantic American composer Amy Beach. Beach was the first American woman to reach widespread compositional acclaim, and her Gaelic Symphony was the first symphony composed and published by an American woman. Her Sonata in A Minor was originally for violin and piano, but Still transcribed it for flute and piano during her graduate studies. “I was in a chamber music class with an old professor who was a double bass player,” Still ...

Peanut Sauce Film Project Explores Thai Education System

Peanut Sauce Film Project Explores Thai Education System

September 8, 2017

The Peanut Sauce Project 2560, a documentary project with an eye toward the education system in Thailand and the marginalized groups within it, presented three documentaries in the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space Friday night. The project was organized by double-degree fifth-year Thanisa Durongkaveroj, who was joined by Matt Blankinship, OC ’17, Anna Treidler, OC ’17, and collaborator Bitong Suchritt. Durongkaveroj, Blankinship, and Treidler were all in attendance at Friday night’s ...

Jiménez Conducts Back-to-Back Orchestra Performances

Ivan Aidun, Staff writer

April 28, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

Next week, the Oberlin Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, led by conductor Raphael Jiménez, will present two eclectic programs. The Oberlin Chamber Orchestra will perform this Tuesday, May 2, at 8 p.m. in Finney Chapel, and the Oberlin Orchestra will follow the next day at the same time and place. The Chamber Orchestra concert will begin with Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, conducted by double-degree senior Maurice Cohn. The title of the piece is from a poem by Stéphane Mallarmé, which Debussy sought to represent in musical form. Like other pieces by Debussy, the Prélude can sound vague and far-off, but it requires a high degree of technical precision to render its gestures faithfully. ...

Award-Winning Composer Assesses State of Contemporary Music

Award-Winning Composer Assesses State of Contemporary Music

March 31, 2017

The recently set concrete walls of the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space accommodated musicians and music enthusiasts Tuesday evening for a talk on contemporary classical music, given by British-American composer Bernard Rands. The room buzzed as people filed in, and quiet conversation pervaded the space as people eagerly waited for Rands to begin. Titled “State of the Art,” the event was a discussion and question-and-answer session that dove into the trends and trajectory of contempora...

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. ...

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Receives Queer Update

Ivan Aidun

February 3, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

The twang of a banjo was the first of many surprises in Monday night’s presentation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by College senior Jenny Kneebone in the Little Theater. The play follows Viola (College sophomore Ronit Schorr), a shipwrecked girl who disguises herself as a boy named Cesario, and enters employ as a messenger for the local Duke Orsino (College first-year Quentin Nguyen-duy). As the Duke’s messenger, she delivers missives of his love to the Countess Olivia (College first-year Christine Impara), who ends up falling in love with Cesario. Though the play is more than 400 years old, this production felt remarkably fresh, something that something that Kneebone deliberately emphasized. “I wan...

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...

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