The Oberlin Review

Oberlin Encourages Gender Diversity in Music Technology

Aly Fogel, Arts & Culture Editor

October 11, 2019

 Listening to a band at a live music venue like the ‘Sco, concertgoers don’t often peel their eyes off the mainstage to look at the individuals running sound. However, the complexity behind this job, and the technician who works this position, warrants further examination.  Audio engineers are technicians who work in live sound or recording studios, and these positions are often held by cisgender men. According to Women’s Audio Mission, less than 5 percent of audio engineers in 2018 were women. Notably, this is a number based on binary statistics of cisgender individuals and does not reflect the impact of gender-based discrimination on non-binary and transgender audio engineers. Music technology, a broader field t...

“What I Didn’t Say” Showcases Marginalized Voices in STEAM

Kate Fishman, Arts & Culture Editor

October 12, 2018

It’s no secret that cisgender men outnumber women and nonbinary people in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics) fields. The disproportionate dominance of cis male thoughts and ideas within those spaces is often less emphasized. “While lack of gender diversity is a significant problem in many STEAM fields, equally troubling is the extent to which the voices of nonbinary individuals and women are underrepresented in proportion to their relative representation in these fields,” wrote TIMARA Technical Director and Lecturer Abby Aresty in an email to the Review. Over the summer, Aresty envisioned the upcoming sound art installation “What I Didn’t Say,” which will run Saturday,...

TIMARA Hosts Expansive Sendoff for John Talbert

TIMARA Hosts Expansive Sendoff for John Talbert

March 3, 2017

John Talbert, who for 38 years has run a tight ship as the technical director of the TIMARA department, will retire this spring. The department has organized a weekend festival that kicked off yesterday and will run through Saturday evening to honor his decades behind the scenes, maintaining vintage equipment, keeping the department stocked with the latest and greatest technology, running tech support for events and teaching students integral skills from circuit design to interface building. ...

“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

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 ...

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...

Division of Contemporary Music Presents First-Year Composers

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

February 26, 2016

The Division of Contemporary Music, which encompasses the Composition and TIMARA departments, has succeeded in enrolling a cohort of exceptional first-year students. This was made clear Saturday afternoon, when students performed a recital in Fairchild Chapel. Audience members arrived in twos and threes, carefully sidestepping the many cellos leaning against the wall. By 3 p.m., when the concert began, the room was packed. Framed with stained-glass windows, the chapel made every quiet sound reverberate through the small space. Not one of the composers stayed within the realm of the safe and familiar. Rather, they pushed the envelope, whether in terms of style, instrumentation or quality of sound. Some compositions...

Seniors Combine Dance, Music, Electronics for Joint Performance Piece

Mary Fischer

November 6, 2015

With their piece append, double-degree senior Christy Rose and College senior Molly Barger proved on Saturday that exceptional work is created when artists work together to cross boundaries and defy expectations. The performance served as both Rose’s junior TIMARA recital and Barger’s senior Dance project. Marked by mostly ensemble-based choreographies and a wide variety of acrobatic elements, this 30-minute investigation of human relationships and the role of technology was relatable and immersive. The show consisted of five different sections, each focusing on different choreographic and musical elements related to the title themes: interaction, connection, distraction, construction and consumption. A collaborative spiri...

On the Record with Peter Swendsen, assistant professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

On the Record with Peter Swendsen, assistant professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

October 9, 2015

Peter Swendsen joined Oberlin’s TIMARA faculty in 2007 as assistant professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts. Last year he released an album titled Allusions to Seasons and Weather, in which he captured his experiences in Norway almost 10 years ago. Currently serving as the chair of the TIMARA department, Swendsen gave a talk this past Tuesday about his soundscape compositions in relation to the field of ecoacoustics. You released your album Allusions to Seasons and Weather a year ago around...

Senior Recital Features Gory Plot, Catchy Music

Senior Recital Features Gory Plot, Catchy Music

April 17, 2015

“Pro Tip: Don’t wear anything too nice to this,” warned senior TIMARA major Kaeli Mogg on the Facebook page for their senior recital, REPO: Testify!. I took this advice to heart and was happier for it. I obviously attended the event — which Mogg held in Wilder Main Friday evening and Saturday afternoon — fully expecting to have cinnamon-smelling fake blood poured down my back. I didn’t leave disappointed. Although there was a splash-free zone where audience members could sit unharmed...

Students and Faculty Join for Jam Session

Ava Bravata-Keating

April 4, 2014

The ’Sco served as an experimental music mecca last Monday, attracting TIMARA majors, sound technicians and programmers alike for an improvised electroacoustic showcase. College senior Adam Hirsch, Conservatory senior Charles Glanders and doubledegree senior Devin Frenze of the experimental audiovisual ensemble Wisseler opened the show on saxophone, turntables and visuals, respectively. Their music and visuals were expertly coordinated and built symbiotically to a climax. The jam’s visual component began with slowly moving black and white forms that thematically mimicked the saxophone’s spacey sounds. Gradually, light blues overtook the black and white, followed by a rapid, multicolor potpourri of asymmetrical...

Muted Sea Monster Attack Imminent: TIMARA Infects Audiences at the Cat

Olivia Menzer

February 7, 2014

The energy that abounded at the Cat in the Cream on Monday night felt infectious in an eerie, bug-up-your-pants-with-a-rusty-knife way. The occasion for such an uncomfortably thrilling sensation? TIMARA’s Winter Term Final Concert. The music performed delivered a mind-altering experience that enraptured and shocked the audience. In fact, it was clear that the musicians who presented the concert had themselves been infected in a multitude of ways by the unorthodox sounds they created. The expectant audience settled in with cookies and a charming introduction by the class leaders, Double-degree second-years Matt Omahan and Paulus Van Horne, before the lights dimmed for 17 vastly different pieces. The dark room and...

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