Reimagining Bodies, Identity, and Power in our Universities through Pauline Oliveros’ “Sonic Meditations”

Flirting with musicians over Tinder is strange. I often find myself in an effort to flex every intellectual muscle possible, and more recently, somehow wound up discussing the composers Hildegard von Bingen, Meredith Monk, and Pauline Oliveros. These women have been on my mind recently as I prepare to leave undergrad, remarking on my undergrad. Each of these women fashion embodied performance, stretching the boundaries of sound and composition, reimagining the physical body and the structure of storytelling, and a feminine perspective on creativity. To this, my cellist Tinder match (they/he) responded, perhaps also flexing a muscle:

Continue reading “Reimagining Bodies, Identity, and Power in our Universities through Pauline Oliveros’ “Sonic Meditations””

Concert Preview: Claudia Hinsdale Senior Recital

“Oh what is holiness?” asks contemporary poet Mary Oliver in “The Fawn.” In contemplating nature as the divine, we might ask ourselves how we spiritually connect to the world around us when listening to fourth year Oberlin TIMARA student composer Claudia Hinsdale’s senior recital on April 25. When Hinsdale sings, her voice settles like a reverent hymn. Each listener’s mind, body, and soul should come into alignment when witnessing the composer’s music. When was the last time we felt akin to something larger, greater? Is there something sacred in the natural environment around us? Perhaps these are questions the artist has contemplated herself in rural Ohio over the past four years, and will answer during her program on Sunday at 8:30 pm underneath Mudd ramp at the Mary Church Terrell Main Library.

Continue reading “Concert Preview: Claudia Hinsdale Senior Recital”

“They’re Calling me Home” Album Review: Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi Connect To Their Roots

Critically acclaimed and Grammy Award-winning musician Rhiannon Giddens released her fifth album, They’re Calling me Home, in collaboration with Francesco Turrisi, on April 9th on Nonesuch records. In a small studio on a farm along the outskirts of Dublin, Ireland, Giddens and Turrisi produced the twelve-track record that longs both for the literal comfort of home and the metaphorical “calling home” of death. In the middle of a pandemic, and with songs ranging from Appalachian folk tunes and American bluegrass to Italian lullabies and traditional Celtic music, Giddens and Turrisi emotionally reveal the traditions and intimate roots that beckon each other home.

Continue reading ““They’re Calling me Home” Album Review: Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi Connect To Their Roots”

Sometimes, It’s Just Playing a Tambourine: Eleda Fernald on Percussion, Identity, and Joy

When Oberlin graduate Eleda Fernald thinks of drumming, she thinks of healing. “It’s kind of goofy,” she said, laughing in an interview at the end of March, but in reality, she’s realized one of the simplest and yet most complicated truths of playing music. A recent Watson Fellowship recipient, Fernald was awarded a prestigious grant given to graduating seniors for a year abroad to study their project of choice. The musician spoke at length about her life-long journey with percussion, notwithstanding a few bumps along the way. 

Continue reading “Sometimes, It’s Just Playing a Tambourine: Eleda Fernald on Percussion, Identity, and Joy”

Confessions without Mercy: Julien Baker Little Oblivions Review

Julien Baker isn’t one to be afraid of her own shadow. After nearly a four year hiatus, her newest album Little Oblivions released February 26 2021 stares right into the darkest parts of herself, each lyric revealing a self-inflicted wound. Baker’s previous albums, Sprained Ankle (2015) and Turn Out the Lights (2017) have mostly layered woodwinds, strings, and vocals on top of her guitar and loop pedal. But this self-produced and self-proclaimed “post rock” album is a new step for the Tennessee singer-songwriter.

Continue reading “Confessions without Mercy: Julien Baker Little Oblivions Review”

Julia Holter Travels Through Time in Intimate Audiotree Performance

Eyes closed in the crystalline glow of LA’s Lodge Room, composer and performer Julia Holter serenaded a select group of in-person and virtual guests for the Audiotree STAGED series on Thursday evening, February 25. Ten people attended the socially-distanced performance space while other Holter fans sent their love from across the globe. 

Continue reading “Julia Holter Travels Through Time in Intimate Audiotree Performance”

A Conversation with Composer Du Yun on Upcoming Youngstown Performance and Masterclass

When composer, activist, and performer Du Yun recounts her music making process, a few words come to mind. Conviction. Dialogue. Truth. Described by The New Yorker as “irrepressible” and “idiosyncratic”, her seditious writing unites the far-reaching edges of artistry and awakens what it means to create in the 21st century. Combining orchestral music with opera, chamber music, noise, electronics, theater, cabaret, oral tradition, indie pop, avante garde, and all that exists between, Du Yun imagines a world where classical music knows no boundaries. 

Continue reading “A Conversation with Composer Du Yun on Upcoming Youngstown Performance and Masterclass”