A Requiem for Katrina: How Music Saved the City of New Orleans

Max Becherer/AP

Early on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States. When the storm made landfall, it was recorded as a category three hurricane. The storm itself did a great deal of damage, particularly in the city of New Orleans, but the real catastrophe lay in its aftermath. Levee breaches and the failure of the city’s floodwalls led to massive inundation of over eighty percent of New Orleans’ neighborhoods.

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Your Life Will Improve When You Stop Hating Pop

At some point in our lives, we’ve all had that friend who has been the Pop Hater. You know the one: no matter what you put on, from Drake to Billie Eilish, they will turn up their nose and vehemently reject listening to anything they consider to be “pop.” You may be thinking, “I don’t have any friends like this, what are they talking about?” In this case, I envy your freedom. However, if you’re thinking “this is dumb, why would somebody defend pop?” I have some bad news for you, you are the pop hater. Growing up in the mid 2000s, I must admit that I, too, was a pop hater at one point. My middle school self would scowl if shown anything featuring Justin Beiber or Ke$ha. But after some reflection and exposure therapy, by the end of high school I had been shown the light. 

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Representing Classical Musicians On Screen

Two of my lifelong loves are writing and music, and I’m fortunate to be able to balance them both. A third is a guilty pleasure — watching bingeable TV, mostly period dramas depicting centuries-old royal families and the scandals, drama and romance that follow them. There’s nothing like seeing the fancy costumes, elaborate sets, and beautiful locations, and diving into that historic world for seasons on end. 

How lucky I am when all three loves combine on-screen in depicting the world of classical music and musicians. It’s the best mix I could ever want, right? Wrong! Nothing grinds my gears more than seeing untrained actors attempt to portray classical musicians when using real musicians could do the job a million times better. 

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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:

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Artist Profile: Marilyn McDonald, Professor Of Violin

Asked to describe her career, Marilyn McDonald, violin professor at the Oberlin Conservatory for the past 45 years, began by saying “I just wanted to play the violin.” A founding member of the Smithson Quartet and the Castle Trio, McDonald reflected on her versatility as a soloist, orchestral player, and a chamber musician, in situations ranging from membership in the Smithsonian Institution’s Axelrod Quartet and worldwide chamber music tours in repertoire from Baroque to contemporary, to solo engagements with the Milwaukee Symphony. 

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Tik Tok Killed the SoundCloud Star

By Milend Kolbet

Launched in 2007, SoundCloud is a free music streaming service that was initially popular with DJs, due to its simple mechanics and ability to post hour-long sets. The platform itself is easy to use: it doesn’t take much to create an account and upload whatever content you desire. Due to its DIY nature, SoundCloud has been a home to all types of recordings — including leaked calls from Turkey’s Prime Minister in 2014, which fueled political uproar and caused the site to be temporarily banned in the nation.

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