Hailing from Anchorage, Alaska, Arthur Welsh is a 4th year Oberlin student studying Jazz piano and mathematics. He was initially inspired to make music by his parents, who encouraged him to take up the piano at five years old. But his personal journey began around the age of 11, when he started playing the clarinet. Arthur went on to win a statewide competition for that instrument during his senior year of high school, and from there he began to develop his own musical interests and tastes.
Film composer, classical composer, pianist, clarinetist, audio engineer, producer, conductor, orchestrator, vocalist: these all describe 24-year old composer Christopher Chun. Having recently released his first album of film compositions on Spotify, and with over twenty film scores under his belt, Chun’s name is on the rise in the film and concert music industry.
The Texas native’s initial interest in composition began in middle school — a product of having studied piano for five years, singing in church choir, and playing clarinet in his school marching band. “Marching band really sparked my deep interest in orchestration,” Chun said. “Having ten tubas lined up and blasting out loud is so exhilarating and fascinating! That experience catalyzed my interest in composition.”
Lucky Daye’s new album Table For Two, released on February 12, 2021, is his widescreen vision of R&B. Daye emerges with a signature sound of his own, painting his life story about growing up in a cult and surviving Hurricane Katrina, as well as making music in Atlanta. Now based in Los Angeles, the singer-songwriter remains the synthesist of traditional and progressive R&B modes while staying true to his foundation in classical soul. It encompasses everything from the explosive, funky bombast of seventies favorites to the vibrant swagger of late nineties classics.
Three letters have been repeatedly popping up in the arts and entertainment section of the news recently: N, F, and T. Everyone seems to be talking about them, but what do they mean, and why might they be the future of music collecting?
When I was in the 6th grade, my dad signed me up for choir to “make me make friends.” I was surprised. I had never been in a choir before, and didn’t think I had that hard of a time making friends. Despite this suspicion, I agreed, and with that, the next 10 years of my life were changed.
Kevin Parker, the brains behind the psychedelic music project Tame Impala, welcomed his newborn daughter, Peach, into the world just over a month ago. However, that’s not the only thing the Australian multi-instrumentalist is celebrating. In February of 2020, Tame Impala released The Slow Rush, which won five Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards as well as two GRAMMY nominations.
In modern life, musicians have to wear many hats and juggle different events. Today’s musicians need more than just natural talent — their musical journey requires dedication, passion, and forged friendships. Kirsten Docter, Associate Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Oberlin Conservatory, isn’t worried that anyone who attends the school will be deficient in any of these areas. Rather, she considers Oberlin to be a place to foster artistic growth and cultivate one’s personal creativity.
The semester may be coming to a close, but there is another concert yet on the Oberlin horizon. On Sunday May 2 at 2:30 pm, violinist Erika Aoki will present four distinctive works on her senior recital, a live-streamed concert when she hopes audiences will be able to virtually enjoy the musical collaborations as they take place onstage.
Three of the four works feature collaborative musicians: pianist Leo Choi on Benjamin Britten’s Suite, cellist Drew Dansby on Maurice Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello, and pianist Natsumi Osborn on Ravel’s Sonata No. 2. Aoki will also perform Eugène Ysaÿe’s solo Sonata No. 5.
22gz, also known as “the General,” openly claims to be one of the pioneers of the Brooklyn drill music scene. That claim was backed by his 2017 single Suburban, which created an explosion of remixes and a surge in popularity for the genre. As early as 2014 Blicky affiliates have been releasing music, however 22gz is the only one of the group to gain traction beyond Brooklyn, thus explaining his position as the “General of the Blick army,” as he states on the recent track “LLNB.”
Writing a piece with sentiment and care for a dear friend and hearing it come to life just might be the most rewarding and enriching experience a composer can have. COVID-19 took away many opportunities for artists to enjoy each other’s company and share their passion for music. But on April 29, composer Natsumi Osborn will showcase collaborative works with other Oberlin Conservatory students, including the Contemporary Music Ensemble. Her 7:30 pm senior recital will offer a snapshot into Osborn’s creative world and her development as a composer during the past four years.