Andy D: Senior Recital — Concert Preview

By Tyler Smith

“The more that we uphold the concept of polystylism, or combining jazz with classical elements to create jazz-classical music,” said composer Andrew Dana during a recent interview, “The more we reinforce those genre barriers — This is a disaster.”

 In hopes of chipping away the blockades musicologists and the like have put up around musical styles, Dana will present a diverse program of music during his senior composition recital on Thursday March 12th at 7:30, in the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space.

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Artist Profile: Boxed Whine

By Lilyanna D’Amato

Every year around the last week of May, over seven hundred starry eyed, nervous graduates leave Oberlin College for the big bad world. Unfortunately, this past graduation, they took some amazing student bands along with them. Julia and Julian, The Booyah Kids, Blankat, and myriad other Oberlin-famous groups left campus to pursue adulthood, leaving a void in the concert scene and rising student musicians floundering for consistent venues. But naturally, new bands have stepped in to fill the gap, hoping to sustain a quintessential Oberlin institution: the house show. Boxed Whine, a four-piece indie-pop project, is among those leading the charge.

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Russian Renaissance — Concert Review

By Quentin Zimbalist

It would be hard to believe that anybody left Finney Chapel on Friday night, February 28, without a smile on their face. Russian Renaissance, a folk fusion band sporting traditional Russian instruments, provided an unforgettable evening of music for people of many walks of life The quartet captivated the audience with repertoire ranging from traditional Russian Folk pieces to modern American pop music, and mashups of everything in between.

From left to right sat Ivan Kuznetsov (balalaika), Anastasia Zakharova (domra), Alexander Tarasov (button accordion), and Ivan Vinogradov (bass balalaika). The group opted to change the order of the program, making it difficult to figure out their opener, which began with a fierce 4×4 groove and felt like the background music in an intense movie. Tarasov took the melody, pressing the accordion’s buttons with incredible speed and precision.

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Prisoner Of Mind — Album Review

By Amari Newman

In Prisoner Of Mind (released July 2018), King Carter speaks on the state of being Black in a way that is painfully eye-opening and relatable. The 21-year-old Brooklyn-native touches on his troubled familial relationships, the impact of white supremacy on the Black community, and his battle with depression.

A large portion of the album’s lyrics focus on Carter’s relationship with his mother and father, with one of them being mentioned on every track. Many of the mother-related bars are quick references to her incarceration. In “Sacrifices” Carter raps “The judge wanna give a nigga life my momma.” While other lyrics exhibit the inspiration he has garnered from his mother’s sacrifice. In “My Pain,” he notes “You gave your all in an attempt to give us something better, just know that I’m grateful forever.” The father-related lyrics typically consist of stand-alone bars that touch on his absence throughout Carter’s life, and his son’s continued love for him despite that.

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Blow. – Album Review

By Tyler Smith

Two years after working with David Bowie on his final album, Blackstar, saxophonist Donny McCaslin has returned with his new ambitious project, Blow.

 Originally from Santa Cruz California, McCaslin attended the Berklee College of Music and began his career in New York in the late 90’s. His heavy collaboration with Bowie later on in his career helped pave the way for the saxophonist to start experimenting with different styles and work with many artists, culminating in Blow in late 2018.  

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Modern Music Guild Presents: TAK Ensemble + David Bird — Concert Review

TAK+group+19-20.jpg?format=2500wBy Tyler Smith

On Tuesday February 18th, Oberlin’s Modern Music Guild hosted the New York-based chamber group TAK ensemble, featuring guest composer and Oberlin Alum David Bird. After giving two clinics earlier in the day, the ensemble presented an exceptional performance in the evening that reinforced WIRE Magazine’s description of a group that “combines crystalline clarity with the disorienting turbulence of a sonic vortex.”

The program comprised pieces composed during the past decade for various combinations of flutes, clarinets, violin, percussion, and voice.

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