Motivation during Isolation

By Tyler Smith

For most of my life I’ve been a musician and a runner. Both are things that require lots of self discipline and motivation. But now that we are all stuck at home with all the time in the world, why has it suddenly become so difficult to stay motivated? Why does lying in bed all day watching TV suddenly sound infinitely more appealing than spending my time pursuing what I love?

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Wet Ink Ensemble: Glossolalia/Lines on Black

By Tyler Smith

Hailed by the New York Times as “The Best Classical Music Ensemble of 2018,” Wet Ink Ensemble has lived up to this acclaim once again with their recent release Glossolalia/Lines on Black. The album takes its name from the two extended works by Wet Ink members Alex Mincek (saxophone) and Sam Pluta (electronics). The remainder of the septet includes Eric Wubbels (piano), Erin Lesser (flutes), Ian Antonio (percussion), Josh Modney (violin), and Kate Soper (voice). 

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Dana Jessen and Aaron Dilloway — “The Quarantine Concerts”

By Tyler Smith

Due to the abrupt halt of live events because of the pandemic, Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio (ESS) has begun an online series titled “The Quarantine Concerts.” The concerts, held on the streaming platform Twitch, involve artists from all over the world. With each artist given a half-hour slot to perform whatever they desire, every concert results in a diverse musical jumble. Earlier in April, ESS featured improvised sets by Oberlin professor Dana Jessen, and by Hanson Records owner Aaron Dilloway.

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TIMARA Faculty Recital: Sound in the Round

Facilities: Irene and Alan Wurtzel Theater | Oberlin College and ...

By Tyler Smith

Long before Oberlin Conservatory’s TIMARA faculty began their Sound in the Round performance on the evening of March 8th, Wurtzel Theatre was bustling with activity. TIMARA students had set up various installations around the lobby showcasing their work. Third-year Drew Smith made their “Child of [Electronic] Tree” installation available to peruse on one side, while alum Helen Hé showed off their “Octowaver” on the other side for people to explore. The concert itself, one of the most enthralling of the semester, marked the end of the 50th anniversary celebration of the TIMARA program.    

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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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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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