The 4th Annual Stone A Cappella Concert at Memorial Chapel Sept. 28 featured the vocal talent of Wesleyan’s many student a cappella groups. The event was part of Wesleyan’s Family Weekend. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15)
Tag Archive for music
by Olivia Drake •
Lovers of vintage doo wop, rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll attended a night to remember when Wesleyan’s 88.1 FM WESU Middletown presented the “WESU 75th Anniversary Doo Wop Extravaganza” on July 12.
The fundraising concert, held at the Middletown High School Performing Arts Center, was a celebration of 75 years of community radio.
Headlining the show was Jay Siegel’s Tokens, the legendary group that recorded the mega hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” They’ll be joined by The Super Girls Group, featuring original members of some of the greatest female groups of rock ’n’ roll, including: Louise Murray of The Hearts & Jaynetts (“Lonely Nights” and “Sally Go Round The Roses”); Lillian Walker of The Exciters (“Tell Him” and “Doo Wah Diddy”); Margaret Ross of The Cookies (“Chains” and “Don’t Say Nothing Bad About My Baby”); Beverly Warren of The Raindrops (“The Kind of Boy You Can’t Forget” and “What a Guy”); and Nanette Licari of Reparata and The Del Rons (“Whenever A Teenager Cries” and “Tommy”).
WESU has been broadcasting ‘oldies’ music for 35 years on Saturday mornings on the “Moondog Matinee” radio show (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
“While most commercial radio stations have abandoned this musical format, our ‘oldies’ programs are among our most popular shows. This is a great examples of how community radio, like WESU, serves the needs of listeners who are marginalized by main stream media,” said WESU General Manager Ben Michael.
by Gabe Rosenberg '16 •
Aram Sinnreich ’94 is the author of the new book The Piracy Crusade: How the Music Industry’s War on Sharing Destroys Markets and Erodes Civil Liberties (University of Massachusetts Press). An assistant professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University, he served as an expert witness on the 2010 court case Arista Records vs. Lime Group, which was settled out of court before he could present his 20,000-word report. The Piracy Crusade was built on the foundation of his unused research at the time.
Sinnreich argues that Hollywood, the recording industry, and the United States government are acting as crusaders who are waging a destructive war against digital technology innovators and so-called “pirates.” Attempting to shut down peer-to-peer sharing and unlicensed streaming of media, the industries have used excessive force against and attempted to dehumanize users in order to stop copyright infringement.
Sinnreich writes that the resulting laws and policies have only succeeded in hurting free speech, privacy, and open discourse while failing to curb the trend in pirating. The book begins by charting a social history of the music industry and examining its relationship with 20th-century technology. Challenging the dominant narrative of the changes undergone by the music industry, Sinnreich then looks at P2P, or peer-to-peer, file sharing in comparison to traditional music economics and recent trends in sales. He then exposes the “collateral damage” of the piracy crusade.
Sinnreich is also the author of Mashed Up: Music, Technology and the Rise of Configurable Culture (University of Massachusetts Press) and has long been interested in music and intellectual property. He has published dozens of music recordings and performed with various musical ensembles.
During his time at Wesleyan, he studied with several music professors (Anthony Braxton, Jay Hoggard ‘76, Abraham Adzenyah, and Neely Bruce), worked at WEESU, and interned under Pete Ganbarg ’88 at SBK Records. After graduating Wesleyan he worked as an analyst for the New York-based Internet research firm Jupiter Communications.
“My clients were the major record labels and film studios, and my job was to keep them apprised of new technology developments and advise them about how best to take advantage of them,” Sinnreich says.
“When Napster was released in 1999, I fielded a survey that demonstrated P2P [peer-to-peer] users were actually buying more music than otherwise identical Internet users who hadn’t used the service. I thought my clients in the music industry would be delighted to hear this, but to my surprise they disputed my findings, and even issued a press release to discredit my report!
“That was the point at which I realized how complex, and often irrational, the entertainment industry’s relationship to intellectual property is.”
Sinnreich has also served as expert witness for cases such as MGM vs Grokster, the P2P suit that reached US Supreme Court in 2005. When he moved into the world of academia, he maintained his interest in the social and legal dimensions of music and technology.
As he wrote and researched The Piracy Crusade, Sinnreich published drafts of his work-in-progress on MediaCommons Press, an open scholarship platform that allowed him to receive comments and feedback from music industry executives, analysts, and attorneys as well as the general public. And, in the spirit of his research subject, the completed manuscript of his new book is available for free online under a Creative Commons license, as well as for sale on Amazon.
by David Low •
Mike Cardozo ’08 has produced a new CD titled Something Better, performed by the band Show of Cards (showofcards.com), of which he is a member. The band was originally formed as a trio of Cardozo siblings: singer-songwriter Karen (of Chattering Magpies), bassist Joe (of Cold Duck Complex) and lead guitarist Mike. With drummer Makaya McCraven and engineer Justin Pizzoferrato, they released their debut Leap Year in 2009.
With Something Better, Mike puts on his production hat to showcase his sister Karen’s thoughtful songwriting in the textures, rhythms, and arrangements of musical languages from jazz to West African to classical. Karen and Mike are joined by bassist/engineer Garrett Sawyer, drummer Sturgis Cunningham, and notable guest collaborators including cellist Eric Remschneider (of many acts including Smashing Pumpkins), Jeff D’Antona (keyboards), Zoe Darrow (fiddle) and Tim Eriksen (backing vocals). Live shows may also feature Dave Chalfant of The Nields on bass and Joe Fitzpatrick of Trailer Park on drums.
Mike currently works as a high school biology, chemistry, and math teacher at The Academy at Charlemont in Massachusetts. He recently shared his thoughts on how his Wesleyan education has inspired his musical career:
“Although I majored in biology at Wesleyan, I have been continuously and simultaneously immersed in my work as a musician from my college years until today. I am grateful to have gained a well-rounded musical education at Wesleyan and to have learned from several deeply knowledgeable and inspirational professors, as well as to have been stimulated by working with numerous talented peers.
“I spent several semesters working with Jay Hoggard ’76 in the Jazz Orchestra. Besides deepening my appreciation for this particular language of music, Jay served as a model for true professionalism as he guided us through all the intangibles involved in preparation to bring our best performance to every opportunity we had. I bring the focused attitude he helped me develop to every performance and studio session, and I apply the specifics of arrangement and harmonic structures that I learned.
“Anthony Braxton just loved music in a very pure way and showed me how deeply one can delve into music. I took his course The Music of Coltrane, Mingus, and Tristano and always remember to look deeper into anything I listen to, no matter how many times I’ve heard it, to find new principles that I can examine and build upon.
“After studying jazz for many years, West African Drumming with Abraham Adzenyah was a transformative experience. Gaining comfort with a variety of complex Ghanaian rhythms really expanded my vocabulary, and that rhythmic mindset has a huge influence on my arrangement choices.
“Being part of several senior thesis musical performances (Marlon Bishop ’07, Nate Kaufman ’08, Miles Turner ’08, Nate Ash-Morgan ’08) was inspirational as I appreciated the unique qualities of each composer and bandleader. Playing in some reggae and Afro-beat bands with my classmates also directly influenced my arrangement and production style. I am honored to have worked with so many incredible peers and teachers, and every experience played a role in what I brought to the studio as a producer for Something Better.”
by Olivia Drake •
For more information on the Wesleyan Orchestra, visit the organization’s website.
by Olivia Drake •
Ethnomusicologist Sumarsam, University Professor of Music, and Andy McGraw Ph.D. ’06, now an associate professor at the University of Richmond, have been working with the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Smithsonian Institution to organize and design a festival and conference on Indonesian performing arts. The festival will be held in the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art, Oct. 31-Nov. 3.
The Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble will participate in the festival and Sumarsam will deliver the keynote address on “Traditional Performing Arts of Indonesia in a Globalizing World” on Nov. 2. Sumarsam will discuss Javanese musical and cultural interactions with the rest of the world, focusing on current trends in and the changing role of classical and contemporary gamelan music and other genres in Indonesia and around the globe.
The event will offer family-friendly talks and events on painting shadow puppets, Indonesian music, Indonesian dance, a Javanese show play, gamelan marathons and more. See the full schedule online here.
by Olivia Drake •
The Center for the Arts presented the 37th annual Navaratri Festival, celebrating the traditional culture of India with performances by some of the country’s leading artists on Oct. 10-13. One of India’s major festival celebrations, Navaratri is a time to see family and friends, enjoy music and dance, and seek blessings for new endeavors.
“For us Indian musicians traveling all over the world and especially in the U.S., this campus has been a place of great respect and wonder because of its ability to sustain this program for over 30 years,” said tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, who also performed during the 2010 festival. “It is a privilege and a blessing to be a part of this incredible environment.”
The 37th annual Navaratri Festival was supported by the Music Department, the Center for the Arts, the Jon B. Higgins Memorial Fund, the Madhu Reddy Endowed Fund for Indian Music and Dance at Wesleyan University, the Raga Club of Connecticut, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Middlesex Community College, Haveli Indian Restaurant and individual patrons.
by Olivia Drake •
THE MASH, inspired by Fete de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, highlights the student music scene at Wesleyan. The event, which took place on Sept. 6 on multiple stages around campus, provided students with the both the opportunity to listen to some of Wesleyan’s most popular faculty and student bands, and to sign up and play for the audiences themselves. The event was sponsored by the Center for the Arts.
by Olivia Drake •
by Olivia Drake •
Ronald Ebrecht, artist-in-residence and university organist, performed a “Bach to School” organ concert Sept. 6 in Memorial Chapel. Ebrecht performed major works composed for the organ in various styles during the 19th century by Marco Enrico Bossi, Cesar Franck, Franz Liszt and Felix Mendelssohn. The event kicked off the Center for the Arts’ Music Department Events for the 2013-14 academic year. View upcoming performances here.
by Olivia Drake •
To view up-and-coming CFA events visit this link. (Photos by Eki Ramadhan ’16)
Su Zheng, associate professor of music, associate professor of East Asian studies, spoke in a recent China Daily USA article about the number of African musical artists in China and how their presence is “creating new types of harmony between the two lands.”
Zheng starts off by pointing out that “Wherever there are Africans, there is good music – just like wherever there are Chinese, there is good food.”
When she discovered that there were no reports on the presence of African music in China, she decided to research the music of the African diaspora herself. The research completed by Zheng and her team of three graduate students from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music shows, while it seems improbable, that African music will greatly influence Chinese music at some point.