Alvin Lucier: Some spatial characteristics of sound waves

Last night, in Grant Recital Hall, a cellist held one continuous note for over 10 minutes. Written down in black and white, that doesn’t seem it would be that much of a feat, but to see it performed live was intensely mesmerizing.

One woman, Laura Cetilia, sat with her cello in front of several glass vases. These vases, suspended above the ground, contained microphones tuned to pick up various frequencies emitted from her instrument. As the piece progressed, I realized she was not holding one pitch, but continually adjusting the pitch slowly enough that it was hardly distinguishable. Occasionally, she was accompanied by the wave of another sound caused from just the right frequency being captured by one of the glass vases.  I broke my stare to survey the room and found I wasn’t alone in my trance. There were only a few empty seats in the hall, and zero people checking their cell phones.

Alvin_Lucier._Photo_by_Bob_Antaramian_1600_1073_90

This performance was part of the Colloquium series sponsored by the Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments (MEME) department here at Brown. It was followed by a talk and Q&A with Alvin Lucier, the composer who wrote Music for Cello with One or More Amplified Vases and several other famous pieces that explore the physical and structural nature of sound.

Lucier has taught at Brown twice, but is known mostly in academia for his 43-year-long career at Wesleyan. As he spoke about the process and intent for the creation of his work, he name-dropped several musical pioneers as collaborators and friends. Among them: John Cage, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich. (No sweat if those names aren’t familiar, but I cannot recommend MUSC0200 enough if you want to find out who they are.)  Continue Reading


Blogify: Spooooooooooky

Halloweek requires a scary amount (get it?) of planning. From crafty costumes to strategic party-hopping, this once playful childhood holiday has morphed into a stressful social experience as we’ve grown older. To relieve you of one thing on your to-do list this week, we’ve created a playlist for any Halloweek pregame. Enjoy the classic hits from your elementary school costume parade as well as some newer, “cooler” tunes.


Blogify: What Brown students actually listened to from 1982-1987

Nothing makes me happier than listening to old music and exploiting my parents for their good taste in it. Here’s what Brown students, now alums, really listened to while they were really here while doing normal things like going to the Ratty, having 5 a.m. Loui’s, and tripping balls during R.E.M.’s Spring Weekend show on Pembroke Field. If you wanna pretend you’re my parents, sharing a doobie and serenading each other in Barbour–then called “New Applebee”–in 1986, jam out to this. (Thanks for co-DJing, Mom and Dad.)


Blogify: Midterm Motivation

Midterms suck. Yep, we know you already knew that. Here are some jams to get you through the hard times from start to finish.


BlogDH Presents: MaudMash

omac

Our new Dean of the College Maud Mandel seemed a little jealous that her predecessor (and our obsession) Katherine Bergeron had a BlogDH original game named after her, BergeMash. So we decided we needed to give Dean Mandel her own game. After a genius idea from one blogger extraordinaire, we put our heads (read: Facebook comments) together and came up with MaudMash.

Here’s how it works: think of a place or building on Brown’s campus. Make it into a musical artist or band. Make it punny. Bam, you just MaudMashed. Check out the ones we’ve come up with, and as you’re walking around campus, open your Spotify (or Blogify) and come up with your own!

 

Main Campus

Beyonsayles Hall
Main Green Day
Gene Simmons Quad (formerly Linkin Field)
alt-JWW
Jessie JWW
J. Walter Wilson Phillips
J. Walter Will Smith
Aqualung Family Gallery

Dorms

Slater Hall and Oates
Littlerichardfield
MøChamp
Young O the Giant
Klingandrews
Keane-y
Neil Young O
EminemWool
Samantha Bronson
Continue Reading


Blogify: Fall

Despite the unseasonably warm weather, (thanks, global warming…but also, more please) Fall is in fact upon us. The leaves are changing, Instagrams of the leaves changing are in abundance, and people are slowly giving up their summer pastels for their autumn earth tones. In that spirit, we compiled the ultimate Fall playlist.