“Music that has brought me closest to tears is both traditionally beautiful […] but also has a degree of intentional imperfection embedded into it.”
Choosing the opening quote for composer & trumpeter David Acevedo’s (CC ’19) post was tough, because there were lots of good ones:
- “You don’t have to force yourself to play art you don’t like.” (why isn’t this something we practice more?? Wouldn’t it save us from many unnecessary existential crises??)
- “Improvisation is just spontaneous composition. Composition allows you to edit what you’ve done in improv.” (We’re feeling all the Jeremy Corren vibes here.)
- “Harvesting & distributing memes.” (when asked his favorite hobby aside from music. Check out his Insta for reference).
David’s music, which he writes and performs with his band, Eyehear, is a lot like his favorite food, pastelitos: layered and heady, satisfying, and a bit surprising, with its familiar flavor profile presented in a slightly tweaked way. In his own words, his music “allows for the improv I want to do.” It’s funky, jazzy, rough around the edges–a “multi-informed” sound that is strangely beautiful and very human.
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Lately at B&N, we’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a “musician.” Society tells us being a musician means we play no less than 300 concerts a year, jet-setting around the globe mingling amongst fabulously wealthy donors, and possibly suffering from a variety of mental illnesses in the service of “art.” The 60th GRAMMY® Awards this year told us that it’s useful to be white and cis-gender male if you want to be a musician. And for Kira Daglio-Fine (CC ’18), being a musician means expressing herself in whatever capacity she is able, at any moment she wishes.
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Upon first meeting Paul Chang (CC ’19), one has simultaneously every idea and no idea what to expect. He is at once like the music he produces and loves–multifaceted, soothing, with an unfairly-natural sense of rhythm–yet also a whole artichoke’s worth of layers to boot, with his passions for cooking, psychology, and Daniel Caesar. Paul is, in some ways, a manifestation of a musical yin-yang, continuously exploring sound-worlds that mirror his own mindspace and spirituality, exploring the boundaries between composer, performer, and audience.
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“Expression knows no gender boundaries.”
“If someone touches my chair, I get so annoyed and tense…I know it’s not of me, and I just get so irritated!” Katie Cooke’s (CC ’19) nose scrunches as her eyebrows contort in waves, snickering at the particularity of the pet peeve she just detailed. For the budding conductor, arranger, clarinetist and future picture-book-author to so viscerally despise another person’s presence is surprising, for Katie is someone who loves people and music with her whole being. Find out more after the jump!
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“Embrace the identity crisis inherent to life.”
Sitting down with Coleman Hughes (CC ’20), the Juilliard-student-turned-Columbia-philosophy-major, is like we’re with him on one of his meditation retreats: soothing, deliberate, asking us to stop and think. And to listen, because listening, for Coleman–to one’s own feelings, to music–is how we, in his words, “become curious about our own minds.” Read on to learn what Coleman means by that, along with his love for John Coltrane, mixing & mastering at CU Records, and his new album, “My Dick Works Fine!”
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