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.
“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!
“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!”
For Sein An (CC ’20), the gregarious, sparkly-eyed sophomore violinist who can swish through the repertoire’s most demanding pieces in a blink, even “practice” seems a more sprightly, more lighthearted endeavor. Though she counts meeting Janine Jansen and appearing on NPR’s From the Top among her accolades, it’s the little things–slurping pho or working out to Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do”–that imbue her with a unique charm and maturity. Here are some tidbits of wisdom Sein sprinkled between chatting about the Barnard-Columbia-Juilliard exchange, escaping the MoHi bubble, and the performance energy that sends her heart trembling.
“The only mistake is fear.”
Sitting down with Jeremy Corren (CC ’17) is a bit like TED Talk-meets-music-podcast-meets-yin-yoga-class. Only this improv guru is preparing to record his debut solo piano album, plays in vibraphonist Joel Ross’ band, and somehow manages to pull off Prada specs sans pretension (that’s how you know). With an uncannily chill vibe and clarity of conviction, Jeremy chatted with us about improv, music’s importance at Columbia and elsewhere, and why Bach sounds so damn good.