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.
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.