“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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“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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“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.
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