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.
“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.
For Emily Shyr (CC ‘17), oboe studies and history passions are utterly intertwined. With a twinkle in her eye and a chuckle to herself here and there, Emily spoke with characteristic eloquence about musical dialogue, Ian Bostridge (the gorgeous English tenor most known for his Schubert lieder), and music’s significance to her Columbia career.