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Voice in Guitar and in Literature…and in Me

By Shep Greene, VI Form

Voice in Guitar and in Literature…and in Me

The guitar is an integral part of who I am. As my skill has progressed, I’ve seen my appreciation and understanding of music progress as well. Over this past year, I began to delve into a more abstract form of music in improvisation. Within this form of my guitar playing, I began to find striking similarities between music and literature. Imagine every note as a letter and every note coming together to form a riff, with all of the respective letters coming together as one word. By the end of a piece, just as by the end of a novel, you’ll have a powerful message to send out to your listeners and readers. (more…)

Becoming a Musician at Interlochen Arts Camp

By Jason Hwang, V Form

Becoming a Musician at Interlochen Arts Campscreen-shot-2016-09-18-at-6-24-04-pm

Not many people recognize the beauty of classical music. I might not deserve to say this because I was actually one of them before this summer. Attending Interlochen Arts Camp was by far the most engaging and life changing experience of my life in terms of the depth of what I learned and how I advanced into a better musician. (more…)

Modern Day Martins

By Jenny Deveaux, V Form

Modern Day Martins

Much like hip hop music, modern day United States culture is based upon movements for change and the spread of continental ideas.

Hip hop was born in the seventies, and first originated in New York City. The genre was developed largely by African-Americans, but evolved to incorporate nuances from other minority groups such as Latin-Americans. Today, hip hop is a multi-billion dollar franchise that has become a symbol of United States culture because it exemplifies a diverse and influential community that seeks to spread tendentious ideas. Artists like Common, Nelly, Macklemore, and LL Cool J use their prominence in the hip hop genre to address today’s issues. Macklemore did this recently in his song “Same Love,” advocating for marriage equality while producing a track that made the top charts in America. (more…)

Open C Tuning Improvisation with the Guitar (Video)

By Liam Monheim, VI Form

Open C Tuning Improvisation with the Guitar (Video)

During the winter season, I was granted an ACE (Athletic Commitment Exemption, or a seasonScreenshot 2016-04-05 21.54.42 without afternoon sports) in order for me to focus on practicing the guitar. I used this time not only to improve my improvisation skills, but to teach myself a completely new way of approaching the instrument. I learned how to play in an alternative tuning called open C tuning. Standard guitar tuning from lowest string to highest uses pitches EADGBE.  In order to make a chord, you must finger the strings with your left hand.  However, when you strum the strings in open C tuning without doing any fingering with the left hand, it creates a C Major chord. This means learning new chord fingerings, but it also opens up a sonic richness in the instrument. (Click on picture to play video)

My solo performance (Click here for video) is a structured improvisation using open C tuning.  By structured improvisation I mean that I follow a similar structure each time I play it but I decide in the moment what, how, and why I play a certain part.

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The Quest: An Original Composition for a Life Philosophy

By Helena Lin, IV Form

The Quest: An Original Composition for a Life Philosophy

At the end of my fall Roman Religion and Philosophy class, Dr Harwood assigned us a free-swim Screenshot 2016-02-16 10.22.41final project that asked for a creative presentation, in any desired form, of something we found interesting and meaningful in what we learned in class. After several conferences with Dr Harwood, I decided to produce my first music composition, which aims to demonstrate my understanding of Epicureanism and Stoicism, the two Roman philosophies that we studied. (Click right image!) (more…)

Northern Pacific Seastar Asterias amurensis & My Zone as an Artist

By Mei-Mei Arms, III Form

Northern Pacific Seastar Asterias amurensis & My Zone as an Artist

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This seastar originated in Japan, Korea, China and Russia, about 20-40 metres deep off the coasts of these countries. It was introduced by the ballast waters of cargo ships as they returned from these countries and used ocean water to replace the weight of cargo. They can reproduce without the aid of another sea star and can multiply in the thousands. Due their rough exterior, the Northern Pacific Seastar does not have many natural enemies. Their larvae are so small that we cannot find a way to capture them and nothing appears to eat them at that stage in their life cycle. The Sea stars eat crustaceans and due to their numerous population, when they enter a new area, their numbers can wipe out the whole population of crustaceans. They can break off limbs and these limbs can grow in to new Sea Stars, but this process does take years. (more…)