For the inaugural Cornell Concert Series performance of 2017, Grammy-winning bassists Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer will take to the stage at Bailey Hall on February 3. Although both musicians helm their respective vessels in nominally different streams, together they have created something as fresh as their foundations are solid. Where McBride is something of a musical chameleon, rooted in the backyard of the blues yet stretching his branches over into every willing neighbor’s property, Meyer has turned his classical wheelhouse into a kaleidoscope of interpretive possibilities. I had the opportunity to speak with both bassists — first to Mr. McBride on the phone, followed by Mr. Meyer via e-mail — as an overture to what promises to be an engaging night from this rare combination of instruments. The Sun: One of my all-time favorites from your discography is Live at Tonic.
William Martin stated: “Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.” Yet it can be difficult to discover new meaning and inspiration within the mundane aspects of everyday life. If I were to profusely read poems by Billy Collins and Robert Frost, perhaps for a cycle I may be inspired by their pastoral descriptions of our natural world to appreciate the multiplicity of hues which color Ithaca’s trees or the torrential gorges as I walk over the suspension bridge. But eventually, I lose the wonder of these sights and remain trapped in the routine of prelims, homework and sleepless nights. But after hearing poet Chris Abani read and perform several of his own compositions this past Thursday, I found the new awe, joy and magnificence within my daily life, including my 2:30 a.m. walks back from Olin library.
After surviving attempts to destroy all copies of this film due to copyright infringement (they never got the rights to the material), this adaptation of Stoker’s Dracula (1897) was brought before a packed audience in Sage Chapel. For those who don’t know, Nosferatu is a 1922 silent, expressionist, German film. This means lots of beautiful stylized acting may be in store, which is my favorite part of any silent film. Since silent films can only use intertitles for dialogue, the plot has to be conveyed via the characters’ actions. The actors are over the top in their gestures, and their eyes bulge farther than I think should be physically possible.
A palpable — though often unspoken — tension between the humanities and STEM festers on this campus. The humanities’ utility has consistently been questioned — and perhaps with good reason. Why would one ever need to relay the myth of Prometheus or know that Edgar Degas was a French Impressionist painter unless one was competing on Jeopardy! and had the potential to win hundreds of dollars? It is especially difficult to justify the relevancy of the humanities curriculum in times of economic upheaval.
RAW EXPO can perhaps best be described as a gathering of creators and question-askers deconstructing barriers to collaboration. In the wide concrete dome of Milstein Hall, over 50 groups of and individual artists, publishers, engineers, developers, musicians, architects and people who came simply due to curiosity conversed and tested out products and processes. Simply put, a desire to create a fully interdisciplinary environment undergirds RAW EXPO. Now in its second year, RAW EXPO was hosted by and served as a kickoff for Medium Design Collective, a group of students that champions collaboration and design-oriented creation. Many members of ASSOCIATION, the group that organized RAW EXPO’s inauguration last year, remain in Medium.
It’s funny: both this article and its subject matter arrived far later than they should have. The Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival ran last weekend, from April 15 to 17. I’m just now giving it the attention it so completely deserves. Likewise, the festival — which began just last year — sheds long-overdue light on a major problem in the American film industry: a lack of Asian American representation, especially onscreen. The event was inspired by Katie Quan, an alumna of Ithaca College and current grad student at San Francisco State University.
The stage at the State Theatre had a simple set-up — four microphones set up across the stage, a portion partitioned off by an arrangement table for music, a simple curtain as backdrop and speakers strategically placed to reverberate in the eardrums of the audience. Simple, neat and sensible for the live show “Ghost Stories” of the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Welcome to Night Vale is a bi-monthly podcast — usually airing the 1st and 15th of every month — which follows the happenings of the fictional desert town of Night Vale through a community radio show hosted by a man named Cecil Gershwin Palmer (voiced by Cecil Baldwin). Started in 2012 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the podcast is extremely charming and has a dark, deadpan sort of humor. It constantly plays with the subjects of the surreal, as Night Vale is filled with the unreal and the very, very weird, from the Sheriff’s (not so) secret police to a recently discovered civilization underground, accessible via the town’s bowling alley.
After a screening of Hitchcock/Truffaut last week at Cornell Cinema, Sun Staff Writer Mark DiStefano ’16 was fortunate enough to speak with the film’s co-producer and editor, Rachel Reichman. The conversation encompassed favorite films, a liberal arts education, the process of film editing and the nature of art itself. The Sun: What do you see the essential job of an editor to be? Rachel Reichman: Well, for every film it’s different. In documentaries of course, the editor is a stronger participant in the storytelling than they are in narrative work.
Of Semi Chellas’ numerous accolades, the one by which I was most impressed was that she was the writer of the first and only screenplay to ever be published by Cornell’s reputed Epoch magazine — and it was the first screenplay she had ever written. Perhaps this is an indication of someone who truly has an instantly-recognizable talent, a talent that, in Chellas’ case, propelled her towards becoming co-producer and writer for the brilliant, Emmy-winning Mad Men in its fifth season. Chellas talked about this experience in her Thursday talk, “Telling Secrets: Notes from the Writers’ Room.”
That’s what we — the die hard fans, the aspiring writers — wanted to know: what is the secret to a show like Mad Men? Mentioning the high level of secrecy surrounding the show, Chellas joked how strange it was for her to be revealing these secrets to us. Her informal, engaging talk was punctuated by short clips, mostly from Mad Men, which she used to illustrate larger creative processes or to explain what went into a particular scene.