Category: Or?

Jazz it up

For the outside arts topic,  I’m going to talk a bit about listening to live music.

Recently we saw the latin jazz performance at Brooklyn College which was really great.   The music was powerful, and the coziness of the room made it very personal.  I was very impressed with the fact that a lot of people played more than one instrument.

In contrast, I’ve been to jazz and orchestra concerts at Brooklyn Tech (fondly remember the orchestra playing the Game of Thrones theme last year)  And the experience is totally different.  For one thing, there’s more improv at the performance at BC.  At Tech, we have a huge 3 floor auditorium, so it doesn’t feel as cozy unless you’re sitting close to the front.  At both schools I usually focus to the people who I actually know on stage, so that stayed the same.  There were a lot less solos at Tech though, it felt more rigid and I don’t know why exactly.  Regardless I always enjoy myself at events like these, because the physical vibrations that the instruments (especially bass instruments) cause feel good and create an all around calming, chill atmosphere.

In the future I definitely see myself going to more concerts, both back at my old high school and here at Brooklyn college.

Check it out: 11:59 I MADE IT

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Carnegie Hall- Outside Arts Event

Opened in 1891, Carnegie Hall contributed as a major part of New York’s art history. Costing over $1 million dollars to build, this Hall is known throughout the world for the amazing performances it holds. Since we were unable to go there as a class, I decided to visit it on my own, and I ended up more than satisfied after the performance.

The first piece presented during the performance was one of Bach’s  most famous; Concerto for Two Violins. Starting off at a rapid pace, the music slowed down towards the middle, and was followed by an abrupt increase in pace as well as intensity towards the end. The piece following this one was the Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra. Unlike Bach’s piece, this one was more balanced in that throughout the whole duration, there were no increases in tempo or sound. After this, came Typecase Treasury, the most serious musical work in the performance. Not only was the pace fast, but the transition from each set of notes was also outlined in terms of sound. Then, came the Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. It started with a slow and calming pace, had a peak of abrupt music towards the end, but yet it managed to end the way it started, nice and peaceful. The last piece was Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major. I found it to be the most exciting and amusing peace, since there were no low notes and it did not have any breaks.

Overall, I would say that I enjoyed going to this particular performance at Carnegie Hall and would definitely recommend it. And remember, if you want to know how to get to Carnegie Hall, the answer to that would be “practice”.

  • Benjamin K

The Art of Words

In the style of my seminar final project (a sneak peek of which is up on my blog), I’ve decided to title this one “not-discussed-in-class” post The Art of Words.” Can you guess what it’s gonna be about? Can you?

Although we briefly discussed poetry in class months ago, the one thing I felt we didn’t talk about enough was literature. Writing is one of my absolute favorite things in the world, and studying literature is the other half to the equation of my happiness. After all, reading makes a person a better writer, and I’ve learned a lot of skills and lessons from my favorite books. Even more, I think literature is something incredibly important, and something more people should start actively exploring. A humanities degree is often looked down upon, and while I’ll confess I’m double majoring with my second major in something more “profitable,” I don’t regret for one bit having invested so much of my time into English.

As a matter of fact, it’s proved more worthwhile than a ton of the other things I’ve learned over the years, although that’s understandably a matter of taste. I can’t remember a single formula from chemistry in sophomore year, bit I still remember many intricacies from reading Shakespeare’s Macbeth in my European literature class.

In my junior and senior years, I took AP English classes that ended up being some of the best experiences of my life. In junior year I read, among others, The Great Gatsby, and Fitzgerald’s effortless way of describing love, loss, and the sparkle of the 1920s is still something I hold in high regard. My senior year, however, was arguably the year I developed my writing the most. All our assignments were far more creative, and the final project was a “senior portrait” that answered the question: What have you learned in all your 18 years of living? It was one of the hardest things to write, but the introspection was something I desperately needed to learn how to convey into words.

I’m sidetracking a little.

Anyways, the realm of literature is something spectacular because the best writers find ways to transport you to faraway worlds and still keep you grounded in reliability. Take Shakespeare for example again; his plays are nearly 400 years old, but they still depict universal themes. We’ve seen a hundred different takes on Romeo and Juliet that still tell the same story: boy meets girl, they fall in love, a horrible misunderstanding happens, and they both die. Most recently, I read Juliet Immortal, a version of the story in which neither Romeo nor Juliet actually died; instead, their spirits lived on after Romeo killed Juliet for immortality. It was definitely an original take that I enjoyed reading. I’ve yet to buy the sequel; should probably get on that…

To end this post, which I know has gone on for a little too long, I want to recommend some of my favorite books for the rest of you. (List below, taken from my blog.) They range from the classics to mainstream favorites; from teen paranormal romances to the first year assigned reading. I hope you read at least one of them and get back to me, because I’d love to hear what any of you think.

Stay golden.

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A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words (or Something)

When I found out I was going to miss the Snapshots exhibition, I was totally bummed. Granted, I didn’t have a bad weekend—I went to visit my two best friends at the University of Pennsylvania—but I had spent a few Thursdays helping organize it so getting to see the fruits of my labor would have been nice. I also loved the ideas we had come up with; the motif of time and using that as a baseline for arranging the photos seemed rather clever to me. I heard the event went well, however, and that everything ended up working out, which is awesome. But since I couldn’t actually be there (and therefore can’t reflect on it) I’ve decided to talk about the process and my photo submission instead.

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Outside Art Experience- Irish Hunger Memorial

Abraham, Mark, Sandy, Katherine, Melissa and I went as a group with the original intent to the Museum of Feelings. The line was massive and the moment we got there, they told us they would be not allowing anymore people in the line. Obviously disappointed, we pondered about what other type of art places we could go to. Melissa came up with the idea of going to the Irish Hunger Memorial which was nearby in Battery Park. We followed our phone maps, and upon arriving, we had no idea we actually reached it. If you aren’t observant, it looks like a simple park you find all over the city. However, once you walk in deeper the amazingness  of the structure becomes apparent. The park like nature is actually elevated on a metallic structure with lines that are lighter up that have facts about the Irish Potato famine. It also includes facts about how much food America wastes and how obese as a country we are. It was obviously trying to impart the lesson that we need to be respectful and mindful of the food we eat and not be wasteful. It quickly becomes apparent the park like nature of the memorial is supposed to represent the Irish landscape. There were no trees and it looked like hilly plains. Built near the Hudson river, the memorial was absolutely stunning. It was a great experience that made me mindful not only of history, but how we carry out the present.

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Outside Art Experience- the Q Train Art

A snapshot of the Q train art in which you can see the differences in the murals

A snapshot of the Q train art in which you can see the differences in the murals

My outside art encounter is one I see a few times a week, and it is truly an experience. Behind Brooklyn College is the Q train, the train that is closest to the apartment building I live in at school. I take this train almost every time I have to travel into Manhattan unless there is a compelling reason for me to walk across campus to access the 2/5 line. On the Q train, on the Manhattan-bound line, between the Atlantic Avenue and Dekalb Avenue stops, on the right side of the train, are huge murals. It’s important to not that these murals are not at a train station, they are actually in the tunnel cavities of the subway, where there are no people, only trains. These murals are visible through the train’s windows, and because the train is zooming past them, they create the effect of a flip book. The artists who painted these murals obviously knew that, because the same images are repeated over and over again with small differences, giving the effect of movement. Whenever I take the train, I’m sure to sit on the left side, and this artwork always brings a smile to my face. It’s the simple things that affect us the most.

The Highline

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I’ve lived so much of my life close to this creation but I’ve only now discovered this beauty (Thank you, Arts seminar). The elevated park allows time to walk a plant lined path while looking out at the skyscrapers and Hudson river. It’s an interesting experience, a park that is more of a showpiece than a traditional “park.” If only it was just a little less crowded…

The assignment was to post one photo, but I felt that I had to post an art piece and one that just showed the natural beauty the Highline allowed me to appreciate. The Central Park is man-made at least in its organization and planning, and so is the Highline. Still, the Highline had a different feeling. It was cleaner and allowed me to see right amount of plants, sky, and water, but with a “city” feel to it. The second photo is one of the Physical Graffiti pieces. Graffiti is just so NYC, and to see  a physical piece of art styled after graffiti was very interesting. This piece was my favorite of the graffiti because of its simplicity, It’s clearer, with more space between the rods. The placement makes it look as if it’s floating in the air, as if it’s a part of the city, as the sky and buildings decorate the background. The other two pieces are just placed in front of buildings with white walls so it didn’t really give a special  feel.