Category Archives: Music

The Return of Rhys

These days, Rhys Langston ’16  spends most of his time paying fealty as a vassal to the Estate of Langstónia—a purportedly earthly domain which is located, as far as I can tell, somewhere between Los Feliz and Phuket. This weekend, he returns to perform at the alma mater from whose generous womb he recently walked into what some call reality. Last month saw the release of Rhys’s long awaited album, Aggressively Ethnically Ambiguous, which features a few familiar bangers from Eclectic shows of yore amidst plenty of new material. Listen to the tape and read more after the jump.

Professor Tyshawn Sorey Wins MacArthur “Genius” Grant

The list of 2017 MacArthur fellows was released today. I found out in the opening moments of my seminar on creative music this morning—just before we discussed Weather Report, Snarky Puppy, and the misnomer of jazz fusion—that my professor, composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey MA ’11, is on it. Read more and find links to his work after the jump:

Somi

Somi in the Studio, Brooklyn, New York

From our friends in the CFA:

Superb jazz chanteuse Somi blends modern jazz, African music, and the singer-songwriter tradition, combining the musical and cultural worlds that resonate with her as an African and American woman. An Illinois-born resident of Harlem, she is the daughter of immigrants from Uganda and Rwanda. Highly regarded as both a scholar and artist, Somi is a TED Senior Fellow and the founder of New Africa Live, a nonprofit that champions African artists.

Date: Friday, October 13
Time: 8 PM
Place: Crowell Concert Hall
Cost: $28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students, youth under 18 (reserved seating)

WESU Fall Record Fair

WESU, our friendly community radio station, writes in:

WESU’s (Wesleyan’s college radio station) will be hosting our annual fall record sale on October 8th in Beckham Hall. There will be record vendors from all over the Northeast selling everything from vinyls to concert memorabilia. Live DJs will be spinning vinyl all day!

Date: Saturday, October 8
Time: 11 AM-4 PM
Place: Beckham Hall

Music Department Colloquium

From the Music Department:

Author and mridangam virtuoso Douglas Knight ’70 will discuss Balasaraswati: Her Art & Life– one book in three editions, for three audiences. The book has appeared in three different editions: an American edition published by Wesleyan University Press in 2010; an English language edition published in India by Westland Books in 2011; and a Tamil translation published by Cre-A Publishers in May 2017. Each edition was intended for a distinct readership, and elicited different responses. He will reflect on how the writing, editing, and publishing of these three editions transformed his understanding of the significance of Bala’s story as it “came home.”

The 41st annual Navaratri Festival of Indian music and dance at Wesleyan University opens with this talk hosted by the Music Department.

Date: Thursday, September 28
Time: 4:30 PM
Place:  Ring Family Performing Arts Hall

Listen: Goo releases Under the Electric Blanket

Goo, the trio of Beck Zegans ’18, Sam Friedman ’18, and Bram Wollowitz ’19, released a 4-track album yesterday – the result of a few summer sessions in Bram’s bedroom. Though not all of its members are on campus this semester, the band reunited last night for a secret, sweaty release show at 66 Home.

We’re looking forward to Goo’s official re-entry back into the music scene next semester, as well as any other spontaneous shows that pop up in the interim. In the meantime, check out Under the Electric Blanket on Bandcamp (embedded after the jump), which features three recorded songs, one conversational interlude ft. a few very special guests, and album art by Seamus Edson ’18.

New Music Video from Class of ’17 Alumni Band Phatrabbit

Phatrabbit was a band known for their Westco triple shows and shows in the meadows behind Long Lane. Recently, they’ve gotten attention for their hit #1 single “Seventeen.” And they have an album coming out soon! It’s called This is Enough and I’m sure it will be lovely.

The band has already released a music video for “Seventeen,” from their self-titled release from 2016. Following this success, they also had an NPr TiNY dESK cONCeRT, W0W!

The MASH: Interviews with Good Morning CT, Bonanza, and Johnnie Gilmore ’18

The Mash at Wesleyan University, Sept. 9. (Photo by Caroline Kravitz)

As you probably know by now, there is a fun event coming up this weekend called The MASH. The MASH is a performance event that happens every year during the first week of classes. It provides spaces and resources for different bands, singers, and artists to share their talent. Shoutout to Harrison Nir ’19, the student intern who has done a ton of work to make this event happen this year, and also Hanna Orovec, the staff member in the CFA that oversees the event. Give Josh‘s post a read if you want to know more about how this all came together. All of the groups that perform are Wesleyan affiliated, whether it be alumni bands like the one Michael Roth ’78 is in, faculty artists, or new ensembles like Good Morning Connecticut (GMCT). Below are some short interviews of student bands, including the aforementioned group GMCT, and another called Bonanza. We’ve also got some words from bassist Johnnie Gilmore ’18.

The MASH Preview: Words From Harrison Nir ’19 and Jess Best ’13

“It’s not one sound, not one performance, not one identity, but a community of styles and backgrounds. I want the MASH to stand for all that converges or has the potential to at Wes.”

The MASH at Wesleyan University, Sept. 9. (Photo by Will Barr ’18)

Since its inception in 2013, the MASH has approached each autumn with a student coordinator who works in tandem with CFA administrators to plan the event. This year, the student mastermind is Harrison Nir ’19, who worked overtime this summer on reimagining the structure of the festival – and generated prolific amounts of informative Facebook hype in the process. We talk to Harrison and alumna headliner Jess Best ’13 after the jump.