Carolyn Bremer’s Singing Bowls

Carolyn Bremer was featured in a Press Telegram article about the spring semester’s Tibetan singing bowl concert. She and several faculty, students, and alumni perform a meditative concert at the beginning of each semester.

The audience is invited to sit on stage and be surrounded by the bowls. Later in each concert, the bowls are passed among to audience members to play. After the concert many audience members stay to ask questions or to put the bowls over their heads for a surprisingly immersive experience.

Mike Miley one of 10 Best Rock Drummers

Alumnus Mike Miley (Rival Sons) was named one of the “10 best rock drummers in the world right now” by musicradar.com 2014. They mention, “The Californian rockers dropped their fifth studio album, Great Western Valkryie, which took just five weeks to record in Nashville but earned them a five-star review in Rhythm for its sweet kit sounds and Mike Miley’s unquestionably huge groove.”

Aaron Williams in Raditatical

Alumnus Aaron Williams starred in Raditactical, a show created by rhythmic juggling beatboxer Bronkar Lee (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, America’s Got Talent), and director Ameenah Kaplan (STOMP!, Blue Man Group).

The show was an original immersive rhythmic-theater experience designed to uplift and inspire through music, laughter, and raw energy. Raditatical told a story more through action and music than dialogue. The hero’s journey into rhythm engages the crowd as music is made for — and with — the audience. Each member of the ensemble blended high caliber musicianship with stunts and movement, which was supported by stunning visual effects.

Sebastien Najand Composer for League of Legends

Alumnus Sebastien Najand is full-time composer for Riot Games (a video game company which produces League of Legends). As of January 2014, over 67 million people play League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours.

Sebastien traveled to Seoul for the League of Legends world finals where a project he worked on with Imagine Dragons was performed. He composed the music for live orchestra for parts of the competition.

A Better Nectar

The Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Jonathan Talberg, recorded music for a new multi sensory installation, “A Better Nectar” by Jessica Rath, based on the co-evolutionary communication between flowering plants and their pollinators. The exhibit is open January 27 – April 12, 2015.

In A Better Nectar, Jessica Rath creates an immersive rhythmic experience, using sculpture, light, and sound to consider how bumblebees learn and remember multisensory floral signals to find better nectar. Visitors are provided with a human-scaled experience of a bee’s intimate sensorial journey from its underground nest to an audibly and visually pulsating world, based on the Rath’s research and discussions with the scientists at Leonard Bee Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The exhibition’s highlight, “Resonant Nest,” is a responsive acoustic sculpture taking the form of a human-scaled bumblebee nest. Human voice interpretations of bee communication emanate from the sculpture, designed in collaboration with Ian Schneller of Specimen Products, Chicago. The score, created by Los Angeles-based composer Robert Hoehn, shifts with live changes in weather, season, and time, as well as to the viewer’s presence in the gallery.

John Barcellona runs 25th Fundraising Marathon

On Sunday, February 1, 2015, Dr. John Barcellona will be running the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach on behalf of the University Wind Quintet Scholarship for the 25th year. These contributions have helped raise funds for The Bob Cole Conservatory’s finest woodwind and horn performers, the University Wind Quintet. This year’s quintet members are: Vanessa Fourla—flute, a graduate student from Greece; Spencer Klass—oboe, a sophomore from Agoura Hills, CA; Sarra Hey—clarinet, a graduate student from Los Angeles, CA; Sarah Kreuger—horn, a sophomore from Irvine, CA and Brian Tuley—bassoon, a senior from Manhattan Beach, CA.

KCAL 9 News recently caught up with Dr. Barcellona to discuss the marathon and fundraiser:

Dr. Barcellona asks to pledge your support by making a donation for each mile that he completes (26.2 if he finishes).  After the race, he’ll let you know how he did and you can donate at that time; or simply mail a donation or pledge now, payable to CSULB 49er Foundation.

We are grateful for your continued support, as this event is a major funding source of scholarships for members of the University Wind Quintet.  Anyone who pledges or donates will receive two complimentary tickets to the University Wind Quintet performance, Tuesday, April 28 at 8:00pm in the Daniel Recital Hall.

For further information about making a donation, please contact Dr. John Barcellona at john.barcellona@csulb.edu

Whiplash Nominated for Best Picture

Little did we know that when Jazz Studies was contacted by a Hollywood casting agency in the summer of 2013 to hire extras for a feature film about college jazz bands that “Whiplash” would go on to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture.

Drew Ninmer, Jason Fabus, Taylor Smith, Patrick Lenertz, and Gary Soland appeared and are credited as members of the conservatory jazz orchestra in the film, which focuses on a drummer in as he struggles to impress a merciless teacher. “Whiplash” received a total of five Oscar nominations; J.K. Simmons, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the teacher, is nominated for Best Supporting Actor.