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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Posts Tagged “jazz”

Faculty Artist Series — The School of Music

As a student in the JCFA, I encounter my fellow fine-arts aficionados quite frequently in the halls of Lilly. We recently received a new Dean, Ronald Caltabiano, who wants to emphasize inter-disciplinary learning. I think this is a great idea, and I also think more students in the JCFA from outside the School of Music should look into attending the Faculty Artist Series.

The Faculty Artist Series runs concerts by the music faculty on Tuesday nights at 7:30 pm in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall on campus. If you are visiting campus and interested in joining the School of Music, I’d recommend trying to see one of the concerts. Not only will you hear what the faculty have to offer, but you are also bound to meet a bunch of the students currently in the School of Music. I went last Tuesday night with a jazz minor to see the Faculty Jazz Combo, led by the director of jazz studies at Butler, Dr. Matthew Pivec. The combo performed jazz renditions of pop tunes by Stevie Wonder, Sara Bareilles, No Doubt, and Sting — as well as Charlie Chaplin! Clearly, the music program has its fair share of diversity.

Dr. Pivec

Having attached myself to the the periphery of the cluster of students following jazz music at Butler, I’ve become marginally more familiar with Dr. Pivec by hearsay and meeting. I must report a double thumbs up — if you want to join the jazz studies program at Butler, you are in for a treat. Dr. Pivec is one of the nicest professors I’ve met, and he has even begun to recognize me, a random dance major!

For more info about Butler’s Jazz Studies program, go here.

To see the course of study for other degrees and concentrations offered by Butler’s School of Music, go here.

For a schedule of concerts from the School of Music, go here.

Be kind to your web-footed friends

The Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, known around campus as “Ducky,” hosts smaller-setting lectures and music performances. It’s part of Robertson Hall, but it has a separate entrance. The acoustics are awesome, though the stage is a bit small. While you won’t find any dance performances in here, last year I went to Joe Goode‘s lecture and video presentation.

Inside the recital hall

Recent events I’ve attended in Ducky:

1. Jordan Jazz. A presentation of vocal jazz pieces by the student group Jordan Jazz. It’s so, so hard to pick, but this might have been my favorite of all of them, just because I love to watch one girl, whom I know is in the ballroom club, dance on the side as she sings.

2. Abbey and Eli’s junior recital. I know Abbey through the Butler Catholic Community, and Eli is a friend of hers. I’ve heard both play in the jazz combos at Starbucks, so it was nice to hear them play some different, more classical pieces. Abbey plays the horn, and Eli the bass. Both were excellent! I liked Abbey’s first two movements of Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3 in particular.

3. The Jamey Aebersold Quartet. As the jazzers say, “These cats can jam!” Well, maybe they don’t say that. Regardless, I very much enjoyed the Jamey Aebersold Quartet. The men were all great performers, with the exchanged looks on stage as amusing as the musical jokes they played. (Most of these went over my head, although I did catch a phrase of “Joy to the World.”) They offered a master class before the concert, too.

And those were the recent Ducky adventures I’ve had.

Concerning fire alarms

I returned to my apartment last night after finishing my self evaluation for my ballet final this afternoon. Each year, dance majors fill out a survey with their opinions concerning their own progress in areas like placement, musicality, flexibility, dynamics, and professionalism. (There are a lot more categories, but there’s a sampling for you.) We turn in this evaluation when we take our juried class that comprises our ballet technique final.

Finishing this evaluation was necessary, and I did it during the on-campus Starbucks‘ last Jazz Combos performance of the semester. I am sad to report I only got to see the last combo group and half of the last tune from the second set–since my class, which ends an hour after combos begin on Thursday nights, ran over by ten minutes–but what I saw I enjoyed. The last group did a mash-up of “A Child is Born” and “What Child is This?” that was really cool. As my jazz musician friends might both say (or not), they got chops.

Ahem, anyway. The class that ran over was Irish Lit, and I have more or less successfully presented my paper. Before I leave, I still have some citation issues. But dance finals are my first concern.

I was lying in bed, sleeping the peaceful sleep of one who has a ballet final the following afternoon when what do I hear? Sirens and a man’s voice telling me this is an emergency situation and I should exit the building. Panic! I flail around a bit until I find my glasses, phone, and room key. The next task is grabbing pajama pants and my jacket.

It was only when I was standing outside with the rest of the residents of my building that I realized wearing no socks made it like wearing no pants at all, since the arctic wind of Indianapolis goes right up one’s pajamas at the exposed ankle.

I froze my tooshie off, and when they finally let us back in thirty minutes later (past two in the morning), it took me another thirty minutes to thaw and fall back to sleep.

Point being? I’m writing this  at 8:40. My next class is at 9 am. I’m still wearing said PJs, so I should probably get moving, but I’m sooo tired. Darn fire alarms.

At we know we’ll be safe, right?

Speaking of safety, here's one of the emergency "help me" poles that dot the campus. You can call for police assistance from these.

[UPDATE: So due to computer issues and that fact that I did have class at nine, this post is actually going up at 10:40. But you should note that it was written the morning after a fire alarm, which makes any nonsense it might contain excusable. I think.]

Catching up sans mustard

I am done! It is officially Thanksgiving Break, and I survived last week.

Monday: Irish Lit paper due. Dance history abstract due. Full run-through of The Nutcracker. Butler Catholic Community meeting. Done, done, done, and done. Physics.

Clowes Hall

Tuesday: The Nutcracker run-through. Science lab. Attending a concert at Clowes to see my two jazz-musician friends play = awesome. Sigma Rho Delta meeting (albeit briefly, as the concert ended after the start of Sigma Rho). Physics.

Wednesday: The Nutcracker. (Do you notice a theme here?) Frantic studying for the massive physics test. And–oh yeah– more physics.

Thursday: Physics test. Doomdoomdoom. And The Nutcracker. Frantic reading for my Irish Lit class. Speaking of Irish Lit, I got my paper back and extremely surprised to find that some of the things I thought were awful could, with some refinement, actually fit into my convoluted thesis. Much excitement ensued.

Around 11:15 pm, I enjoyed watched all the students stream off campus to see the Harry Potter movie, though I regretfully remained in order to sleep in order to dance safely the next day. However, I saw fellow-blogger Justin looking quite spiffy in his purple Dumbledore robes and cotton-ball beard.

Physics produced a mixed reaction. I felt like I hit most of the key concepts in the two problems–for any interested: the law of conservation of momentum, the law of conservation of energy, the work-energy theorem, projectile motion, force diagrams, forces like tension and friction, uniform circular motion, and collisions–but I didn’t actually get a concrete answer for the last part of the last problem.

More infuriating than a simply inability to finish was that fact that, by the end of ballet class, the idea that was previously slow to come to me had made its way into my brain: the equation for time down. Duuuuh. Also, I realized that the distance one would travel around the rim of half a circle is in fact pi*r, not 2*pi*r.

Friday: FRIDAY! I had nothing due. The most pressing duty on my list was laundry. I spent my breaks yesterday compiling a Thanksgiving Break playlist for a CD. I ate a pumpkin muffin. I watched my physics professor demonstrate gyroscopic motion by standing on a stool and letting the torques (or something…) from the gyroscope make him rotate around. Best physics class ever. I really wanted to try the gyroscope out on my own. Maybe next time.

This break is off to a fabulous beginning, and I’ll looking forward to the rest of the week! I do have a bunch of homework to do, but, you know, sleeping will occur.

Off to get some more tea…

Student Choreography: My Frankenstein

The Student Choreography report continues…

I used music by Art Pepper called You Go to My Head. I have been trying to choreograph something for an embarrassingly long time, and this music is actually a vestige from another idea I had involving the ideal of femininity right after World War II, since there seem to be some contradictions in there. The music is part of the cool jazz genre right around that time.

(At least, it’s cool jazz as far as I know–I suppose I should ask some of my jazz musician friends for an analysis. I already got a wonderfully entertaining analysis of the chord progressions…. There was something about a dejected E-flat finally finding resolution just when he had given up. If you think you have a musical ear, why don’t you listen to the music and tell me if you agree?)

YouTube Preview Image

If you can’t see the video above–because I can’t, and I wonder if I’m going about embedding it the wrong way–follow this link to the Youtube page. [Edit: I think I've got it.]

So that was the music I used. I had three soloists and twelve corps members, and though I would have loved to have colorful costumes, there were so many people that for cost reasons I could not make or buy anything. They all wore white t-shirts and black tights, and the marvelous lighting designer made the white look pretty darn good in purples and greens.

Because the music is so evocative of a certain period and mood, I had to be really careful not to slip into that style. Much of the movement ignores the melody and tries to work off the baseline, though I honestly had a pretty hard time picking this piece apart. I’m not incredibly knowledgeable about music, and jazz compositions tend to be very complex. I think so, at least.

So I tried not to Mickey Mouse the music.

Click the picture for source.

More later?