FAA 110, a course that exploring Arts and Creativity, is my favorite course from the fall semester. Students in this class can go watch many performances and exhibitions. We had wonderful experiences during the time outside the class when watching the performance also inside the course doing the activity.
Fist impressions matter. Going into FAA 110, I had no idea what to expect as a college freshman. Hearing that I would have to attend mandatory events was pretty shocking but after the first one, the events felt much less mandatory and I found myself looking forward to going to the KCPA every week.
We started off very strong with a performance from Buddy Guy. Buddy Guy’s performance was very personal and interactive, he took moments to joke and chat with the audience, he even walked through the seating area. Out of all the performances we saw, I’m glad this was the first. Buddy Guy gave us a taste of how unique all the performances we had in store for us truly were.
Chris Botti was a very interesting performance, he was loud and energetic his whole performance. You could really see how passionate he was about playing the trumpet. His concert incorporated a lot of motion on his part, while he played you could see him move his body in reaction to the notes he was hitting. For example, whenever he got louder he would lean back into it almost as if he was projecting himself more. On top of this, the other musicians really complemented his own playing.
Our first narrative style event was a play called Home. It was about a group of people all living in the same home, but they don’t know the others are living there. They each lead their own lives without ever noticing the others. The end of the play was where things really got wacky though. They started selecting audience members to join the stage cast, and I was one of those randomly selected. I didn’t expect to slow dance with a guy in a chicken suit of all things that night.
Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop was our first event not at the KCPA and also our first fully interactive event. We waled all around the Krannert Art Museum moving our bodies and analyzing artwork to better understand art and dance. Interpretation is much harder when you have to used your body to convey a message. It was a great chance of pace and it felt good to move around and interact with my peers outside of class time.
Gem of the Ocean was a narrative play about one man’s quest to have his soul cleansed for his sins. It was very story driven, the characters had meaningful interactions and backstories, some were elaborated on or revealed later in to the play through meaningful parts. Their motives were very clear and their actors assumed the roles as if they were actually them. They played their characters so well it felt as if the audience also developed a relationship with them, me personally I came to dislike the sadistic character the most, for his actions against the main characters and the side characters.
The Illinois Wind Symphony was an event that I went to see on my own, I went with a friend because she had an extra ticket and I definitely enjoyed the experience. I think what most popped out was how the entire band was in costume for the first half for the Halloween spirit. Not only did they look incredible, but they sounded equally as amazing, and when they brought out the saxophone quartet, everything got exponentially better. I’d say this had to be one of my favorite events, it was all around a great experience and I would definitely want to go see them play again.
Jazz at the Lincoln Center was a good follow up to the Wind Symphony, while there were no costumes, there was still great music. All the artists complemented each other very well, everyone felt as if the had a role to fill and they filled it so well. The highlights were definitely the solos performed by the individual musicians. They would stand up, shifting to being the center of attention while playing louder. Overall I think they had incredible synergy and excellent standalone parts.
The Nature of Forgetting was our final event, a play about a man with dementia reliving his life memories of his deceased wife. It really captures the erratic nature of memory as he jumps from memory to memory, seeming lost in his own mid. He darts from the classroom, to the street on his bike, to his wedding day, and eventually back to the present. You can see his distress in his character’s actions, the emphasis on memory through the mist and the light focusing on certain spots, they really do an excellent job setting the mood the entire time.
Overall, this semester was full of many incredible events, many of which I’d see again given the chance. I can’t recommend this class enough, from the events to the Professors, everthing was amazing.
His charisma made everyone at the Ellnora Guitar Festival cheery!
Written by Cesar Diaz Blanco
Saturday night. This time of
the week, usually accompanied by a craving for celebration, was in my case
accompanied by cough, congestion, and more symptoms from the flu.
Fortunately, Buddy Guy was there to save me, and I didn’t even know about him before going to the Krannert Center. I entered the lounge and immediately perceived the spirit of the Ellnora Guitar Festival. After getting my ticket I made a quick search on Buddy Guy and expected a non-stop show with extraordinary guitar solos.
Somehow, the show was more than that. The
experience and control that Buddy has over his guitar completely shadows any
other performance I have seen.
was more than music. It constantly became a theatrical scene in which Buddy
gave life to his guitar and battled with it in every possible way: he would
poke it with a drum stick or even scrub the strings against his suit.
He would then turn our attention from the guitar to the piano and finally to the pianist, whose hands went from the left to right in seemingly random ways that enriched the melody.
this wildness didn’t work to captivate the audience, the show would become a
comedy skit with a nicely performed percussion in the back.
This show challenged what I knew about music
performances and I am so glad I had the opportunity to enjoy it.
wait for the upcoming events and visits to museums.
Buddy Guy, an American blues guitarist and singer, gave me an interesting show on Saturday night at 8:00. If you think this is only a normal blues guitar festival, you are wrong. He is the special one. Before the beginning of the show, lots of people are already seated, and everyone was talking about him how good he can play and how funny is this guy during the show. Since this is my first time to watch his festival, I paid all my attention to his guitar festival. When I finish watching the show, I find out that everything online about him is true. He is special.
At the beginning of the show, He played a blues song to evoke the audiences’ interest and to catch their attention. After that, He did Improvisation and this is my favorite part of this show. He started a song normally, a minute later, he changed. He started to play his guitar by arm, wrist. Lastly, he flips over his guitar and play it by his clothes, and it works, it sounds good. And I think this is music, and I think that is what he wants to tell us. Music is not an objective thing, everything can be music, there are infinitely melody in the world.
Near the end of the show, Buddy Guy did a thing that let me fill this is not a guitar festival, but more like a family meeting. He was playing a song, and during the song, he walked to the audience and played with the audience and when the song is about to finish, he walked back to the stage. In that specific period, everything became one. I think it is similar to a family meeting, a payer is playing a guitar and singing, other family members are sitting around him. There are 0 gap between the player and the audiences. Music made us become one thing.
When I walked into Krannert Center with my friend we were both in shock. The place was full, there was a lot of people of all ages going to see the show, and for some reason to me this scene reminded me a a music festival I used to go when I was in high school. Of course it wasn’t nearly as fancy as this performance but being within a big crowd like that, and seeing people have a good time really reminded me of how happy I was when I went to the festival. This made me really excited for the performance even if I didn’t know who Buddy Guy was in that moment.
My ticket to see the performance.
So right from the start of the show you can tell that it was going to be a very fun experience. The entire time people were swaying to the music, humming, or singing along; and buddy guy kept interacting with the audience. He would tell us stories, he walked out into the crowd and everyone got up and leaned forward to see him, he did call and response, and at one point in the show he turned the lights on and practically involved us in the show. It was truly amazing how this man that didn’t know anything about us, was able to connect with the audience.
Then Buddy Guy made the show very emotional by telling us about his childhood, and how it was very different from us now, and he sang a song that was very moving to me called “Skin Deep”. He had everyone emotionally invested in the show because people where listening to his stories and responding to them. He used his experiences to educate the audience on what it was like to be a blues musician – or any kind of person – during the time of his youth, and it was just amazing how far he has come and how he still manages to be a blues performer at 83. This man is very inspirational and living his best life at 83.
Have you ever been to a show and felt anonymous in the crowd? Well, that’s how it began on September 7th. The lights in Tryon Festival Theater were focused on the stage as we awaited the performer of the night: Buddy Guy. I had never heard of him prior to this show and I did not know what to expect.
Buddy Guy performs live at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the Tryon Festival Theatre (located inside the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) on September 7th, 2019.
For the first event of the semester, I had the chance to see Buddy Guy perform live. When I arrived at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts lobby, I saw numerous people waiting outside. As I entered the theatre, I saw more and more people pouring in to get seated. I sat on the balcony, which provided a nice view of the entire stage, Buddy Guy, and the background musicians.
My first time seeing Buddy Guy was quite an emotional experience. Throughout the concert, I felt a mix of astonishment and joyfulness. One moment that left me amazed was when Buddy Guy used various objects (drumsticks, towel) to play his guitar. Buddy Guy put his guitar on a speaker to let the vibrations create sound. Then, he laid a towel across the fingerboard, and proceeded to use a drumstick to pluck the strings. I have never seen this unique technique before! In addition, I was also amazed by the switch between smooth and up-beat rhythms, and soft and loud singing. This dynamic made each song performed very engaging and interesting to listen to.
Another unforgettable moment that left me astonished was when Buddy Guy interacted with the crowd by walking off stage and into the audience. At first, Buddy Guy was singing at the center of the stage. Then, on the left side of the stage, several backstage crew members exited through the side curtains and lined up next to the stairs that lead offstage. After they turned on their flashlight and shown the light onto the stairs, Buddy Guy proceeded to walk into the audience. As he began walking, people quickly starting standing up, frantically grabbing their phones to film Buddy Guy. The audience on the balcony were all leaning on the edge of their seat, hoping to get a glimpse of Buddy Guy. I, unfortunately, did not get to see Buddy Guy in the audience; however, I did listen to his singing as it grew louder and louder as he got further and further into the crowd.
Overall, I really enjoyed Buddy Guy’s performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Though I am not that big of a fan of blues music, I still appreciated each song Buddy Guy performed.
Buddy Guy came to the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, September 7th. As someone who was never a fan of Blues, I had no idea what to expect really. Buddy Guy’s Performance was surprisingly audience oriented and felt somewhat improvised, unlike any other concerts I’ve attended. As someone who has only ever been to larger scale concerts featuring artists such as Shawn Mendes and Maluma, such a performance was both new and refreshing, it had a very unique charm to it.
Outside the Tryon Festival Theatre before the Buddy Guy performance.
Something that definitely stood out to me was the use of lighting throughout the performance. It started out quite normal with the spotlight on the star of the show, Buddy Guy. What really caught me by surprise was when all the lights in the area turned on. The involvement with the audience was incredible, Buddy Guy was constantly asking the audience questions, humoring us with jokes and acts, and even telling us about his own experiences as a Blues artist. He has several parts where we did a sort of call out/response to a few of songs, each time he would urge us to be even louder. I think the highlight was when he made his way through the bottom floor seats while everyone up top instinctively stood up so we wouldn’t miss any of the action.
The packed lobby before some various performances.
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from this event, as I stated before, I’ve never really had any interest in the Blues genre, and seeing Buddy Guy in concert helped to give me an experience I would have never considered seeing on my own. I definitely enjoyed how interactive this concert was, with how charismatic Buddy Guy was. Overall it was a fun experience, however it didn’t particularly remind me of anything as it was so unique.
I feel as if the stories Buddy Guy told us could be analyzed as to get a better view on the life of a talented Blues musician. His interesting life experiences collaborating with other industry professionals are one of a kind, you wouldn’t be able to hear them from anyone other than Buddy Guy himself.
Krannert Center 50: ELLNORA – The Guitar Festival at the Tyron Festival Theatre
Written by Zhengqi Xu
The Buddy Guy is the second performance I ever watched at the Krannert Center. Usually I’m not quite interested in seeing any performances, but Buddy Guy was probably the one that drove me to get started.
There seemed like hundreds of people in the Krannert Center when I walked in, and as a student who had only been to the building once, I felt really shocked by the comparison with my former experience. Before Buddy Guy, I came to Krannert Center once in the last semester to watch a drama where there were only a few people and the whole lobby was quite like a classroom. Anyway, I was not even sure I came to the right place when I walked into the Krannert Center again last Saturday. The I learned that the building was celebrating its 50 years so several events were hosted during the weekend. Buddy Guy was actually one of the performances included in The Ellnora Guitar Festival, an event featuring all kinds of guitar performances. Seeing all the crowds gathering inside the lobby, I suddenly became much more interested in the show I did not even pay attention when I heard the name of it.
I thought every theatre in the Krannert Center were exactly the same until I officially entered the Tyron Festival Theatre, where there were two floors and the stage was much smaller than the one I went for a drama. To be honest, it was hard for me to see the face of any performers on the stage from the place I sat, so I was concerned that the show wouldn’t reach the effect it was supposed to. However, things just turned out completely different when the music started. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of Blues, but I must admit I began to enjoy the show from the beginning. The music was beautiful and I was pleased by the melody instead of all the talking by other people. Not only the performers played the music perfectly, but they also brought up something beyond my imagination of music performance. I was surprised when Buddy Guy was spinning his guitar, playing the guitar with a towel, and trying to make us think the facility was broken. All those factors Buddy Guy put into the show transformed the Blues performance in my experience from traditional to recreational, which had opened my mind that night with the guitar performance.
The whole show was excellent towards the end, and I can’t help but enjoyed it that night. Just before the ending when I thought the music’s trend was getting peaceful, Buddy Guy brought another climax for us by walking off the stage and interacting directly with the audience. It was so sad to sit on the second floor because I was totally unable to see him interacting with the audience, but I felt that he surrounded the whole theatre on the first floor and walked back to the stage. Though I did not see him do that, but I did saw that the audience on the front was filming during the performance and their phones were pointing alongside Buddy Guy. I had a wonderful evening that day, and it could be the experience that would always stay in my memory of college life.
After all, I really appreciate that the FAA 110 could give me a chance to get in touch with such a beautiful field which I have little experience with, and I really look forward to learning more about art.
Urbana-Champaign gets a taste of the legendary blues icon
Written by Edward Huang
On September 7th, fans of old and new gathered at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to watch Buddy Guy perform. Their energy filled the concert venue long before he appeared on stage. Whether they were addicted to his vibe or simply respecting his art, the fans could not wait for him arrive.