Michael Barenboin and the West Eastern Divan Ensemble: A two-hour
performance that sounds like you’re coming home.
Written by Jackie Dominguez De Paz
quote by Ryunosuke Satoro that says, “Individually, we are one drop. Together,
we are an ocean”. I believe this quote perfectly describes The Western Divan
Ensemble orchestra led by Michael Barenboin. There is no doubt that every
player within the orchestra is unbelievably talented, however when they come together,
it sounds like what I would imagine the gates of heaven opening to sound like.
I am not the type of person that listens to jazz or any orchestra songs and all of a sudden listening to something so odd is so soothing and gives me the feelings. Today, I had the opportunity to watch a show from two different views because we didn’t have assigned seats and share it with one of my friends.
Again, at the start of the show, we were told not to take pictures during the show. However, I was able to take a picture right before they said that.
Overall, I enjoyed the music and all the different musical instrument that were being used to create all types of beats. If I were, to sum up, the feeling in words I would describe it as the same feeling as you get when you know you did something so good that you are being awarded and you are waiting for that award.
Another first experience checked: attending an orchestra performance. I must say, this really blew my mind! As someone who played a trombone in the school band, it made me appreciate the performance 10 times because they are so crazy talented!
It was really interesting that the performance incorporated both ensemble playing and solo showcases. I find myself being more engrossed in the performance as I am so excited to hear the next solo showcase to immerse myself in the beauty of the sound created by the instrument.
It also brought more depth and personality to the whole performance as each instrument gave a different “feel” to the music piece that was performed. The group dynamics was amazing! I felt that they respected each other’s talent and gave them each their own time to shine. At the same time, the ensemble playing demonstrated their amazing teamwork and how each and every one of them has a part to play to bring to life their music. It was certainly a heartwarming performance and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A moment that stood out for me was when they started playing a happy birthday song for one of their orchestra players at the end. They played a version of the song that was jazzy and it made me really happy. It was also really cool that they did this surprise for their friend. Everyone in the audience sang and clapped along to the song! To me, it felt like the whole theater was performing a special song together. It must be a very special moment for the birthday guy too to have everyone celebrating his birthday together.
Renee Baker is who the Chicago Symphony Orchestra describes as a multi-disciplined engineer. She is a visual artist, filmmaker, composer, violinist and re-contextualist. I had the pleasure of hearing her give insight into the beautiful mastermind behind her masterpieces. She showed a clip of her film Borderline and described her work for the film as being a composition of instruments the audience would least expect. What most amazed me about Renee Baker, though, was her unapologetic personality. Not only is she dominating the arts with her multi-disciplined talents, she is proud in her Black womanhood. She is aware that minorities are not welcomed with open arms into her field and is brilliant anyway. At the end of her lecture she told the class there will always be misogynists, there will always be bigots, no matter who you are there will always be someone in your field who will set out to make you feel smaller – be great anyway.
This past Sunday I had the opportunity to experience my first style of quarter. This moment was something that was a bit foreign to me so, walking through the aisle to grab my seat, I did not know what to expect.
Written By: Nora Guerrero When one images an opera, one may think of a very large venue with cascading seats above and attendees in their long dresses and fancy suits. However, this was not the case for what I experienced at my first opera. La Bohème, directed by Nathan Gunn and joined by conductor Donald Schleicher, made for a sweet combination of talent reflected in the music and the actors. If you have not been to an opera before, this may be the best to watch to dip your feet in the waters.