Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Justin Poon (Page 2 of 3)

Carly Tefft: A Boston Marathon Anthem from the Starting Line

At just 21, Carly Tefft, “The singer-songwriter phenomenon from Cape Cod,” as stated by The Boston Globe has hit the ground running. From releasing her Boston Strong anthem, “Keep On Running” on Marathon Monday in April of 2014 to releasing her sophomore album “Tell It All”, recorded at the renowned Darkhorse Studios (Nashville, TN), it is clear why Tefft was a nominee for “Singer/Songwriter of the Year” by Limelight Magazine Awards.

April 20th, 2015 was a textbook definition of a “Typical Boston Day.” Although April is considered to be “spring,” Mother Nature had other plans. At 6am, it was in the high 30s with rain and wind expected in the forecast. Just a cold, dreary day with no excuse to go outside, except for the fact I was singing at the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. All I could think of was how different everything was from my first Boston marathon two years ago. 

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State of the Genre: Jazz

Jazz, traditionally speaking, has evolved as a result of jazz musicians waiting for it to evolve. When getting somebody exposed to the genre, the inclination is to tell them to “listen to the greats”, but over such a large period of time with development to the genre in so many different aspects, it’s hard to distinguish the many contexts when it’s all thrown under one genre. Every jazz musician has his or her own list of unsung heroes that have contributed to the music.

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Blogging Through the Snow Days

Professor Stephanie ReichStephanie Solomonoff Reich is a professor of Liberal Arts who teaches in the music and society and social sciences concentrations. Her specialties/interests are in the research of diverse cultures that inspire and reflect musical creativity, with a teaching focus on urban studies and American southern cultures. Prior to teaching, Reich worked in government and public policy. At Berklee, she has returned to her roots in music (violin and voice) and as a Berklee Fellowship recipient, is presently documenting the works and life of the great jazz artist, Paul Nero.

Ah, New England winter, you have clobbered us with monumental drifts, ice dams, frozen pipes, wrecked transit, and space saver wars. At Berklee, these past weeks have wreaked havoc on both faculty and students. Trying to hold class online or at the very least communicate with students has been challenging, but I was grateful to have the technology available.

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STAND: Running a Student-Led Initiative at Berklee, Part 2

IMGP71522.jpgThis post was written by Elena Goddard, fourth-semester songwriter, pianist, and music business/management student from Smithers, British Columbia. She is the executive coordinator of Berklee’s Student Government Association, chair of STAND, and a peer advisor.

(Continuation of Part 1. Read it here.)

When school started up in the fall, I invited fellow students to join the committee and help lead projects and campaigns within the initiative. I didn’t expect a huge turnout, and I guess it was because I underestimated how much this topic affects people. The first meeting brought new student faces and was filled with brilliant ideas and passion for this topic. The next meeting, those students brought more people. I had fellow Berklee peers emailing me saying they wanted to get involved but couldn’t make our weekly meeting times, so asked if they could instead join one of the projects.

We began planning an event called Twilight Induction. Our longterm vision for this event was to incorporate it into Orientation Week and show students that Berklee is a safe place for them to get help; it’s an open-minded place for them to be themselves, ask questions, and also show that they should help create an open environment. Even though we were in the middle of the semester, we held our first Twilight Induction, which consisted of speeches by members of P-Funk, some awesome mini-talks by students and faculty, lighting candles (fake ones; don’t worry, I wasn’t about to burn down Boston) that say “I stand because…” and writing our reasons down, and then reading through a list of codes of conduct we believe in at Berklee. This was followed by a performance of “Imagine”. Even though we had such a short timeframe in which to pull off the event, it was so well received and was awesome to be a part of.

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Capitalism in Zen: Musical Existentialism

IMG_9431-150x150Justin Poon is a sixth-semester student at Berklee studying performance and electronic production and design. As a founding member of Affiliated Gallery, a creative design group based in Toronto, Justin is involved in film scoring and sound design. He is also involved in producing for singers and hip-hop artists wherever he can find them.

As young students of this timeless craft we are often confronted by questions and challenges that strongly define the way you view music, your artistry, and your role in the industry/universe. There is this sort of paradox between the need for ego and the loss of ego that is required in making sense or having more clarity. One must have confidence and drive, knowing they have the ability to transcend the listener to another dimension, while at the same time performing with no hesitation and no ego. The musician must find the balance between the endless regulation and theory behind the art, and leaving all of that behind and just making the sounds they’d like to hear. We draw our own line between assuming a role of a selfless individual, defining the music or being a commoner, creating the overall texture with the band.

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