Several months ago, “Out of the Blue” art gallery (http://www.outoftheblueartgallery.com/) in Cambridge held an all-night concert showcasing local bands, stand-up comics, and singer-songwriters. Taking place in such a small venue, the place was packed all night, and there was much fun to be had involving bad ska music, crude humor, and organic chocolate chip cookies.
While trying to explain the whole debacle would do no justice in print, I will shine the spotlight on one of the performers who had a style a bit different than the rest. Playing on a beat-up Rhodes piano stacked with various drum machines and effects pads, Jhai Sinnatamby (formerly of local act Hunter S. Floortom) took to the floor with a set of slow R&B and retro-folk songs that seemed to resonate with everyone in the audience. Dig the following video.
I was fortunate enough to catch up this past week (amidst the craziness of midterm cramming) with professional musician and manager Joe Conner ’11. Now doing tours with acts such as rapper Sam Adams, Joe sat down and talked a bit about coupling his talent as a drummer with the skills he learned as a Business Major here at Berklee.
The lights drop out. In utter blackness, all to be heard is your nervous, erratic breathing. A vent behind you starts to squeak violently, and someone begins choking…or laughing…in the distant end of the hall. Panicking, you find the nearest exit and run for it, the guttural noises following suit.
This is one situation of many in EA’s new DEAD SPACE 2 where the feeling of dread comes not from standing toe to toe with a grotesque alien goliath, but from the sounds that imply he’s just around the corner. The design is spot-on, creating tension at just the right moments to scare the socks off anyone brave enough to play the game in the dark, with nobody else around.
It’s not just the amazing sound crafting, either. The soundtrack, akin to many Stanley Kubrick films, keeps your mind pacing and questioning just about everything you come across. Industrious bells, bowed strings, deep percussion, all combined in beautiful dissonance. The music accompanies the scares more than you think, stopping at just the right moments to hear a cry for help, or an alarm clock abruptly sounding in the room next to you. Berklee even invited the game’s composer; Jason Graves, to come speak to students about creating atmosphere and tension in music.
On top of an already stellar game, the sound and music quality brings a whole new level of enjoyment to the experience. I would recommend picking it up to anyone who owns an XBOX 360 or PS3. Not a console fan? There’s a touch version for the iPad that is also amazing, with a lot of the same sound work heard in DEAD SPACE and DEAD SPACE 2.
We have a great year, and a great semester ahead of us. I want to share an awesome video – a little inspiration to do something extra creative as you open up the new laptops, keyboards, and golden-kazoo sets from the holiday season. Enjoy!
I was recently fortunate enough to catch up with Pete Gilli and Dan Moriarty from local band Troop of Echoes (http://www.myspace.com/atroopofechoes). We were discussing the difficulties in transitioning and/or blending genres as a musician.
Their point of view was interesting in that most Berklee students I know are immersing themselves in the world of jazz improvisation, making the move from a rock and pop background. Troop of Echoes, however, is a band of musicians whose skills are based in jazz. They’ve moved to a rock/fusion genre, demanding that the members alter their playing styles accordingly. Here they discuss the move to their heavier style, and the techniques applied: