Welcome!

Here you will find reviews, previews, artist profiles, and opinions about music in 2022. This publication will highlight musical activities in Oberlin and Greater Cleveland, as well as regionally, nationally, and internationally. This project was recently featured in the Oberlin Review! Read the article, written by managing editor Kate Fishman: “The Updraft Publishes Dynamic Music Journalism.”

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Habibi Funk, Hamid El Shaeri, and The SLAM! Years

Of all the numerous treasures unearthed by Habibi Funk, a German imprint that’s been specializing in reissues of 1960’s-1980’s Middle Eastern and North African contemporary music since 2012, Libyan musician Hamid El Shaeri’s glimmering “Ayonha” still stands out.  On the label’s defining 2017 compilation, An Eclectic Selection of Music From the Arab World (Habibi Funk… Continue reading Habibi Funk, Hamid El Shaeri, and The SLAM! Years

“Can classical music survive in the music industry with popular music these days?”

If you compared the number of classical music views to pop music views on Youtube, what would the difference be? The highest number of views for classical music recording is the Budapest Strings’ performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with 243M views. By contrast, the highest number of views for popular music recording is Baby… Continue reading “Can classical music survive in the music industry with popular music these days?”

Sarah Krohn’s “Greetings From Virginia” is a Travelogue Breakup Song

Sarah Krohn’s upcoming new single, “Greetings From Virginia” is an energetic breakup song about holding onto memories like souvenirs. The song’s upbeat indie pop choruses make light of loss and use different U.S. states as metaphors for parts of someone’s past. It is the perfect song for driving in the rain with the windows down… Continue reading Sarah Krohn’s “Greetings From Virginia” is a Travelogue Breakup Song

Oberlin’s Lack of Musical Opportunities for College Students

Oberlin College and Conservatory unequally distribute musical opportunities for their students. Oberlin has a renowned music program, yet accessing those resources is actually quite difficult for students in the college — like myself. While the college and conservatory are separate entities, the lines that separate them are often blurry. They share a campus, mailing list,… Continue reading Oberlin’s Lack of Musical Opportunities for College Students

Ian Ashby Sets the Baseline For Senior Recital

Ian Ashby’s senior recital at the Birenbaum on Tuesday May 24th was as warm and inviting as his personality. The intimate basement venue was packed with close family and friends celebrating a lifetime of creating music. The jazz bassist started off with a classic, “All The Things You Are”, by Jerome Kern, which he described… Continue reading Ian Ashby Sets the Baseline For Senior Recital

Pui Wang (Leo) Choi’s Senior Piano Recital 

The winner of Oberlin’s 2021 Senior Concerto Competition, Leo Choi, held his Senior Recital on May 7th at Warner Concert Hall. He played Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel, and Hurel. After Choi performed, he must have been exhausted, but he looked as fresh as a daisy. His contrasting powerful and soft feathery sound filled the concert hall. … Continue reading Pui Wang (Leo) Choi’s Senior Piano Recital 

Find out about Lim Dong Hyek’s passion through Schubert

At the age of 17, Lim Dong Hyek signed with EMI (now Warner Classic) and since then has recorded Chopin Ballades, Sonatas, and Preludes, Schubert Impromptus, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 2 on five albums.  Lim played many pieces as a pianist, but he has a lot of affection for Schubert and thinks… Continue reading Find out about Lim Dong Hyek’s passion through Schubert

Carly Cosgrove’s See You in Chemistry Reimagines Emo 

Carly Cosgrove’s debut LP, See You in Chemistry, is a fun polished new-wave emo record, both honest and lighthearted. The cover looks like a scrapbook art piece of city streets, which seems fitting for how the group describes themselves as “Philly nostalgiacore.” The music scene in Philadelphia is communal and interconnected. As bassist Helen Barsz… Continue reading Carly Cosgrove’s See You in Chemistry Reimagines Emo 

Dijon Delivers an Intimate Show to a Chilly Philly Crowd

On May 8th at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, Dijon delivered an intimate show that began without an opener. That was probably a delight for the people who had been queuing many hours for the concert, and who were now packed tightly in anticipation in the 1,200 capacity room.  Dijon and his band walked on stage… Continue reading Dijon Delivers an Intimate Show to a Chilly Philly Crowd