School of Arts and Sciences
The Tufts Chamber Singers, an ensemble run through Tufts’ Music Department that performs canonical compositions along with more contemporary arrangements, decided to add some playful humor to its most recent show. The performance featured a rendition of composer Paul Crabtree’s “Simpson Romantic Songs,” series of love poems, set to sweeping, dramatic music, that tell the trials and woes experienced by our favorite animated family from Springfield.
Crabtree, a noted contemporary composer and avid Simpson’s fan, noticed that his favorite American TV staple is chock-full of emotional messages, and decided to set them to music. So when the ensemble sings of love, forgiveness, and personal expression, they’re turning the seemingly silly words of Homer, Marge, and Bart into deep messages that resonate with us all.
Check out this video from the performance:
“Telling the Climate Justice Story,” a class that bills itself as “revolutionary,” will be offered for the first time this spring. The team-taught, interdisciplinary course in the departments of Environmental Studies and Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, will focus on the complex issues surrounding climate change, and the political, social, economic, and scientific challenges it poses. Students will participate in model negotiations, and will be asked to use cutting-edge media to convey climate justice narratives.
For an introduction to the course, watch the video below:
When Austin Siadak, A10, graduated from Tufts, he decided to pursue a different path than most of his peers. A post-college desk job left him hankering for more, so Siadlak promptly changed paths and found his home among the mountains and valleys of the western United States. A hiking and climbing enthusiast, Siadlak fuses his passion for the outdoors with his interest in videography by working for Seattle media company Duct Tape Then Beer, where he has created an impressive portfolio of short narrative films.
Siadlak’s latest film tells the inspiring story of Chris DeMartino, Jarem Frye, and Pete Davis, three disabled climbers who defied all odds by successfully summiting the steep, treacherous, and notoriously difficult El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park. Siadlak beautifully captures the impressive vistas of Yosemite–coupled with the raw anxieties of the three hikers–to give viewers a film that’s wrought with emotion, as well as uplifting hope for the future of disabled climbers.
Watch Siadlak’s video here:
On November 13th, Lisa Cohen, A87, won the Boston Jewish Film Festival’s Short Film Competition for her informative, poignant, and downright fun “B-Boy,” a documentary about a break dancing adolescent from Connecticut. Cohen, who studied Fine Arts at Tufts and currently resides in Seattle, was reconnecting with old friends at a Tufts reunion when she gained the inspiration to undertake “B-Boy,” an ambitious project that has kept her researching, filming, and editing for four years. “B-Boy” tells the story of Eli, a teen from the suburbs who furiously prepares for his bar mitzvah – and consequently experiences the anxieties of reaching Jewish adulthood – while also pursuing his passion for artistic expression on the side, dazzling his friends and family on the dance floor.
The film has received wide acclaim throughout the US: it received the Audience Choice Award at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival, and was also an official selection at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Cohen plans to continue showing the film this winter, with upcoming screenings at The Jewish Museum in New York, as well as at several venues on the West Coast. She is thrilled about the film’s success, and excited about the film’s groundbreaking subject matter.
In a director’s statement, Cohen explained: “What I found, after four trips to the East Coast to shoot interviews, the bar mitzvah and two breakdancing battles, was that Eli was able to cross boundaries and bring seemingly disparate worlds together with a grace and maturity that was far beyond his years.”
Check out the trailer for “B-Boy” here:
Annie Leonard, a passionate supporter of sustainability and author of The Story of Stuff, came to speak at Tufts on October 24. Her book explains “how our obsession with stuff is trashing the planet, our communities, and our health,” and is accompanied by an informative animated video narrated by Leonard. As the Common Reading Book for the Class of 2016, The Story of Stuff was given to incoming freshmen in an effort to encourage community-wide discussions throughout the fall semester. The book also accompanies Tufts’ vision for a more sustainable campus, as this school year has also seen the implementation of President Monaco’s new Sustainability Council.
Check out a segment from Annie Leonard’s lecture, filmed by Dan Jubelirer, A15, and listen for her shout-out to Tufts’ campaign to divest from fossil fuels! For more info on the campaign, visit Divest For Our Future.
Somewhere between the rush of orientation and the hurried pace of September, we forget to welcome the fabulous faculty members who are new to the Tufts community. In this video from the Tufts Daily, you’ll meet Pedro Angel Palou, a new professor in the Romance Languages Department who specializes in Spanish Literary Theory. This video is the first in the Daily’s new series called “New Faculty on the Block.”
This semester, Pedro Angel Palou is teaching a class on Latin American literature, as well as an advanced course comparing 20th century films and novels from Mexico. Meet Professor Palou in the interview below:
On October 13th, the Jackson Jills, Tufts’ oldest female a cappella group, performed at Boloco on Boston Avenue. Performing alongside the University of Richmond Octaves, the Jills showed off their new members and some impressive new songs.
Check out this video from the Tufts Daily of the Jills performing “Only the Horses” by Scissor Sisters.
Tufts’ annual homecoming a cappella show was a huge hit with students and alumni alike, as the Amalgamates, Jackson Jills, and Beelzebubs preformed to an enthusiastic audience in Goddard Chapel. Each group was excited to show off their new members, as well as their exciting new repertoire of songs.
Here’s a clip of the Bubs performing Bonnie Tyler’s 1984 hit, “Holding Out For A Hero.”
Tufts Department of Drama and Dance debuted it’s production of “Our Private Lives” on October 18. The play, a black comedy from Colombia, is making its North American premiere in English at Tufts. The production features a small cast, and touches on issues surrounding a deeply dysfunctional family.
Check out the Tufts Daily video below for interviews with Director Laurence Senelick, as well as with cast members Ryan Willison, A13, and Edward Rosini, A16.
Calling all aspiring filmmakers! The Tufts Student Film Union (TSFU) is a new organization for students interested in every aspect of the filmmaking process, from directing to designing costumes. They’re looking to work on a variety of different projects in the coming year, and are hoping to reach out to a diverse group of undergrads. That’s why they’ve produced this humorous promo – in the video, you’ll meet the students behind TSFU and discover their quirky attitudes, friendly demeanors, and zest for all things film! Plus, they’ve got some awesome dance moves.
Check out the video below: