Monthly Archives: September 2010

Swooned by the Bassoon

I am a fan of classical music; I listen to it while studying, doing the dishes, and attempting to lull myself into a peaceful slumber.  I do not in any way however consider myself a classical music connoisseur.  I tend to view this type of music as ambient noise; something to exist in the background while tasks that require more attention exist in the forefront of my mind.  This preconceived notion is what circulated in my mind as I journeyed into “Voices”, a faculty recital headlined by Matthew Morris, Visiting Assistant Bassoon and Music Theory Professor from Baylor University.  I expected an audience comprised of elder School of Music junkies, entertainment to be non-existent, and to be rudely awoken from a trance-like nap by the second Sonata.

Fortunately for me, as well as the musician I am critiquing, this is not the scenario that was written into the reality of last night’s events.  The audience consisted of nearly 90% students and respective peers and I was immediately entertained by Morris’s interjectory quips.  Morris’ bassoon needed a few adjustments after the first set of songs and he improvised this possible awkward occurrence by recounting a short, yet entertaining, history of the instrument unknown by most. “This instrument runs like the Nile,” joked Morris, “water just goes everywhere.”  The audience erupted into unprovoked laughter that I participated in even without a pertinent knowledge of his predicament. (Musical talent is far from my list of perceived abilities).

Morris was wise enough to recognize that his talent was not one that was familiar with the large majority of the audience, and tried to explain bluntly how the instrument is played.  He described the process as, “somewhere between riding a wild mustang and a plow horse.” (Again cue laugh track from the now captive audience).

“Voices”, the recital’s broad category, dealt with not only the voice of the composer, but both the artist and instrument of choice.  These components are the three key elements displayed in any performance, and more particularly this one, which premiered a piece never before heard.

I was completely surprised at how much I enjoyed the music of both the bassoon and accompanying piano even without the luxury of other distractions.  The bassoon’s suave sound relaxed me into submission as the wavy wood paneling comprising the ceiling of Glidden Hall added to the calming effect.  Despite some moderate technical difficulties in the second sonata, I fully embraced my first introduction to the flashy bassoon and its methodically swooning tone.

Visit the Arts for Ohio Calendar to see when and where to catch the next Visiting Artist Recital.


Burhan Dogançay: Urban Walls

Although many students may have passed the Trisolini Gallery after accidentally by-passing the highly trafficked fourth floor bathroom of Baker, and only know about the Kennedy Museum after a break-in at the Ridges, the Ohio University Art Gallery on the 5th floor of Seigfred Hall is a hard spot to happen upon unless an art student, or wandering out of Hudson with severe dementia.

This typically unknown space to the average co-ed hosts three to five exhibitions a year, often showcasing students and regional art as well as spotlighting nationally known talent.  The latest installment in the 2500 square foot space belongs to Burhan Doğançay who is of the later mentioned talent. Doğançay, a Turkish artist with a penchant for collage, is displayed in such meager galleries as the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Centre Pompidou, and numerous other Museums across the globe.

The exhibition currently on display showcases Doğançay’s “Urban Walls” which exhibits his life long fascination with city expression.  For Doğançay:

Walls serve as a testament to the passage of time, reflecting social, political and economic change. They also bear witness to the assault of the elements and to the markings left by people. (Personal Website)

His artistic depictions cover a variety of mediums including acrylic, crayon, collage, and one particular piece existing from sand and cardboard.  Creations look as if they were neatly extracted from a dim alley using specialized instruments to maintain their original decay.  In many of the pieces it’s hard to differentiate where Doğançay’s hand stops and the mixed media begins.

Let Doğançay’s decay become your fine art by visiting his “Urban Walls” now on the 5th floor of Seigfred Hall anytime time 10-4 (except Sundays).

ASYLUM: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals

Located within a renovated asylum, Christopher Payne’s photographs echo their location with an eerie positivity that almost too vividly captures the realm of the past psychotic.  Lining that first and second floor hallways of the Kennedy Museum, Payne’s photographs transport you with ease into an alternate dimension as the sheer size of the pictures steal you from your locked standing position.

Payne captures the separation of innocence and pain as barbed wire attacks the fringes of pastoral elegance.  A willow stands solemnly as rows of unnamed graves radiate out from its deep roots.

Humbled by the large format of the photographs you are instantly flooded with an array of high-impact hues.  Sea foam greens and carmine reds disrupt each other as they pop from their hiding spaces on the wall.  Illuminating light plants an idea of loneliness as you begin to feel apart of the scene that is staring directly back at you.

Payne’s exhibit can transport you from now until January 2nd, 2011 at the Kennedy Museum of Art.