Lowlapalooza is tomorrow from 10 am to 7 pm! Get yo’self acquainted with the acts before they start. Melissa O’Sullivan brings you String Theory and Taylor Simone and Noel Gutierrez-Morfin presents The Morningsiders.
String Theory (11:25 to 11:55 am)
String Theory isn’t your usual string ensemble. These 5 cellists–Justin Zhao, SEAS ’15; Nathan Chan, CC’15; Corinna Boylan, CC’15; Steven Bennett, CC ’15; and Maddie Tucker, CC’15–venture outside the realms of the expected classical pieces and perform comprehensive, inspired arrangements of pop songs.
They began during their NSOP week with sight reading parties in the John Jay lounge. Then Justin (who had no previous composing experience) began arranging music for the unique group. Using his perfect pitch, he can listen to a song and then write out five distinct cello parts that incorporate melodies, bass, harmonies, inter-voices, and even percussion.
The final product is breathtaking. Five immensely talented musicians perform pop songs with depth, power, richness, and range. The layered cello parts creates a dynamic, unique sound. The pieces in String Theory’s repertoire range from Coldplay’s Viva La Vida to PSY’s Gangnam Style. And their video performance of Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger has reached more than 110,000 Youtube views. Definitely check out this set!
Taylor Simone (12:00 to 12:25 pm)
Taylor Simone, CC’14, makes music that’s a moving mixture of Jazz and R&B. Influenced by Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Ledisi, Taylor’s music combines her smooth, soulful voice with raw lyrics. Coming from a musical family, Taylor began writing music in ninth grade. She uses writing as an emotional outlet in the sense of a true artist; she writes “to feel good.” As a freshman she performed at bars in SoHo and with the Columbia University Society of Hip-Hop (CUSH) as the opener for Snoop Dogg at Bacchanal ’11. During her sophomore year, she experienced some vocal issues. Now, her soulful voice is back, and on Sunday, she will be performing both original music and covers with a full band.
The Morningsiders (5:15 to 5:55 pm)
Made up of five CC ‘14ers, Morningsiders began when Magnus Ferguson and Reid Jenkins met up at a NYC accepted students weekend before freshman year—which was canceled. Not realizing this, both went anyways, and came out as friends. Through NSOP, Sig Nu, and a couple of jam sessions, Morningsiders, consisting of Magnus, Reid, Rob Frech, Benjamin Kreitma, and Vladimir Bernstein, came to be what it is today. Though only together for less than a month, Morningsiders plays like a band that has been together for years. Taking influence from jazz, classical, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, and Billy Joel, Morningsiders somehow manage to wrap all five up into a great bluegrass folk set that will definitely satisfy the Lowlapalooza crowd.
With songs ranging from folked-up hoedown to “I’m gonna listen to this while I’m in the back of a pick-up truck driving through a country road on a starry night because my girlfriend just broke up with me,” Morningsiders is an extremely moving folk band. They have deep harmonies in the vocals and instruments. They have killer improvised solos. They have a meaty bass thumping the beat. But what sets Morningsiders apart is how comfortable they are when playing together, and how much fun they obviously have doing it. Check out their Facebook, Twitter, and their Youtube channel, and make sure you don’t miss them at Lowlapalooza!
Taylor Simone photo via Reverbnation
Morningsiders logo via Facebook