Marginalia, Graduate Blog

PLANTAR FASCIITIS, SAY WHAT: A GUIDE TO SUMMER READING

by Daniel Scott Parker

Optimism-for-the-Jump

I was once chastised (putting it mildly) for taking medical advice from a German bartender over a seemingly insouciant French doctor. I get it: bartender, doctor. Should be a no brainer. But if I’d listened to my Uber driver early Saturday morning of July 5th (who correctly, by the way, diagnosed my awkward unipedal hopping out to the street), it would’ve saved me $(TBD) from my ER medical bill. After all, the student loans faucet has been shut off.

PLANTAR FASCIITIS, SAY WHAT: A GUIDE TO SUMMER READING

I was once chastised (putting it mildly) for taking medical advice from a German bartender over a seemingly insouciant French doctor. I get it: bartender, doctor. Should be a no …

Daniel Scott Parker MFA Poetry Daniel Scott Parker, danielsparker@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Suspense is Killing Me

by Christine Reed

Enjoying the outdoors at the beach.  Christine Reed. Elementary Education MAT. 7/23/14

Enjoying the outdoors at the beach. Christine Reed. Elementary Education MAT. 7/23/14

Summer is half over, and although I should be sad that the days of sunshine, beach visits and summertime barbecues are nearing an end, I absolutely cannot wait to embark on my next journey!  As stated in my previous blog, I recently accepted a teaching position with Chicago Public Schools as the dance teacher at Ravenswood Elementary School: A Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster School, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

The Suspense is Killing Me

Summer is half over, and although I should be sad that the days of sunshine, beach visits and summertime barbecues are nearing an end, I absolutely cannot wait to embark …

Elementary Education MAT Christine Reed, christine.reed1@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Working for an Education

by Joshua C. Robinson

Photo Credit: Joshua C Robinson

Photo Credit: Joshua C Robinson

I had the impression that I was an exceptional writer; I had convinced myself that I had writing nearly down to a science. I was so sure of myself that I would exhibit a calm nonchalance and (I’m embarrassed to say) arrogance when editing the work of my peers. My new job has taken that arrogance and covered it in red proofreading marks. Being a student editorial assistant is a humbling experience and at first seemed a little unreal.“How could this happen?” I thought. I’ve put in way more than 10,000 hours to writing of all varieties: poetry, playwriting, journalism, short stories and blog posts. Surely I can’t be that bad of a grammarian?

Working for an Education

I had the impression that I was an exceptional writer; I had convinced myself that I had writing nearly down to a science. I was so sure of myself that …

Business & Entrepreneurship MAM Joshua C. Robinson, JoshuaCDRobinson@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

5 Reasons You Should Write Video Game Music

by Logan Stahley

My first gaming machines

My first gaming machines

1. More Freedom

When listening to scores to games from Journey, Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption, to the Donkey Kong Country series, it is obvious that the composers are given a large amount of creative control. Generally, it seems like the directors of the games let the composers take risks, and find a unique sound. The nature of the medium also gives a less strict structure. A lot of score is used to set a mood or feeling, instead of writing to the hit points.

In addition, there seems to be less people making changes when compared to film music. I have heard many stories of composers given endless notes from producers, and the final product is very far away from the composer’s original idea. There can be many producers all giving different notes. This can be a real juggling match for a composer, trying to please each producer and at the same time making the music you want to make. I don’t believe games are immune to this problem (big blockbuster games probably have this problem as well), but it seems like it could be less common.

2. Unique Demographic

Diversifying your work to include video games will bring your music to a whole new group of mostly younger people. Composing for both mediums maximizes your potential fan base.

3. Emergent Gaming

It is an exciting time to be a game composer. The way the music can react to each player’s movement is magical. Programming and music creation skills come together to make the score. According to Austin Wintory, “The highly ingrained traditions of film composition don’t mean much in games. It’s more of a reckless Wild West. Games are still crazy teenagers, and I love that. Anything goes.” Take a look at an New York Times interview about this here

First and second year students at the arcade!

First and second year students at the arcade!

4. Longer Gigs

Video games usually have a larger frame for the composer to work when compared to film. While films often need to be scored in less than a month, video games have from half a year to a couple years of development time. Composers are usually involved much earlier on a video game, and have more time to create the score, which is often much lengthier than a film score. A good example is Red Dead Redemption, which features over 14 hours of original music. According to this article, compositions were completed over 15 months; a great gig for sure!

5. More Scoring Opportunities

The yearly revenue of video games continues to rise. In 2013, it reached $73 billion. The number of games being made is also quite insane. I am not sure on the math, but I imagine there are many many games for every one film made. So what are you waiting for? Get in contact with a game developer!

Note About AFM Musicians and Video Games

Unfortunately, scoring for games has some cons as well. According to Austin Wintory, No AFM (American Federation of Musicians) musician has been able to work on a new video game score for almost two years. Take a look at his video explaining this problem.

YouTube Preview Image

I can’t wait to score some games at Columbia. During our 2nd year gaming class, we work on the gaming major’s senior projects.

5 Reasons You Should Write Video Game Music

1. More Freedom When listening to scores to games from Journey, Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption, to the Donkey Kong Country series, it is obvious that the composers are …

Music Composition for the Screen MFA Logan Stahley, unhello@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Submitting Your Work

by Parker Stockman

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 7.52.03 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you see that up there? My name is on an article. I’ve been published over at Role Reboot! My friend Dana Norris wrote an awesome article about things she knew about online dating, and when I read her article, I commented that it’s a bit different for a gay man. “Write that and submit it,” she said. So, I did.

Submitting Your Work

                  Do you see that up there? My name is on an article. I’ve been published over at Role Reboot! My friend …

Creative Writing - Fiction MFA Parker Stockman, parker.stockman@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Wherever I lay my hat

by Conor O'Farrell

One of the producers, in his room under the stairs. Courtesy Warner Bros.

One of the producers, in his room under the stairs. Courtesy Warner Bros.

My ambassador duties will come to an end later this summer, and someone new will take the reigns. In the meantime, now that we’ve somewhat adjusted to Los Angeles, it’s my job to prepare you for both Los Angeles and the film industry. Last time I wrote about stuff to consider professionally before making the move. But now, here’s some of the more practical stuff to consider that will benefit you when you touch down in Los Angeles.

Wherever I lay my hat

My ambassador duties will come to an end later this summer, and someone new will take the reigns. In the meantime, now that we’ve somewhat adjusted to Los Angeles, it’s …

Cinema Art + Science - Creative Producing Conor O'Farrell, conor.ofarrell@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Student Spotlight: Kellen Walker

by Justin Botz

 kellen

Today’s student spotlight is on Interdisciplinary Arts & Media thesis student, Kellen Walker.  She is an amazing artist who works primarily in sensory-heavy, interactive performances.

01 marnie tape

Could you talk about some of your work before Columbia?

Before Columbia, I was living between Austin and San Antonio, Texas, making theater and performance art that involved food and smells. I directed a double-bill featuring an autobiographical work of my own, The Marnie Tape, paired next to Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape. These performances, set in a San Antonio warehouse, were fantastic artistic opportunities. I collaborated with my partner, Barry Walker (musician), and best friend, Jessica Quazi (lighting/sound designer), among so many other talented people. At the time, I was very interested in breaking the fourth wall with the senses. I wanted to play with the idea of how an audience member participates when they sit down to witness theater. Works from Matt Hislope and Josh Meyer of Rubber Repertory and Jeremy O. Torres of Theatre Synesthesia (both Austin-based theater companies) deeply inspired me to make more sensory-heavy work.

02 game night

Could you talk about a project you are currently working on?

Currently, I have something in workshop called Game Night, which I’ve been working on since February of 2013. It is a choreographed experience that illustrates to an audience what a stroke would feel like. I produced a version of Game Night at Rhinoceros Festival in 2014 with Barry and Jessica, my main collaborators, as well as Chris Bednash from Columbia’s Interdisciplinary Arts & Media program. It’s a project that I need to keep alive and shape in many formats beyond the black box theater. It is definitely still in the works.

03 sin eating

What has been a highlight from your time in the Interdisciplinary Arts & Media program?

I fortunately had the opportunity to meet an alumni from the program, Mike St. John, right when I came to Columbia in 2012. At the time, he had just graduated from the media side and had a really interesting art practice that involved, to name one project, making homemade cereal. We hit it right off, as friends but also as collaborators. Mike, his friend Moe Yousef from Brooklyn, and myself came together in 2013 and are now in a performance group based in competitive eating called The Sin Eaters. “Sin eating” is an age-old tradition, mostly practiced in the middle ages where a lower caste member of society would eat a crust of bread over a deceased body to absolve any corporeal sins. In short, we tailor an event like a pie eating contest into a performance, or moreso, a labor that we provide the audience. Our take on “sin eating” has turned into a communal exchange, where a witness confesses a sin and we essentially eat/absolve their confession in a competitive eating format. It’s choreographed chaos! We had incredible opportunities to perform at Co-Prosperity Sphere in May 2013 and then in September that year at church-turned-artist-residency, Pilot Balloon, out of Lawrence, Kansas.

04 sin eating

Any upcoming shows you want us to know about?

The Sin Eaters are performing at the Abrons Art Center in New York in mid-August. Talk about dream come true!

For more info on Kellens amazing work check out her website!

Student Spotlight: Kellen Walker

Today’s student spotlight is on Interdisciplinary Arts & Media thesis student, Kellen Walker.  She is an amazing artist who works primarily in sensory-heavy, interactive performances. Could you talk about some …

Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA Justin Botz, justin.botz@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Importance of Studio Visits

by Evan Baden

Julie and John come to visit in St. Paul, 2011

Julie and John come to visit in St. Paul, 2011

Studio visit is a word that you will hear over and over again while in grad school (when you’re out in the real world as well), but it would be a good idea to actually know what that term means and why it’s important to being an actively exhibiting artist. 

The Importance of Studio Visits

Studio visit is a word that you will hear over and over again while in grad school (when you’re out in the real world as well), but it would be …

Photography MFA Evan Baden, evan.baden@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Miss Independent

by Danielle Dwyer

One of my many long driving trips by myself.

One of my many long driving trips by myself.

Miss Independent…Miss Self-sufficient…Miss Keep-your-distance.

Miss Unafraid…Miss Outta-my-way…

…Miss On-her-own…

This is my theme song – Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson.

Miss Independent

Miss Independent…Miss Self-sufficient…Miss Keep-your-distance. Miss Unafraid…Miss Outta-my-way… …Miss On-her-own… This is my theme song – Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson.

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Apartment Safari

by Steph Jurusz

View from the Roof on July 4

For most MFA students at Columbia, June-August is apartment hunting season, and I am no exception. We moved into our apartment last August after a two-day drive from Florida. As I mentioned in my previous tweets and posts, we currently live in a convertible studio apartment, which was great for us when we first moved here, even though it was smaller than what we were used to. Now that both of us do the majority of our work from home, a larger apartment was in order.  Additionally, my fiance’s sister will be moving up to Chicago for school and will be living with us, so our apartment hunt this season began with some pretty specific criteria. Although it was challenging at times, I am happy to report that we found a beautiful apartment and are set to move in on August first. Read more to learn about my apartment hunting saga and advice!

Apartment Safari

For most MFA students at Columbia, June-August is apartment hunting season, and I am no exception. We moved into our apartment last August after a two-day drive from Florida. As …

Creative Writing - Nonfiction MFA Steph Jurusz, stephanie.jurusz@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience