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CalArts faculty Wadada Leo Smith discusses his music career

March 14, 2013
All About Jazz

Wadada Leo Smith: The Teacher

By Franz A. Matzner

Wadada Leo Smith's career as a creative musician spans more than forty years. The trumpeter/composer's myriad accomplishments have been well-documented, particularly recently, as his recoding and performance career have undergone a marked renaissance, the success of which has shown a spotlight not only on his recent undertakings, but also inspired a reexamination of his past works.

As an early contributor to the development of the free music revolution, Smith was an early member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), an integral force in the development of the free music movement. Since his early works where he helped redefine the contours of improvisational jazz, Smith has been exploring the outer and inner frontiers of improvisational music and composition via a numerous ensembles, projects, and theoretical writings. He has developed a unique musical notation system and has held formal teaching positions at the University of New Haven (1975-'76), the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY (1975-'78), and Bard College (1987-'93) and The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts.

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Calartians, Ethan Clarke, Sara Gunnarsdottir and Eusong Lee, nominated for Student Academy Awards

May 1, 2013
The Hollywood Reporter

Forty-seven students have been selected

The 47 finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Student Academy Awards competition were announced Wednesday.

Thirty-eight students from 17 U.S. colleges and universities as well as nine students from foreign universities have been selected.

The winners will come to Los Angeles for a week of industry activities that will culminate in the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Student Academy Awards were established in 1972. Previous winners include John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Robert Zemeckis, Trey Parker and Spike Lee.  Read more.

CalArts student short featured on food blog

May 1, 2013

The Braiser
By Mariella Mosthof  

Last Call

GrubStreet: This CalArts student short about a puppy making his world-weary owner an omelette is basically the only thing getting us through…life. Read More. 

Obituary for alumna Channa Horwitz

May 1, 2013

Absolute Arts

Channa Horwitz

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of artist Channa Horwitz. Channa passed away on Monday afternoon, April 29th, in Los Angeles. Her last few days were spent with friends and family, and she was at peace.

Channa Horwitz was born in 1932 and received a B.F.A. from CalArts in 1972. Working for over 50 years, Channa only realized in these past few years a professional success that had sometimes eluded her. From inclusion in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the New Museum in New York, she was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Only a few months ago, she had been announced as a participant in the upcoming Venice Biennale. Read More. 

Wadada Leo Smith named Jazz Musician of the Year and Trumpeter of the Year

May 1, 2013

CD Insight
By Joe Ross 

Jazz Journalists Association Announces Jazz Awards

Veteran saxophonist Wayne Shorter, longtime creative music trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, and newcomer Ryan Truesdell were top winners of the 2013 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards announced today online at their website.

Wayne Shorter, who emerged in the 1960s as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Miles Davis’ “second great quintet” besides his own classic albums on Blue Note Records and long collaboration in Weather Report, won the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz and for Soprano Saxophonist of the Year. The Wayne Shorter Quartet featuring pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade was named Best Small Ensemble.

Wadada Leo Smith, born in Arkansas, steeped in the blues but also an early member of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and now a professor at California Institute for the Arts, was named Jazz Musician of the Year and Trumpeter of the Year, partly in recognition of his acclaimed album Ten Freedom Summers. Read More.

School of Music alumni run performance space for experimental music and art

April 30, 2013

By Katie McMurran

Notes from the Underground: the wulf.

On a warm L.A. night, a large group has gathered in an Arts District loft to listen to Lewis Keller coax unconventional sounds from his electric guitar. To do so, he uses a variety of tools: a tuning fork, an electric fan, and a Walkman cassette player. These are just a few of the items that invoke buzzes, whirs, and crackles. The atmosphere is intimate, but not stifling. Far from it -- Keller is sitting on the floor, and the audience is loosely assembled in the open space: some sit on a comfortable couch, some in folding chairs; others stand, or sit on the floor, all seemingly absorbed by the broad range of sounds emanating from the amplifier.

This surprisingly relaxed-but-serious concert setting is par for the course at the wulf., a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting experimental music and arts. Comfort is actually part of the point. Co-founder Michael Winter explains that the wulf. is a place where people can "listen on their own terms" and also leave behind the formalities often associated with concert attendance. Arriving late? No problem. Not interested in the music and want to leave? That's okay too. Read More. 

Video: student Melanie Atwater's new animated short film

April 30, 2013

By Aaron

Atwater Bathes In Producer’s Show Attention

Melanie Atwater’s 3rd year CalArts film playfully tackles the topic of the leering, horny male, otherwise known as ‘the internet.’ The Flash-animated short, titled Moon Goddess, finds a drooling lurker at the edge of the Moon Goddesses’ bathing lake. We’ll let Melanie take it from there…Read More

Alumna photographer Catherine Opie profiled

April 30, 2013

Magazine C
By Elizabeth Khuri Chandler

Turning Focus

On a blustery Friday morning near USC, photographer Catherine Opie opens the front gate to her 1908 Craftsman home. “Come on in,” she says. She’s wearing a peaked hat, dress shirt and loose-fitting jeans, eyes framed by thick white glasses. We pass a tangle of succulents and overgrown flowers and walk inside, where Opie’s partner—a painter and resident green thumb—Julie Burleigh, is just leaving for the day.

The feeling is cozy and intimate: worn oriental rugs, an Arco lamp, a disco Gumby by Raymond Pettibon, a small Lari Pittman in the hallway, a stylized photograph of two men dancing together by Robert Mapplethorpe is in the living room. Out the back door, past a chicken coop and a beehive, is Opie’s Roger White-designed studio. Here, the skylights have shades so Opie can block out the sun and create those Holbein-inspired studio portraits for which she’s known. Today, however, the shades are pulled back, shedding light on her latest project hanging on the walls: Elizabeth Taylor’s closet. Shot with a Hasselblad H2 with a digital back (in Opie’s opinion, the closest approximation to film), the photographs are close-ups of silks and ermine hanging cheek by jowl, almost unrecognizable beyond texture and color. “What is iconic?” she asks. Throughout her career, she has consistently toyed with that concept. In the 2003 series “Surfers” and the 1994-95 series “Freeway,” she reworked those L.A. motifs. “Surfers are always on a wave; mine are waiting,” she says. “Freeways are always full; mine are empty.” Read More. 

Video: King Kababa and the Knight, a new film by animation student Jason Reicher

APRIL 29, 2013

By Aaron

Reicher’s Work a Jewel in the CalArts Kingdom

Jason Reicher, a student at CalArts, has revealed his latest work – King Kababa and the Knight. With strict orders to round up any housebound bugs, a knight knocks on the door of an independently-minded man who lives in a treehouse. Dialog is delivered in rhyming couplets, and the design is delivered with a very tasteful palette to compliment the world class designs. Read More.

Draper University of Heroes perpares students for the unexpected

April 22, 2013
Ohh Word.com

Tim Draper's superhero-laden vision for the future of education is so nuts that it might actually work

By Michael Carney

Tim Draper’s children may all be out of the house already, but if they were in high school today, he says that he’d have a hard time advising them to go to a traditional four year university. As the founder and a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), the third generation Silicon Valley VC has been investing in college grads (and dropouts) for nearly three decades. And he thinks that higher education is broken.

“Education has to think about renovating itself,” Draper says. “People are concerned about cost, how long it takes, and how unprepared graduates are when they get to the workforce. Training has been so rote, that it rarely prepares people for the unexpected, for change, for experimentation.”

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