Author: Boris Avrumov

Jazz it up

For the outside arts topic,  I’m going to talk a bit about listening to live music.

Recently we saw the latin jazz performance at Brooklyn College which was really great.   The music was powerful, and the coziness of the room made it very personal.  I was very impressed with the fact that a lot of people played more than one instrument.

In contrast, I’ve been to jazz and orchestra concerts at Brooklyn Tech (fondly remember the orchestra playing the Game of Thrones theme last year)  And the experience is totally different.  For one thing, there’s more improv at the performance at BC.  At Tech, we have a huge 3 floor auditorium, so it doesn’t feel as cozy unless you’re sitting close to the front.  At both schools I usually focus to the people who I actually know on stage, so that stayed the same.  There were a lot less solos at Tech though, it felt more rigid and I don’t know why exactly.  Regardless I always enjoy myself at events like these, because the physical vibrations that the instruments (especially bass instruments) cause feel good and create an all around calming, chill atmosphere.

In the future I definitely see myself going to more concerts, both back at my old high school and here at Brooklyn college.

Check it out: 11:59 I MADE IT

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Henry IV vs Tosca

For me, Henry IV was difficult to follow.  I never liked Shakespearean English, or Shakespeare’s plays in general. However, the play at St. Ann’s was more than about the story.  It was about the setting, the choreography, the lighting, the music, the props, and the actors themselves.

Jade Anouka, the actress who played the prisoner who played Hotspur, was phenomenal.  Her seamless blend of physical activity and line delivery was beautiful.  Easily my favorite character, I loved the enthusiasm and energy in every line of her performance.  The fighting-at-a-distance was satisfying to watch, because the movements were really fluid and the sound effects were a nice touch.  The changing of props in front of us was interesting, in contrast to the opera stage which was much bigger and used higher budget property.  This setup change was integrated into the theater experience with music and steel pans (I love percussion instruments).  The jokes were funny (when I understood them), especially the Scottish independence bit.  I don’t know how I feel about the production “breaking down” at the “hotdog down a hallway” joke, I’m not sure I wanted to be reminded that we were still in a prison.

It reminded me that I couldn’t go to the bathroom for another hour until they opened the gates again.

This brings me to my dislikes.  What I didn’t like about the the performance was the lack of intermission.  Sitting through over 2 hours in one go is not fun for me, it’s one reason I don’t really watch movies.  The confusing plot points took away from the performance as well.

I enjoyed the opera a lot more than the performance, because I felt a wider range of emotions.  The beautiful singing and the detailed stage construction made me like it more.  It felt shorter thanks to the intermissions, which were really good for socializing and just catching a break.  The translation was really thoughtful, the play would’ve done well with a modern English translation as well.  The atmosphere just felt richer overall.  I remember at one point the hair on my arms stood up when Tosca sang.  I think the humor on Tosca is more relatable as well.  Everyone seemed to laugh at the “jealous girlfriend” stereotype, but everyone also shared the respect for Tosca when she murdered her assailant.  The story was so rich (sometimes too many details) but all in all it’s something I would watch again.  Tosca gave me a new perspective on opera, and I’m grateful to have had the chance to experience both the opera and the play.


But the opera was better (for me).

Pretty Chill Ballet

Prior to Thursday I had 0 experience watching ballet, I was initially worried I wouldn’t get it. The first act (Brahms-Haydn Variations) was where I really enjoyed the music.  I often stared at the conductor’s wild movements or looked at the sides of the orchestra to see what instruments were producing certain unique sounds. The dancing was wonderful too and fit the music tempo very well.  The second act was very “meh” for me because musically, and on stage, everything seemed to flow very slowly.  I recognize how skilled the performers are, but it’s not something I would want to see again. Part of this is probably due to me being an impatient person, the other part being the music I listen to is typically a lot more fast paced, throughout the performance I was kind of just waiting for something to happen.

Finally, The Green Table.  Everyone seemed to like this one.  I LOVED the beats the dancers banged out on the table at the same time, it was an intriguing source of sound because until then the stage was meant to be quiet, sounds come only from the orchestra or the piano.  Marcelo Gomes’ black outfit and ?face paint? were really awesome as well, he was a glaringly obvious metaphor for death.  The flag made interesting colors as it was waved around, and through my binoculars it really was just a white flag with red and black splotches, maybe another color as well (the colored lighting made it difficult).  The way he kept a beat by stomping his boot was satisfying as well.  I think the meaning was fairly obvious, the politicians/diplomats sitting at the green table had a disagreement, leading to fighting, leading to war, leading to death, and the cycle repeats.  It was just a really satisfying act to watch and a great way to end the show.

A look into the future (@ The High Line!)


I chose this rough metal telescope sculpture because looking to the stars always conjures a beautiful image.  In the industrialized, urban first world, light pollution prevents us from gazing upwards and enjoying the view.  Despite this, astrophysics remains one of the most exciting fields today, with new discoveries constantly being made.  NASA’s mars rover recently found evidence of superficial salt water, which used to be a subject of science fiction.  SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appears on talk shows and interviews announcing his plans for colonizing the red planet, and even goes into detail on how it can be accomplished relatively soon.  Even if this telescope were real, you’d barely see anything of interest thanks to our city’s brightness, but also due to the telescope’s relatively small size.

However, to me this telescope is no longer about observing the photons radiating off of celestial bodies (looking at stars).  This telescope is looking into the future, a symbol of exciting advancements and discoveries to come.  It’s a metaphor for scientific progress, and the potential everyone has to grab a telescope themselves and unfold the mysteries of the universe.

And the people at the High Line will walk by it without a second thought.

Hi Hi Hello I’m Boris

I promise to say “um” and “you know” a lot less in future videos.  (Maybe I’ll even have different facial expressions?)


Also I won’t record them at night when I look and sound like I’m ready for bed.

This is going to be a fun semester guys