Tag Archives: music

My trip to Maryland to See a Band Called “The Maine”

Maggie Allen

Maggie Allen,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 10 November 2018

Aside from being an engineering student, I frequently attend concerts, many of which are for a band called The Maine.

I started listening to The Maine in 7th grade and have been following them ever since, from concerts on the East Coast to a cactus-framed festival in the southwestern desert.

Last month, my sister and I traveled to Silver Spring, Maryland for a ‘funeral’ concert which was a farewell to their latest album, ‘Lovely Little Lonely’.

Lovely Little Lonely

My sister and I made a trip out of the weekend and explored the city of Silver Spring as well as the University of Maryland (where my sister is planning on conducting her post-doc research after she finishes her PhD).

n Saturday night, we got dressed up in our red attire (since the album’s theme was red, the show was a ‘red out’) and made our way to the venue. Lined up outside the venue were hundreds of people all dressed in red, many of whom had traveled across the country and even a few who traveled from all over the world! Like a funeral procession, we entered the venue, leaving roses to pay our respects to the end of an era.

Lovely Little Lonely

By the time The Maine came on, the sold-out venue was packed full of 2000 fans from around the world. The band played 19 songs spanning their entire discography with the crowd singing along to every word.

Lovely Little Lonely

After the show, I talked with members of the band and met with friends who I knew from years of these shows. Even after 23 shows over 8 years, the feeling I get at these shows never changes. The way my heart leaps when they come on stage, the happiness I feel when I see a familiar face, and the feeling of home no matter where I am; it makes the sleep deprivation, midnight project sessions, and all the school stress that come after completely worth it.

The Tempo Tantrums

Jelena Mrvos

Jelena Mrvos,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 17 October 2018

Throughout my childhood, I have always been involved in musical groups. Whether I was singing, dancing, or playing an instrument, music was always my outlet. I never realized just how important it was to have a creative outlet like that until I got to college.

Freshman year, I made the decision to not participate in anything musical, or even fine arts related. For a while, I didn’t even notice the void it left in my life, because I was so distracted getting acclimated to college life. However, about midway through the year, I realized just how much I missed having music in my life. So, sophomore year, I decided to join an a cappella group.

Tempo Tantrums

The Tempo Tantrums, or TT as I like to call it, is one of two a cappella groups for female-identifying students on campus. Of the two, we are the only group that does not require the enrollment in a choir class. We sing for various events on campus, such as events for student organizations or university occasions. We also perform at Donkey Coffee every semester!

However, the peak of the a cappella calendar is the Spring Invitational, in April. Every a cappella group on campus sings a set at the Memorial Auditorium, and many people come to listen!

I have met so many of my closest friends through TT, and the memories I have made are irreplaceable! Three years in, I am so happy with my decision to join; I couldn’t imagine college without TT!

Learning the Guitar

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 1 December 2017

My family lives in a pretty centralized area, except for my aunt and uncle who happen to live in Texas. I very rarely get to see them, so where an opportunity arrives, I have to be sure to take it. Just to my luck, they took a trip back to Ohio to see the family before the holidays! I was able to go home for the weekend and have a great gathering with them.

The coolest part about this whole trip is that I recently just started learning guitar and my uncle is a wizard on the six string. I can play the basic chords and such, but when my uncle pulled out my guitar and started playing all sorts of songs, it was hard to be anything else but amazed!

I took in every second of being able to learn subtle movements or finger placements to make chords easier, and also, he was telling me some of the best ways to learn. He was also sharing to me about the guitars he has. I was just amazed at how talented he was and that I never knew this information about him, even when all of the times we have seen each other.

I am looking forward to being able to see him next time and hopefully impress him with getting better at the guitar.

Physics and Open Mic

Jordan Osman

Jordan Osman,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 22 October 2017

An interesting non-engineering class that I have decided to take this semester is physics. It has really taught me to view our world in a different perspective and I believe that perspective is really the best thing one can take from a class.

Moreover, it’s nice to take a class that offers a crash course in technical writing. Although you do go over it in in the engineering classes we
take here, you never really get the chance to actually test and make sure if you have good technical writing skills, and my physics class is a helpful check for that.

Away from classes, I do do weekly open mics with a group of kids, and that’s a lot of fun. Last week I played with my friend Elli at the front room coffee shop and it was packed. The crowd was great and it’s always nice to be able to show something you’ve spent a lot of time refining and tweaking. I plan on continuing to do that with my group of open-mic friends all over Athens.

I’m really looking forward to Dads Weekend because of all the dads we ended up meeting through athletic events here on campus. My roommates and I plan on having a Dads Weekend cookout and inviting all the dads. It should be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it.

What To Do When I’m Not Studying…

Ross Lowry

Ross Lowry,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 10 December 2014

Finals week is in full swing, meaning sleep and motivation are at an all-time low, with stress at an all- time high. To be successful during finals week, you can’t burn yourself out. It is too easy to, and many students find themselves falling victim to this. My best advice, take breaks! It doesn’t matter if its two minutes or two hours, but you have to let your brain relax for a little bit.

Whenever I take a break, I always turn to music. If I am at either the ARC or the library I can put my headphones in and just zone out for a second and not have to worry about the exam I will be taking in a few hours.

If I am at home studying, I will go play guitar for a while. For me, playing guitar is my best escape; when I am playing I don’t focus on anything but the music, letting all the stresses of the day get droned out from my Marshall amplifier.

Guitar and Amp

Just the other night I learned the solo to the song “Hotel California” by the Eagles (great solo by the way for any guitarists out there). The first time I was able to play it all the way through without making any mistakes gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction which is exactly the confidence boost everyone needs before finals week.

Playing Guitar

Don’t let finals week overshadow your passions in life, for they are exactly what your mind needs in order to relax, build confidence, and overall reduce stress. The less stressed out you are, the more successful you will most likely be on your finals. Don’t get me wrong, studying is very important, and a lot of time should be dedicated to it, but if you decide to take a break do something you enjoy doing to put your mind at ease.

Best of luck to everyone with finals this week!

Taking Time to Play with my Band

Daron DiSabato

Daron DiSabato,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 06 March 2014 – To escape the stress of our engineering coursework, many students in the Russ College (including myself) have hobbies and other activities that we partake in outside of the classroom. For me, I am practicing musician and recording artist. For the past nine years, I have been actively involved in a Columbus-based rock band called Playing To Vapors. Consisting of my best high school friends, we fall into the alternative/progressive rock genre akin to the likes of Radiohead, Minus the Bear, and My Morning Jacket. From live performances to studio recording, we immerse ourselves in every part of the music making experience—-writing, recording and performing all original material.

Playing to Vapors Live

As a student of both electrical engineering and audio production I am frequently asked how audio/music and electrical engineering are related. It may seem that the two are polar opposites; however, recording a professional sounding record requires a deep technical knowledge of acoustics, recording equipment and analog and digital signal processing.

A true recording engineer not only understands the qualities that make a great song but must fully understand signal-processing equipment such as equalizers and compressors to properly manage frequency balance and transient content in a recording. Many of concepts which are developed through electrical engineering courses are also important in the audio world, including gain, frequency response, sampling, bit depth, feedback, filtering, signal-to-noise ratio, and many, many more. What electrical engineering has brought to my audio background is a greater knowledge of these concepts and the ability to apply my technical know-how directly to my work as a recording artist and musician.

Playing to Vapors in the Studio

Playing to Vapors in the Studio

Rockin’ Out With the Roomies

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 11 February 2014 – I’m sure the vast majority of non-engineers would perceive the common undergraduate engineering student as one who is left-brained, analytical, meticulous, and, ultimately, quite boring. Without a doubt these types of engineers exist: those that always have their nose in a textbook or are preparing for their next academic deadline or project. These types of individuals almost always excel in the classroom and are shoo-ins for technical, well-paying jobs after graduation.

But for every bookworm in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, there is a student who falls somewhere in the middle of the left-brain/right-brain spectrum; these students are creative, think outside-of-the-box, and most likely have a very different perspective on their engineering discipline that does his or her analytical counterpart. I’d like to briefly talk about my experience playing the drums (what I like to tout as my “right-brained” activity).

I started playing the drums in seventh grade after my dad bought me a beat-up kit for about $200. I took lessons for a year and have been teaching myself ever since. I am in a three-piece rock band back home (Brunswick, OH, just south of Cleveland); over the summer we practice quite a bit and try to write original material whenever we get the chance.

When I’m here at school, however, my musical urges are satisfied in a different way. Two of my roommates play guitar and bass respectively; the bass player is the bassist in my band from back home (we’re called Twelve On The High if you want to check us out). Rather than sitting down and writing discrete songs, we prefer to improvise and “jam” with one another. My roommate Brian, the guitarist, will present a riff to Nick and I and we will work off of that riff in an attempt to turn it into something great.

I would not be the person I am today without the influence that playing the drums has had on my life, but I would also not be the same from an academic and professional standpoint as well. To have the outlet of playing music is truly a blessing because it allows me to step back from my work as an engineer and use different parts of my brain that require me to think in different ways. I think playing the drums definitely improves my creativity and provides me with a fun and effective way to relieve stress.

To any student who is thinking about entering college as an engineer, I strongly recommend having some sort of “right-brained” activity that you enjoy doing to balance out the monotony of academic endeavors. Work-life balance is important to everyone, but, it is especially important to young students who are starting their careers.