Beyond the slushy sidewalks, up the slippery brick steps and through the doors of Wilson Commons rested the warmth and rich revitalization of sophomore Bryan Brown’s many flavors, as he exhibited his wide range of musical talent on Friday, Nov. 21 at Starbucks.
From 10 p.m. until midnight, a comforting number of UR’s student body gathered to bask in Brown’s rays.
Brown has been inspired to perform and create since the age of overalls and light-up sneaks. He eloquently exhibited his abilities on the mandolin, alto saxophone, guitar and recorder, as well as his gifts of beat boxing and singing. This eclectic variety of sounds, in addition to other guest performances, equated to a perfect November evening at UR.
Brown kicked off the evening with ‘Am Jam thing,” which included a pleasant mixture of instruments. He followed this song with his creative rendition of Kate Perry’s ‘I Kissed a Girl,” using his electric mandolin. This gorgeous version veered from Perry’s pop-like tune and incorporated more of a rich, fulfilling melodic foundation. Brown also made use of his loop station, which is a primarily foot-operated effect pedal with its main function being the ability to record and instantly play back in a repetitive fashion. This allows the musician to layer multiple parts of one song. As the night progressed and Brown performed his ‘Pi Song,” which included the lyric, ‘Funny that something as important as that, looks like an 11 with a funny hat,” a group of freshmen girls giggled and blushed at a table; they all seemed to melt from such endearing wit! Brown’s crowd grew larger as each song ended and a new one began, until it felt like a truly unified community joined in the name of musical appreciation.
Sophomore Maura Rapkin accompanied Brown for the songs ‘Forever” and ‘Wasn’t Me/Free Fallin’,” and she provided a gorgeous, fresh range of vocals and a beautiful smile.
Rapkin has teamed up with Brown for a few other performances, including a Community Living Center bash with No Jackets Required and a UR Radio broadcast. The unique originality of Rapkin’s voice combined with Brown’s lucid instrumental flow creates a final product that leaves one resonating with admiration for the two.
‘Bryan’s show was a lot of fun, and I loved how he brought in other musicians to sing and perform with him,” sophomore Helena Tendler said.
‘It was a great show almost like a variety hour,” sophomore David Krinick added. ‘All of the performers were spectacular and the music they played everything from Autumn Leaves to Shaggy was incredibly fun.”
Sophomore Amanda Perlman contributed her powerful vocal capabilities to her and Brown’s performance of Ingrid Michaelson’s ‘You and I.” This soft, sweet song seemed to be a perfect fit for Perlman’s impressively wide vocal range. Brown accompanied Perlman with his solid singing voice as the two harmonized, and Brown ended the song with his recorder skills. Some more guest appearances were made throughout the night, namely by junior Adam Chernick on bass guitar and sophomore Dave Bendes on the Doumbek a type of drum for the song ‘In Your Eyes,” as well as sophomore Julia Cosgrove on the trumpet for the song ‘Autumn Leaves.” The rest of Brown’s song choices included titles such as ‘Baba O’Reilly,” ‘Perfect Ten,” ‘My Love,” ‘Everytime We Touch,” ‘#41″ and ‘Pop Medley.” The end of the evening was spent with sophomore Dan Abud on guitar and junior Max Siegel on the drums, accompanying Brown for the songs ‘Aftermath,” ‘July 1st” (this also included Cosgrove on trumpet), ‘Fair Sun,” ‘Shocked” and ‘Z Song.”
It is crucial for artists such as Brown to be able to exhibit and showcase their hard work and talent. It was a job well done!
‘I couldn’t have imagined it going any better,” Brown said. ‘With only a couple technical difficulties (which is expected with all my electronics) and a surprisingly great turnout, I think it’s safe to call Friday night one of the best and most significant nights of my semester.”
Miller is a member of the class of 2011.