MIT Resonance is one of 20 college ensembles presented on Varsity Vocals' soon-to-be-released "Best of College a Cappella 2006" (BOCA) compilation CD, which will include its rendition of "Mystify" by Chenoa. Fans can also hear this song on Resonance's latest CD, "Left on Red," available for $15 ($2 per CD shipping). Visit web.mit.edu/resonance/www/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior lecturer Martin Marks provided live piano accompaniment for a screening of "Aelita, Queen of Mars," on Friday, Jan. 13. The silent Soviet-made film, produced in 1924, was shown as part of Arisia '06, a science fiction convention held at Boston's Park Plaza Hotel. MIT audiences can check out this flick (which predates Flash Gordon by more than a decade) when the Lecture Series Committee screens it as part of an evening of silent film with live accompaniment on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. in Killian Hall. Alumna Dawn Perlner (S.B. 2001), violin, will join Marks to set melodic moods for Charlie Chaplin's "The Immigrant" and two other short films about immigrants in America.
Kudos continue for Marks' efforts as curator of "More Treasures From American Film Archives: 50 Films, 1894-1931," a boxed set showcasing 50 rare films and six trailers recorded during the first four decades of American filmmaking. In an extensive review for The Moving Image, a publication of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, Julie Hibbert wrote, "Even more than his already essential book, 'Music and the Silent Film' (1997), this collection constitutes a high point in Marty Marks's continuing career as one of the most important voices in film music and silent cinema scholarship." Fellow MIT composers and contributors were also praised by Hibbert. Assistant Professor Brian Robison was singled out for his "playful use of electronic instruments" for the score of "Cockeyed" (ca. 1925), and the efforts of Professor Evan Ziporyn as clarinetist/composer in the chorus of Jay Leyda's collage score for "A Bronx Morning" (1931) was deemed a highlight. Professor Peter Child's minimalist score for "Skyscraper Symphony" (1929) "offers a clear contrast to the sound and style of the period compilations." Marks is currently working on a third DVD set for the National Film Preservation Foundation.
Rodney Brooks, director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and co-founder of iRobot Corp., made a cameo appearance in the Jan. 12 performance of the Lyric Stage's production of "The Underpants." Steve Martin's adaptation of Carl Sternheim's 1910 German farce deals with a wardrobe malfunction and the fleeting nature of fame. Brooks was one of a series of Boston-area celebrities asked to participate in the final scene, which takes an absurd turn.