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Singing for alms

MIT graduate students Liz Baraff (brain and cognitive sciences) and Mike King (mechanical engineering) are leading an effort to raise funds for school music education programs in Boston, Somerville and Everett. Vocal Band Aid, a benefit concert featuring local and national bands, will be held Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Somerville Theater in Davis Square. Both Baraff and King are members of Integration by Parts, the host group of the event, which will also feature Toxic Audio, Five O'Clock Shadow, All About Buford, Downtown Crossing and East Side Story. Tickets ($40/$30/$20) are available in person at the Somerville Theatre box office or through Ticketmaster. For more information, call (617) 251-8410 or e-mail

Showing off her art

Amy Sanford, administrative assistant in the Admissions Office, is among the 250 artists taking part in the South End Open Studios Sept. 18-19. She will exhibit her tessellated ceramic tiles and wall décor at Studio #114 in The Laconia Lofts, 1200 Washington St. and 433 Harrison Ave. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (877) 589-5329.

Rafting the channel

"W.T.L.F.P.C.A.P.T.O.T.L." (Will The Last Fort Point Channel Artist Please Turn Out The Lights), an installation by List Visual Arts Center's curatorial assistant John Osorio-Buck and Matthew Ward, can be seen in the Fort Point Channel through Sunday, Sept. 19. By designing, building and living on a raft in the channel, the artists seek to "territorialize and adapt unused urban space to the needs of displaced artists in the area." The project "presents a future where, perhaps, artists are forced to jury-rig structures and systems on the fringes of urban space to pursue their art," said Osorio-Buck. The installation will reappear for the Fort Point Open Studios Oct. 15-17.

Crossing cultures with music

"Epilogue for a Dark Day," a new CD of works by Christopher Adler (S.B. 1994 in music and mathematics) has been released on the Tzadik Composer Series (TZ 8004). The disc, which features five of Adler's compositions, includes two solos for the khaen, the bamboo free-reed mouth organ of Northeast Thailand and Laos, and a trio for khaen, violin and viola. "This is beautiful cross-cultural music with honesty, imagination and a deep sense of respect for tradition," wrote Tzadik. San Francisco Weekly's Sam Prestianni wrote, "Stunningly distinctive yet steeped in tradition, Adler's work stands as a testament to the power of global-minded music-making." A CD release party will be held in San Diego on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Athenaeum Library (1008 Wall St., La Jolla, CA). The recording is available through on-line vendors such as and, directly from the label at, and at stores. Keller (Old King Cole Records).

Praise for DeFrantz book

"Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture," a new book by Associate Professor Thomas DeFrantz (Oxford University Press), offers the first complete analysis of choreographer Alvin Ailey's body of work. Ailey, who died in 1989, choreographed his signature piece "Revelations" in 1960. The Village Voice praised DeFrantz's book, saying: "DeFrantz's study... is not the first book about the protean Ailey... but it is perhaps the most comprehensive, combining biography, criticism, the analysis of dance criticism, and a sort of corporate history, siting the now firmly established Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in the international cultural landscape."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 15, 2004 (download PDF).

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