Documentation of Olya's interdisciplinary Piece : Light Minutes Away

Documentation of Olya's interdisciplinary Piece : Light Minutes Away

Adding multimedia to music.

On Sep 22, a recital, “Olya: Light Minutes Away,” was held in Berk Recital Hall at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. This is a performance of techno music with interdisciplinary collaborations, which combined music, live painting, and real-time interactive visual programming together to present the project, “Birth.”

The event was created by Olya, also known as Olga Kisseleva, 35, a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter who currently attends Berklee College of Music in Boston. She and the other two artists, Fotini Christophillis, 36, a Boston-based interdisciplinary artist, and Alejandro Gonzalez, 24, a South-Korea-based multidisciplinary artist and sound designer, created the idea of projecting digital visual on a canvas, and having the painter create real-time interactive paintings upon live music and visual.

“There is music to feel, and music to listen. This is one of the performances that I want the audience to be engaged on a listening level,” said Olya, “The live part of painting gives them a chance to see the creation of it, so they engaged visually aswell.”

Just before the recital started, the entire recital hall was full. The audiences were conversing and socializing with each other, waiting for the show to start.

“Going onto multimedia, it’s amazing because it adds on another dimension of the music. It gives extra meaning and allows people to see images, not just imagine things,” said Olya, “For the music part, I am attracted to the sonic quality to the sound -- the soundscape -- and how you can hear certain synthesized sounds. It’s not only the pulse or the groove, but also the soundscape.”

Kedaar Kumar, 35, a Cambridge-based sound designer, musician, and installation artist, took over the visual programmer position of this show after Gonzalez left Boston for South Korea.

“It is always nice to have a visual component with the music.” Kumar said, “Human have a natural tendency to draw connection when they hear music and see visual; they automatically put them together. It’s definitely an enhancement.” He believes, the visual gives the audience manifestation and personification of the sound.

Most of the people who attended this recital were students or faculties from Berklee and Boston Conservatory. Christophillis said: “There were musicians and dancers from my school and other schools were coming and working together. I found that to be one of the most interesting part of my career.”

“I am transforming myself into a performing artist.” Christophillis said, “I started to think that way about painting, in terms of choreography and theatricality, as a whole new element.” For Christophillis, working with live performers is still a learning process. It is the element of time what made this performance more challenging; as the musical composition ends, the painting has to stop too.

After a performance with Olya in May, Christophillis and Olya got together and started the conceptualization of this project. This project in three-part series. The first part is “Birth,” which was presented in this recital. According to both artists, the second part will be about breaking free, and the third part will be about facing the challenges and a new identity.

“In this recital, we performed two tracks. The first track was the Russian folk song; the second one is a more produced tune where vocals didn’t have lyrics. The tune was based on an Arabic scale. That was the inspiration,” Olya said.

She also clarified that the piece “Birth” never existed in a track. All the elements and pieces are called “sound assets.”

The fragments of assets are from sample library or pre-recorded. Each of the assets is like a key to a keyboard; she has to decide what and when to play them in order to make such composition. All of her launching actions were live and there is never a fixed length or order for this song.

Christophillis said that she felt an excitement from live performance with a multimedia approach. This provides her a whole other level of light, moving images, sound, stage, and even audience.

“I was talking about a song that I heard.” said Christophillis. “There was a lyric in the song stuck out to me: “I never knew I was a dancer ‘till Delilah showed me how”. It is basically about going on a detour path, starting over, and being reborn again. We ran with that idea.”

As the new member in the team, Kumar said: “I’ve done a lot of multimedia stuff, but never done anything like this one before.”

This collaboration is a special coincidence because all of the artists came from different backgrounds, different art forms, different schools, according to Christophillis. But the connection of their concepts linked them together, which allowed the magic to happen.

“The concept of the collaboration was new to me and it was really inspiring.” Gareth Wong, 22, a student at Berklee College of Music, said, “I loved the way how the music, the visuals, and the painting influence each other.”

Despite liking the show, Wong thinks there is still room for improvements: “I enjoyed it overall but it would be awesome if the show was longer and the projector covered the entire canvas, rather than a portion of it.”

For those who couldn’t make the recital on Sep 22, Olya, Christophillis, and another visual artist, Christopher Konopka, are planning another show in Boston on November 18 to present the second piece, and the third piece will be brought out sometime in spring, 2018.

Check out a short clip video of Olya’s recital here and more details of the event on November 18 on Facebook page linked down below:

Cover Image Credit: Alice Chi Xiao

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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What The 2019 'Season Of The Crab' Means For Your Zodiac Sign

It could be a super emotional month for everyone.


It's officially summer, and that means it's time to dive into the watery depths of Cancer season on June 21. There is a different energy in the air; different from the vibe in Gemini season. Each sign can expect to notice its effects, whether they are obvious or more subtle.

Cancer season means you're probably going to feel more moody than usual. Maybe you're crying more often. Maybe you'll feel more dreamy and intuitive. Maybe you'll be more irritable. Whatever the case, it never hurts to know what you're about to get yourself into.

So what does Cancer season mean for you, based on your zodiac sign?

1. Cancer - 21 Jun to 22 Jul


Happy solar return, cutie crustacean!

This is one of the dreamiest times of the entire year for you, but lacking structure and planning could prove stressful. You're in an imaginative zone and you may not feel like settling down before chasing the stars, but you must think ahead so things will work out.

2. Leo - 23 Jul to 22 Aug


Cancer season will find you exploring who you want to become, and what you want to leave behind. With your season just around the corner, this is also a magical time for healing and exploring yourself. Journaling, creative pursuits, or talking things through are wonderful ways to nourish your soul.

3. Virgo - 23 Aug to 22 Sep


This Cancer season, you'll find that the stars and the moon are asking you to rest. You will be faced with many choices and decisions this month. Enjoy your time fostering whatever creativity comes to mind. Do not force yourself to go out if you're not feeling up to it. It's okay to be you and be alone sometimes.

4. Libra - 23 Sep to 22 Oct


Cancer season and Neptune retrograde begin on June 21, causing you to need to pause and reflect on your goals. Change can be uncomfortable, but every small shift brings us closer to our goals. Be willing to take a risk, and let the universe push you in the direction of happiness and adventure.

5. Scorpio - 23 Oct to 21 Nov


Cancer season finds you traveling and opening new doors of opportunity. Are you really gaining anything by holding onto the past so tightly, Scorpio? Set your sights on new dreams, and leave all those people and situations that are holding you back in your rearview mirror.

6. Sagittarius - 22 Nov to 21 Dec


The question Cancer season asks you now, Sag, is whether you'll run away from your past, cling on to it, or do the emotional work necessary to process it and let it go. Appreciate the memories you are making and try not to get too wrapped up in the little things that annoy you. This is a time for experimentation.

7. Capricorn - 22 Dec to 19 Jan


You love your deadlines and goals, but remember that taking care of your emotional health will ultimately help you be more efficient! Trust your intuition, take it slow, and use the energy for play and creativity rather than detailed planning.

8. Aquarius - 20 Jan to 19 Feb


Cancer season this year is all about being comfortable and doing what you know, so go ahead and stick to that. This is also a great time for you to check in with yourself when it comes to wellness and your habits.

9. Pisces - 20 Feb to 20 Mar


This Cancer season, the heightened emotion that is in the air will bring you natural happiness. Go out, have a wonderful night under the summer stars, and use your experiences for inspiration. It will reinvigorate your soul to be more creative and more adventurous.

10. Aries - 21 Mar to 19 Apr


Cancer season finds you focused squarely on your personal life. It's a wonderful time for an adventure. Go on that hike. Wake up early and drive to the beach. You'll feel an inclination to do it all-- and you can! Remind yourself that you are capable.

It will be hard to stay focused because the vibe just feels so good, but Neptune's retrograde brings intriguing messages to your dreams, so pay close attention to your inner voice at this time.

11. Taurus - 20 Apr to 20 May


Cancer season causes emotions to be even more extreme so you'll probably reach your breaking point this month, Taurus, but you are never alone in the problems that you face. Remember to control your temper long enough to cool off and take some relaxation for yourself.

Take a day off and drive around with the windows down. Take five days off and drive to the beach to hang out and reflect. Whatever it is that you need to feel better, it is time to do it this month.

12. Gemini - 21 May to 20 Jun


Cancer is a sign that's all about security and protection, and you're really feeling those vibes right now. Your confidence is running high, as you are feeling more in control of your life. Get rid of the elements in your life that won't propel you forward.

Just as the moon and ocean cycle, so do we. Cancer is that strong energy that gets you up in your feels; it's sure to be a ride.

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