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Issue 24 • Jan 2019

Humans of The Tavern

Music & Contemporary Culture

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“Music is my job, number one. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t wanted to be a musician. Outside of work, I listen to music two ways: really intentionally sitting down doing nothing else but listening or blasting it while cleaning the house and doing crafts. I listen to good music no matter what kind it is. You get to decide what good music is. I don’t pay attention to artists of any field on their political leanings at all when I decide who I am going to listen to. Music changes people’s moods; It can do anything you want it to.”

- Claudia Keller, Brooks School

Interview and Photograph
by Abbey Charlamb 

“I have a weird taste for music; I like 60s, 80s, and classical. My favorite artist is Michael Jackson, which is very different to most of my friends, who prefer pop or rap. I acknowledge that people have varying preferences and I think all styles are equally good, it is just a personal choice that is probably related to your personality or past experience with music. Here at Groton, I am offered a choice of activities to pursue the kind of music that I enjoy. For instance, I am currently taking voice lessons and singing Soprano in the choir.” 

- Nicole Lee Heberling, Groton School

Interview by Isabel Cai 
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“You know, I’m from Atlanta, and R. Kelly is really big down there, but all these people have brought up all these allegations. I’m sure some of them were definitely true; he’s done some messed up stuff. But for me, I’ve been able to separate the artist and their personal life from their work. I feel like once it comes to their work and it’s published, that’s like public work, and it really has nothing to do with them as a person. I still listen to R. Kelly songs, and that’s just me-that’s what I grew up on. I try to separate that, and I don’t let that infect it. But I do understand people who might not listen to an R. Kelly song, or watch Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, or watch The Cosby Show cause, you know, that’s messed up stuff.”

- Drake Hunt, NMH

Interview by Ayleen Cameron

“Music, at its apex, is like all art; it involves risk-taking, creativity and a longing to express our inner selves. Besides practicing the violin, I am also teaching. Teaching is a way to instill goodness into the world. Though often I may fail, my goal is to always show my students I care about their voice, and my job is to amplify their ideas. The greatest challenge is to convince them that they have something worth saying, something worth striving for in how they express through a musical instrument. I’ve met so many kids with disabilities who inspire me to be a better person because they see greatness in themselves. I am so lucky and humbled to be in this profession and to have so many special moments to share music with others. To get people to care about something greater than themselves is what we all work on as we grow as humans. ”

-  Adrian Anantawa, Milton Academy

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Interview by
Anne Kwok and Andy Zhang  
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“Contemporary culture is forever changing. There will be a number one song on the radio one day and a new one on the next. Music plays a large role in helping people form their opinions in 2019. As pop culture changes, people’s emotions and outlooks on the world change with it. There are different periods in which contemporary culture sits in. Currently, rap and hip hop are taking the main stage, but in months from now, country could be the new craze everyone is talking about. Music shapes cultures around the world and each and every person’s views on it.”

- Sierra Petties, St. Mark's School

Interview and Photograph 
by Lora Xie

“I consider artists’ actions when thinking about music. When considering artists today, if they have certain lyrics about [things they disapprove of], and they go do the opposite of what they say, it’s really hypocritical. For example, xxxtenacion made interesting music, but was also guilty of domestic violence. His actions clouded the image a bit, making me reconsider him. I still look up to him a bit though. The actions of artists and the music taste of my peers do not necessarily change my perception, but certainly give me more insight.”

Harrison Seeley, Tabor Academy

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Interview and Photograph
by Colin Ferguson
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