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Transformative Sounds: Ann Arbor's Emilie Lin was a PhD psychologist who left that career to pursue her love of piano

Wed, 03/03/2021 - 4:00pm by christopherporter

Emilie Lin

Emilie Lin has been a pianist her whole life. She began as a youngster in Taiwan, continued studying when she moved to the U.S. as a teenager, and eventually achieved a master's degree in piano performance from the University of Michigan, which gave her a full scholarship. In fact, Lin was a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at U-M when she decided to leave that role in order to refocus on her life as a pianist.

But despite devoting her life to music, Lin had never released an album.

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Ann Arbor native David Blixt discovered a cache of long lost novels by journalist-adventurer Nellie Bly

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 8:30am by christopherporter

Writer David Blixt and covers for the lost Nellie Bly novels

In December 2019, while researching a novel series based on the life of journalist Nellie Bly, Ann Arbor native David Blixt—a Greenhills and EMU grad who’s now a Chicago-based theater artist and writer—made an astonishing discovery.

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Caroline Kim's characters in "The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories" ask what is most important in life

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 11:00am by christopherporter

Caroline Kim and her book The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories

A woman loses a child and yet she helps another, Suyon, pregnant with a baby rumored to not be by her husband, give birth. Then, with war breaking out in Korea, the woman meets an American, marries him, and moves to the United States. There, she finds herself engaging in animal husbandry and applies the same tactics she did with her acquaintance:

You get good at birthing horses and people send for you when they have difficult cases, mares too frightened and in pain to calm down, to do what is good for them.

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Smooth Transitions: From opening for Jay-Z and a residency at Ann Arbor’s Alley Bar to spinning online, DJ Graffiti is in the mix

Wed, 02/24/2021 - 10:00am by christopherporter

DJ Graffiti at Live Ann Arbor

DJ Graffiti spinning at Live Ann Arbor. Photo courtesy of DJ Graffiti.

From opening for Beyonce at the Palace to dad, entrepreneur, and local DJ, and back again—this is the story of Martin Smith aka DJ Graffiti and how he made the dream of becoming an internationally renowned DJ work during a global pandemic.

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U-M Zell visiting prof Sumita Chakraborty’s "Arrow" displays the poet's exploration of words' contradictory meanings

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 3:30pm by christopherporter

Sumita Chakraborty and her book Arrow

Going into reading Sumita Chakraborty’s debut poetry collection, Arrow, it’s not a secret that the book follows traumatic experiences. As she describes in “Sumita Chakraborty on writing Arrow,” which was shared with me by the publisher, Alice James Books:

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Taking the Hit: Ann Arbor singer-songwriter Lily Talmers explores big questions through small details on her excellent album debut

Tue, 02/16/2021 - 6:00pm by christopherporter

Lily Talmers

Lily Talmers photo by Alex Gallitano.

When Lily Talmers sings "Is there anybody listening to me? / From the middle of America you scream out to the ocean, it gets lost" it's not just a plea by a 23-year-old Ann Arbor singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist who wants to be heard.

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EMU professor Christine Hume's "Saturation Project" offers a lyric memoir composed of three essays

Wed, 02/10/2021 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Christine Hume and her book Saturation Project

Three essays fill Saturation Project, a new book by Christine Hume, a professor at Eastern Michigan University. Described as a lyric memoir, the text obliquely depicts various moments, ranging from Hume’s childhood to interactions with her daughter.  

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Afa S. Dworkin on the Sphinx Virtuosi and their UMS concert "This Is America"

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 12:00pm by christopherporter

Afa Dworkin and Sphinx Virtuosi

Afa S. Dworkin photo by Kevin Kennedy. Sphinx Virtuosi photo by Brian Hatton.

Classical music has had a long history of lacking diversity, which is why Aaron P. Dworkin founded the Sphinx Organization in 1997 to encourage and support minorities in this art form. The name was inspired by the iconic Great Sphinx of Giza statue in Egypt, which “reflects the power, wisdom and persistence that characterize Sphinx’s participants," according to the Detroit-based organization's website.

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The Ark's Ann Arbor Folk Festival goes virtual for its 44th edition

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 12:30pm by christopherporter

The Ark by Dwight Burdette, Creative Commons

Photo by Dwight Burdette.

Like any town, Ann Arbor has annual events that help define the place: Art Fair, University of Michigan's first home football game, the summer closings of nearly every road in downtown due to construction.

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Aw, Yeah: Ypsi-filmed YouTube show "Renting and Raving" offers silly humor and strong characters

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 2:00pm by christopherporter

Renting and Raving

Bret (Eric Pullins), Basement Guy (Cameron Greig), and Evan (Evan Grieg) are the core characters of the Ypsi-filmed comedy series Renting and Raving.

The first time Basement Guy ate real cat food was the last time.