Campus

BGSU students respond to university’s stance on city solar project

Lily Murnen, Environmental Service Club president, and Matthew Cunningham, Environmental Action Group president, have responded to the university administration’s explanation of why Bowling Green Sate University will not participate in a city solar project by allowing the construction of a solar array on campus. See related story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/2016/03/08/bgsu-sheds-light-on-why-its-taking-a-pass-on-city-solar-project/ Dear President Mazey, Dr. Hennessy, and Dr. Meyer, Thank you for explaining the University’s position concerning the city solar project. We understand the concerns that BGSU has regarding the leasing of campus property, and we agree that there is great potential for university­owned renewable projects on campus. We are excited to see that within the past month there has been a convergence of many different groups all advocating for the development of renewable energy on campus. 1. The Student Green Initiatives Committee has made clear that putting solar panels on campus is one of their top priorities, and funding will be allocated for these kinds of projects. 2. With the proper publicity through the University, the existence of the Clean Energy Fund could provide additional funding for solar, wind, geothermal, and other campus energy projects. 3. The Environmental Impact Assessment course (ENVS 4020) is undertaking an environmental impact assessment of the potential for small­scale solar arrays around campus. This assessment will include feasible locations for solar panels using cost­benefit analyses and accounting for many variables. 4. The many student organizations that signed on to our first and second letters to President Mazey further support the development of solar and other clean energy initiatives as a top priority. 5. The Renewable Energy Feasibility Study was a positive first step on the part of the University to work toward the goals described in the Climate Action Plan. We look forward to actual, tangible accomplishments that use the findings of this study. We ask that the University continues pursuing renewable energy projects on campus and that transparency is maintained between the administration, faculty, and students. Achieving the goals described in the Climate Action Plan will require the cooperation of people at all levels to create a culture of sustainability on campus. If the campus as a whole is informed and engaged, then the likelihood of support from the campus community for sustainability initiatives will increase drastically. We hope to establish a…


Opera director, teacher & administrator to visit BGSU

Longtime opera stage director, administrator and teacher Jay Lesenger will bring his expertise and experience to Bowling Green State University students in the College of Musical Arts March 21 and March 22 as part of the Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Vocal and Choral Studies. Lesenger, who is familiar to Toledo audiences from his staging of last season’s Toledo Opera production of “Madama Butterfly,” will give master classes, work with students on building their resumes and auditioning, and provide insight into the music business. All his classes and presentations are free and open to the public. On March 21, he will present an introduction and master class from 3:30-6 p.m. in the Conrad Room at the Wolfe Center for the Arts, and a master class from 7-10 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. On March 22, he will hold a resume session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Kobacker, a session on the music business and auditioning from 2-4 p.m. in Kobacker, a master class from 4-6 p.m. in the Conrad Room, and another from 8-10 p.m. in Kobacker. Lesenger has produced and directed more than 200 operas for New York City Opera, Chautauqua Opera Company, and multiple other companies throughout the U.S., Europe and Scandinavia. Through his 40-year career, he has directed a range of operatic genres, from classical to bel canto to works by contemporary composers. A well-known teacher of acting for singers, he recently joined the guest faculty of the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. He has also taught in the School of Music opera faculties at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University and has directed productions for the Julliard, Mannes, and Manhattan Schools of Music as well as at Indiana University and the Academy of Vocal Arts. Lesenger is a frequent adjudicator for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and other vocal competitions. He holds a master’s degree from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music and Theater from Hofstra University. Helen and the late Harold McMaster established the endowed professorship in spring 2000. Helen McMaster, a longtime Perrysburg resident, has supported the arts at BGSU for many years. In 1992 she served as honorary chair of BGSU’s Campaign of the Arts, to…


Young entrepreneurs poised for revamped Hatch at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Fledgling entrepreneurs at Bowling Green State University hatch all kinds of ideas, and every year at The Hatch they get to test how those ideas will fly with a panel of possible investors. The fourth Hatch event, modeled on ABC’s “The Shark Tank,” will be presented April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the ballroom in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union on campus. The event culminates E-Week, a week-long series devoted to entrepreneurship. This year eight ideas, ranging from a solution to a dorm room space problem to a solution for a type of water pollution, will be among the ideas pitched by individuals and teams to a panel of BGSU graduates with money to invest. Kirk Kern, director of the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, said that the major changes for the event are adding graduate students and students working in teams to the mix. “What we’re trying to do is get a better quality of ideas,” he said. Kern said the vision is to expand even further to include faculty, staff and alumni. Already, he said, graduates will approach staff at the Dallas-Hamilton Center for help developing their business ideas. “That’s a logical extension,” he said. The event is also moving back to the ballroom after one year at the Stroh Center. Last year, Kern said, with 3,500 people attending, the event seemed too overwhelming. The focus is on the business ideas. The eight pitches were culled from 130 applications. Those students selected are then paired up with business mentors who help them refine their ideas. For Khory Katz, a sophomore studying finance in the College of Business Administration, that meant a trip over spring break to Cleveland. Katz is working with fellow finance major Meredith Moore on a no-hassle loft bed. The idea is to make it easier to adjust the height of a dorm loft bed to give students more space flexibility in their rooms. As it stands now, Katz said, the bed gets set at the beginning of the semester and that’s where it stays. In Cleveland, he visited Balance, Inc., a company that supports product innovation, to review his proposal. They provided useful insight into how to develop it and expressed interest in…


Musical specters come to life in string quartet concert on campus

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Spektral Quartet lived up to its name when it performed a Music at the Forefront concert Monday at Bowling Green State University. The Chicago-based quartet summoned plenty of specters with its ghostly, translucent sounds. The program included two pieces, Hans Thomalla’s Bagatellen and the formidable Third String Quartet by Beat Furrer. Both robbed the graves of bygone composers to create pieces that entranced and intrigued listeners. Little of the music was made using traditional violin sounds. Both pieces called for the virtuosity of unlikely techniques. The string players – Clara Lyon and Austin Wulliman, violins, Doyle Armbrust, viola, and Russell Rolen, cello – summoned snaps, crackles and pops from their instruments. Those sounds, though defying conventional notions of tunefulness, were strangely captivating. In Bagatellen, made up of nine brief episodes, Thomalla used odd bits of classical quartets by Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn to construct the piece. Not recognizable melodies, but a scale, or a harmony part or a trill. These wafted through the work. Thomalla exploited silence, and near silence, and the hint of silence, and very, very soft sounds to draw listeners in. At one point, the musicians bowed their instruments without making contact with the strings. At other times, they rubbed the bodies of their violins with the bows and then stroked the tuning pegs. The slightest sound from the audience, even the scratching of a pencil on a program, crackled loudly. When the piece ended, it resolved not on any harmonic tonic but in silence. Furrer’s quartet also called for inventive uses of the instruments (though the part where the cello string breaks was spontaneous). In introducing the piece, violinist Wulliman explained the piece evoked “a half-submerged consciousness coming to life” as “a strange, neurotic landscape.” It was a tangle of sound effects patched together, the bits returning obsessively. The composer mixes, matches and folds the fragments and effects trying to exhaust all possible permutations. Then a sad chorale theme emerges. A song of lost love, Wulliman said at the outset of the piece. Its sadness seeps into this forbidding modernist environment. Are we still wandering as the piece ends much as it began? The audience seemed a bit dazed. Then they roused themselves, invaded…


Tackling Injustice: Sports as an Arena of Social Change will be focus of Women’s History month on campus

This year, Bowling Green State University will celebrate Women’s History Month with the theme “Tackling Injustice: Sports as an Arena of Social Change.” The Women’s Center and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, along with a number of campus departments and organizations, have created a slate of programming that explores the role of athletics — and athletes — in positive social change. Numerous special events throughout the month of March are designed to inspire audiences to recognize and celebrate women who have challenged injustice both on and off “the field.” All events are free and open to the public. The first of the two keynote events is “The Toledo Troopers: An Evening with the Winningest Team in Pro-Football History,” featuring the remarkably diverse team of northwest Ohio women who overcame sexism and skepticism to accumulate the best win-loss record in professional football history, in a time before Title IX. Moderated by Tamara Jarrett, executive director of the Women’s Football Foundation, an all-star panel of Toledo Troopers — Linda Jefferson, Verna Henderson, Olivia Flores, Gloria Jimenez, Terry May, Eunice White and Mitchi Collette — escorted by current BGSU Falcon football players, will share their stories and memories. The event begins at 7 p.m. March 23 in 202B Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The second keynote presentation, on March 28, will explore “Women’s Empowerment Through Sport and Exercise: Rhetoric or Reality?” Dr. Pirkko Markula, a physical education and recreation faculty member at the University of Alberta (Canada) and a scholar specializing in socio-cultural studies of physical activity, will discuss her research on feminist empowerment rhetoric, and what terms such as “empowerment,” “choice” and “liberation” mean for today’s female athletes and physically active women. Her presentation is also the keynote address for annual Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Research Symposium. It begins at 2 p.m. March 28 in 308 Bowen-Thompson Student Union (a photo of Dr. Markula is attached to this email). Also from the University of Alberta, Dr. Jim Denison, another prolific and highly respected sport sociologist, will take part in a Sport and Social Justice panel on “Race, Religion, and Social Justice in Sport, from 1-2:15 p.m. March 31 in 207 Union. Also on the panel, from BGSU, are Dr.Dafina-Lazarus Stewart, higher education and student affairs; and…


BGSU launches Optimal Aging project with $1 million from Med Mutual

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University has a new $1 million baby – an initiative to help older area residents age more gracefully. Officials from Medical Mutual of Ohio, which made the $1 million donation, and BGSU officially delivered the new project at a press conference Monday morning at the College of Health and Human Services. That’s where the Optimal Aging Institute will have its offices. Its services, though, will be offered throughout the area, wherever older folks want and need help make their lives easier, healthier and fuller. In announcing the project, Health and Human Services Dean Mary Huff said: “Optimal aging is defined as living at one’s highest potential, whether or not we are living independently and in excellent health, or coping with a chronic illness or disability. Optimal aging is a focus on what is possible, not on the impossible.” The initiative, Huff said, will have three major goals: • It will create and expand programs and activities for middle-age and older adults. • It will assist those doing research in aging and assist those needing supportive services for themselves or others. • It will educate and train students, service providers, health care workers, caregivers, older adults and business owners. That will include providing students with hands-on learning experiences. Huff said the first step will be to hire a director. A conference will be held in August to help launch the institute. The programs will address all the dimensions of wellness, Huff said. Those are physical, emotional and cognitive as well social, occupational, cultural and spiritual. BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey said more older adults are returning to college towns to live. Campuses provide a wealth of activities, and the stimulation of a young population. Students, she said, help keep her young. Aging, she said, is “beautiful.” “You can do what you want and say what you want to say. You impact the lives of others. You get to have a major impact on the future of this country,” she said. Rick Chiricosta, the chairman, president and CEO of Medical Mutual of Ohio, said the name and concept of the Optimal Aging Institute “really resonated with me.” “That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “Let’s make this a…


Music of now intersects with classics in Spektral Quartet concert

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News No matter the venue, the Spektral Quartet can always be found at the intersection of contemporary music and the storied sounds of the string quartet tradition. On Monday at 8 p.m. the Chicago-based string quartet will play a Music at the Forefront Concert, presented by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University. The concert will be in Bryan Recital Hall on the campus. The quartet, said violinist Clara Lyon, is interested in “creative ways of programming traditional repertoire at the same time as being part of the conversation about what’s next.” In some instances that means they will play a string quartet by Beethoven or another classical master on the same program as a newly minted composition. At Bowling Green, however, Spektral Quartet – Lyon and Austin Wulliman, violins, Doyle Armbrust, viola, and Russell Rolen, cello –is performing two contemporary pieces by Hans Thomalla and Beat Furrer. Both composers, Lyon said, are “heavily influenced by what people would call more traditional classical music, western art music of the 19th and 20th centuries. Both have an encyclopedic knowledge of that musical material, borrow from it occasionally and are very aware of their place in that quartet tradition.” Still the sound worlds they create are strikingly different. Thomalla in his Bagatellen, written for Spektral, creates nine short movements out of material culled from classical string quartets. He borrowed what he considered “unremarkable material,” a bit of a viola part from a Haydn quartet or a second violin line from a Mozart quartet. Lyon said the composer was “reticent” to tell even the members of Spektral where the material came from. Thomalla is also interested in “white noise,” particularly as expressed by the German term “rauschen,” which means “breathy and whispery,” Lyon said. “But it also has a different meaning as intoxicating.” All those meanings fit Bagatellen. The composer has the string players produce this white noise with a variety of techniques, changing the bow speed and bow pressure “to create different colors and different frequencies.” As the nine movements – “quick short little things” – start to play out “those musical materials will be much more present. Your ear will be able to identify them as something…


BGSU sheds light on why it’s taking a pass on city solar project (updated)

By BG INDEPENDENT NEWS Just because Bowling Green State University is taking a pass on a solar power offer from the city doesn’t mean it’s not pursuing alternative energy options. In a letter sent to the campus environmental activists, university officials explain why they are turning down an offer to place a solar array on campus, and what other efforts are underway to meet the terms spelled out in a national agreement to reduce carbon emissions on college campuses. The letter by Bruce Myer, assistant vice president for campus operations, and Nick Hennessy, sustainability coordinator, was sent to Matthew Cunningham, president of Environmental Action Group, and Lily Murnen, president of the Environmental Service Group, in response to a letter sent by them and signed by dozens of other student leaders, questioning the university position on a city solar project. The city is planning to construct a large solar array and offered to place some solar panels on a plot of land on the campus. On Monday Bowling Green City Council heard from Daryl Stockburger, of the city utilities department, that AMP-Ohio had reached a joint development agreement for Bowling Green’s solar field. Stockburger said the solar array should be ready to construct this year. The agreement, the university’s letter states, would tie up the property, which has frontage on East Poe Road, for 30 years. The university does not have plans for that site, where construction debris was dumped, but using it for a project and equipment not owned by BGSU “was deemed to provide too many restrictions on its potential use.” The letter also states that since the electricity generated by the array goes into the grid, BGSU benefits whether the solar panels are on campus or off. It shares in the power from the grid, and reaps the benefits of being able to report that it gets some power from solar energy “helping us reach our carbon neutrality goals.” The students in their letter touted the learning possibilities of having a solar array on campus. Those same opportunities will be available at the city’s site a short drive from campus on Carter Road, the university’s letter stated. A couple weeks ago, Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards said BGSU’s refusal to join the city in…


BGSU School of Art sees new role for itself

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The School of Art at Bowling Green State University is changing by degrees. Last week the faculty senate gave unanimous approval to a change in the school’s core degree, the Bachelor of Fine Arts. Until now students have received their BFA in either two-dimensional art – drawing, painting, photography and printmaking – or three-dimensional art – sculpture, glass and ceramics. If approved by the university’s Board of Trustees later this spring, the school will offer just one BFA, regardless of discipline. That is just one change of several that marks a shift in philosophy in the school, said interim director Charles Kanwischer. “This is a big step for the school.” “We are a collection of disciplines. … We’ve been pretty good about maintaining the autonomy of those disciplines and giving students and faculty a lot of independence within them.” But forces are pushing them together, he said. For one, the media are blending together. Kai Lee Liu, the student who won best of show honors at the recent Undergraduate Exhibit, won the top prize with an installation that employed video with glass sculptures. Another of her pieces, which was also honored, was a sculpture made of ceramics that included a recording of the artist reading a poem. The disciplines “are bleeding together,” Kanwischer said. Enrollment in the traditional disciplines is declining, a trend seen nationwide. At the same time more students were enrolling to study digital art and graphic design. The changes do not affect the BFA in Graphic Design nor BFA in Digital Arts. The enrollment in the school is actually up. The change in degrees will give students greater flexibility as well as a more early exposure to the traditional disciplines. In the past, depending on what track students followed, they took introductory courses in three of four disciplines, now they will take introductory courses in five of the eight traditional disciplines – painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, metals and jewelry, glass and ceramics. “We’re giving students more choice across those disciplines,” he said. The change also increases the number of credits in art courses to get a BFA from 73 to 75. That brings in school in line with accreditation requirements. The change in the BFA, though,…


Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head take up residence at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mr. Potato Head has had a storied career. The pop culture icon has been a beloved toy, a movie star, a “Spokes-spud” for physical fitness and the Great American Smokeout. He’s encouraged consumers to buy Burger King fries and citizens to vote. Now, Mr. Potato Head and his wife, Mrs. Potato Head, have become Bowling Green State University Falcons. Thanks to a donation by Matthew Wilson, of Michigan, a collection Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toys have taken up residence in the Popular Culture Library on campus. In February, Nancy Down, head of the Popular Culture Library, and Alissa Butler, a doctoral student in American Culture Studies, gave a talk at the Women’s Center on campus to discuss the history of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and their roles in popular culture. Mr. Potato Head was born, the brainchild of inventor George Lerner, fully formed with bushy mustache in 1952. “Mr. Potato Head is the best friend a boy or girl could have,” the original ads promised, Down said. Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television. His wife arrived a year later followed by offspring, Spud and Yam. At first they were sold as disembodied features, noses, eyes, mustaches, hair, and shoes. Kids had to supply their own potatoes or other vegetable of their choice. The plastic body was introduced in 1964. The spud couple were epitomes of 1950s consumer culture. They had two cars – his with a boat trailer, hers with a shopping cart. They had a boat and a plane. They even had a train. “How many couples in the ‘50s had their own locomotive?” Down wondered. They stuck to the established gender roles. Mrs. Potato Head was her husband’s dutiful helpmate. She had her ever present purse, and fancy hat. He had a jack hammer, she had a feather duster. Though the accessories and detachable parts were interchangeable, the packaging was color coded to make clear which gender the toys were intended for, Down said. Only Mr. Potato Head was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2000, the third class of inductees. Given her character, though, his wife surely would have been proud of him, but would have cautioned him…


First-year programs aim to turn high school students into college scholars

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University has been holding onto more students in recent years. Keeping students once they are recruited is as important as recruiting them in the first place. That boost in retention – making sure students who come in as freshman end up leaving as BGSU graduates – is crucial to the university’s financial health. The state funding formula demands it. That increased retention is no accident, Provost Rodney Rogers told faculty senate this week. Much of the credit goes to the first-year initiatives designed to integrate new students into the BGSU academic culture from their earliest days on campus. When Vice Provost for Academic Affairs John Fischer took his turn at the podium to spell out those programs, he said he wished he had the scroll used at this year’s Oscar ceremonies where the names of agents, publicists, hairdressers, and moms that the stars wanted to thank ran at the bottom of the screen. The programs designed to keep freshmen around for the spring semester and beyond are built on a foundation of collaboration with the faculty. Some colleges and universities are opting to take a more economic look at education, for example, by having students take more online courses, Fischer said. BGSU, however, “has put its flag in the sand that we’re going to put the quality of the experience ahead” of those other considerations. “That’s what we are going to measure and count and pay attention to and argue about.” That seems to be working. Students, for example, who take linked courses are more likely to continue at BGSU. Linked courses are one of several approaches the university takes. The program enrolls groups of students in the same course sections. That way they see familiar faces in a couple of their classes. Having students take the same two course sections also has the collateral effect of students sometimes ending up together in other classes since it narrows the other scheduling possibilities. Fischer said faculty see this working when students arrive at class buzzing with talk about another course. Giving students more opportunities to talk to fellow students and a chance to communicate with faculty are key goals of the first-year programs. When the linked courses…


New music trio Bearthoven rocks to a different beat

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The ClaZel hosted a Music at the Forefront concert Monday night. It might as well have been a rock show. The new music trio Bearthoven vaulted the divide between avant art music and progressive rock. Ditch the expanse of scores on the music stands and the Brooklyn-based trio could perform at a rock festival. Bearthoven – Karl Larson, piano, Pat Swoboda, bass, and Matt Evans, percussion – arrived in Bowling Green (where Larson earned his doctorate) at the tail end of a short Ohio tour. The tour, which included a concert in Columbus, a house concert in Cleveland, and residency at Otterbein College, was to showcase the most recent additions to the trio’s repertoire, three works commissioned by the Johnstone Fund for New Music. Those filled out half the six-piece program. Each set was organized like the side of an LP with a soft, atmospheric soundscape, sandwiched between louder, more rhythmically insistent blasts. Bearthoven’s show opened with Ken Thomson’s aptly titled “Grizzly.” With its antic pulse and reiterated song-of-the-circuitry figures, it evoked a more urban predator. Fjola Evans’ “Shoaling” took listeners to another place altogether. Swoboda’s arco bass summoned the image of a whale rising from an icy sea. The piece opens extremely quietly, builds in tension, and complexity, and volume, then rolls back to near silence. It moves at a near geologic pace. In the end it fades into the silence of the venue’s ventilation and a car whooshing past outside. As if to answer the car’s roar, Charles Wilmoth’s “Silver Eye” opens with a bash, a complaint, even? Evans pounded the driving hard rock rhythms underneath while Larson splattered clusters and runs on top. How many new music compositions include a nod to “Wipeout”? “Silver Eye,” though, was more metal than surf rock. Opening the second half, Brooks Fredrickson’s “Undertoad” marched to a different rock beat. Evans laid down an akimbo shuffle beat under the unfolding minimalist figures. The piece was the first Bearthoven commissioned and it shows how this blur of rock, jazz, and new music is woven into the band’s DNA. Adrian Knight’s “The Ringing World” is one of the Johnstone commissions. (The Wilmoth and Evans pieces are the others.) The whistling arco bass against shimmering vibes and…


Black Issues Conference at BGSU Hears Call to Action From Rosa Clemente

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Rosa Clemente is not one for half measures. In her fight for social justice she’ll challenge even those who are her allies. The African American activist who had to speak out to have others recognize that she, a Puerto Rican, was black as well as Latina, delivered the keynote address at Saturday’s Black Issues Conference at Bowling Green State University. In a sprawling speech that was part indictment, incitement and autobiography, Clemente said that eight years after the election of an African American president, nothing has improved. The country is poised to have Donald Trump, “a xenophobic, racist, misogynistic” candidate, win the Republican nomination for president. Yet “he’s treated like a joke,” she said. For her he is a serious threat. But she has little love for either major political party. Mass incarceration started under Ronald Reagan, Clemente said, and was perfected by the Democrats who wanted to show they were moderates. Hillary Clinton was “right there with her husband” supporting the juvenile justice bill that led to an increase in the incarceration of African Americans. “She called us ‘super predators.’” Clinton’s rival for the presidential nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is “better,” but still he voted for that crime bill. Clemente lives with the effects of those policies. Her husband was imprisoned at 19. He grew up in a household with abuse and drugs. He ended up selling drugs at 12. When he was released he was put on parole for the rest of his life – that is, until he and his wife sued. Even now, the only job he can get bussing tables at Pizzeria Uno. The burden of mass incarceration is generational, Clemente said. Her father-in-law served time, her husband’s son just got out of jail, and his brother is facing a life sentence. And more and more of those incarcerated are black and Latina women. She advised the luncheon crowd that if they are involved in a discussion about police brutality and incarceration and it only involves men talking about men, to leave. She noted that her husband’s co-workers at the restaurant include college graduates. That’s a sign that capitalism is failing. Under President Obama “nothing material has improved.” “The one percent has gotten…


Austrian Writer Peter Rosei Looks Back at Europe From Perch in Bowling Green

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Austrian writer Peter Rosei is no stranger to Bowling Green State University. He has visited here four times over the past 20 years. Ohio can thank Geoff Howes, recently retired professor of German, for planting the idea that led to one of Austria’s leading writers and intellectuals boasting of his ties to Ohio. The two met in California, and the usual small talk about family and jobs led to an invitation to visit BGSU. Rosei already knew the state from a previous residency at Oberlin College. “I’m kind of a Buckeye boy,” he said. Rosei is currently a visiting professor at BGSU. He and Howes teach a weekly seminar on his novel “Wien Metropolis,” translated by Howes as “Metropolis Vienna.” On Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, they will give a joint reading of selections from the book. Rosei will read in German, and Howes will read the same selection in English. The novel is a sprawling tale featuring a host of characters. “It’s about the social and political background of the post war period,” Rosei said. The novel takes the reader from the days just after World War II ended to the current day. And the discussions in class, conducted both in German and English, touch on parallels between what has occurred in Europe and what is happening in the United States. The political shift to the right, Rosei said, is occurring in Austria as well. He finds the prospect of those on the extreme right winning “absolutely terrifying.” He attributes this rightward swing to the lingering effects, financial and emotional, of the financial crash. He likened it to “an earthquake.” “This left society with a deep anguish, and this anguish is fertile ground for right wing politics,” he said. Rosei understands the appeal of someone on the other side of the political spectrum like Bernie Sanders who advocates for free public higher education. Coming from Austria where even a nominal fee for education had to be rescinded because of protests, the idea of American students paying $16,000 a year to attend a university is unfathomable. “A prospering society needs everyone’s abilities,” he said. Austria, he explained, has no natural resources. Its people are its only…


Bearthoven Set to Upend Musical Expectations at ClaZel Show

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bearthoven is not what it seems. First of all, there are no bears. Second, though the name evokes that of a classical composer immortalized in busts that decorate piano teachers’ studios, the trio is not dedicated to playing centuries-old, or even decades-old, music. Third, though the instrumentation, piano, bass and percussion, may call to mind the classic jazz piano trio, this is not a jazz group. The pianist allows he’s not much of a jazz player. Bearthoven is a trio ready to upend expectations, even those it sets for itself. The Brooklyn based trio of Karl Larson, piano, Pat Swoboda, bass, and Matt Evans, percussion, will perform a “Music at the Forefront” concert Monday at 8 p.m. at the ClaZel in downtown Bowling Green. The free concert is sponsored by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University. “Our music is a weird split between very loud and very soft. We have this strange dichotomy of pieces,” Larson said in a recent telephone interview. Some work is akin to rock ‘n’ roll. Other pieces are minimalist, even ethereal. Larson, who received his doctorate in contemporary music from BGSU in 2012, said the members all met through the Bang On A Can Summer Institute in North Adams, Massachusetts. Though they played in different ensembles together, the trio itself first performed in December, 2013. All three live on the same corner in Brooklyn, New York. “We knew we wanted to do this thing, and we knew there weren’t pieces that existed for this instrumentation. So we put the word out,” he said. Since they were all leaving school at the same time “we knew a lot of composers.” Bearthoven offered them to chance to write what they wanted. In exchange they would get a good performance. For student composers, this would a fair barter. Usually on campus when new pieces get played, Larson said, it’s by a pick-up ensemble with minimal rehearsal time. With Bearthoven “they know we would really invest in the performance.” The first piece they received, Brooks Frederickson’s “Undertoad,” will be on Monday’s program. They will also play Ken Thomson’s “Grizzly” and one piece that predated the formation of the group, Nik Bärtsch’s “Modul 26,” composed…