The Library Sparks an Artist’s Imagination

A digital artist who goes by the alias Alex Roman has created an exceptional short film inspired by Louis Kahn’s design of the Academy’s library. Working only with computers and special software as his tools (no still- or motion cameras were used), Roman has created a dreamlike view of the library’s interior spaces. It’s worth noting that Roman has never actually been to our library, and some of the details in the film don’t represent the actual physical reality of the space. It’s more a brilliant visual poem than an exact blueprint, and after watching it, we hope you’ll agree that Roman is an extremely talented young man.

We asked Roman to give us a little bio for this entry, and here’s his reply:

Jorge Seva, aka Alex Roman
Jorge Seva, aka Alex Roman

“I was born in 1979, in Alacant (Alicante), a city in Spain. I would first like to say that my real name is Jorge Seva, but I use ‘Alex Roman’ as an artistic alias for publishing independent work. After being trained in traditional painting at a few academies, I discovered this other world called CG. After school, I made the move to Madrid and began working at a visual effects company. That stint did not last too long due to the lack of demand for visual effects in the Spanish market at the time. It was then, that I switched into the VIZ business. I have been working for several companies since. Currently, I work on an “already-built work” visualization series which will be stitched together into a short animated piece.”

A few notes about the film:
– After clicking the play button, you’ll see a box that say “HD is On.” You can click it to see the non-HD version if you find that it’s taking to long to load properly.
– Click the box with the four arrows (in the bottom lefthand corner of the player) to see the film in fullscreen.
– The falling pieces of paper that you’ll see near the end of the film are Kahn’s blueprints for the library.

Breathing New Life into Old Films

We’ve recently been looking into digitizing some of our old 8mm movies, for a variety of reasons:

1. Increasing access and deliverability: Almost everyone has a way to watch DVDs and access video clips on the internet. It’s much harder to locate a working 8mm projector.

2. Preservation: Old film deteriorates over time. While digital materials can also degrade, the ability to store them in multiple physical formats (e.g., DVD, hard drives, etc.) is certainly better than having a single medium to rely on.

3. The capture of stills: Sometimes our photographic record of the Academy is incomplete. But with digitized “home” movies, we can easily grab, save, and print individual stills, greatly increasing our photographic collection.

The drawback to digitizing old films is that doing it well requires some very specialized equipment. The process must be outsourced and it’s not inexpensive.

We thought you might like to see a short, fairly low-resolution clip of a 48-minute film we recently had digitized thanks to the Richard W. Leopold Fund, Class of 1929. The approximately 50-second clip shows the build up to an Exeter/Andover baseball game  (while the exact date of the game is unknown, it probably dates from around 1940). Towards the end of the clip you can see 8th Principal Lewis Perry being directed to his seat in the stands by a student.

Listening Room Combines Music with Multimedia

Music faculty member Eric Sinclair with a student in the Listening Room
Music faculty member Eric Sinclair with a student in the Listening Room

The PEA Music Library is pleased to announce a new resource for music students and their teachers: a multimedia listening room. Located in Room 111 in the lower left corner of the Forrestal-Bowld Music Building, the listening room includes a networked Macintosh computer with a 20-inch screen and external speakers. This equipment allows users to listen to audio recordings – either on CD or through Naxos Music Library, an online streaming music service — and view DVDs or Web content in the privacy of an enclosed, sound-proof area, removed from the traffic of the Music Library.

A special feature of the listening room computer is its ability to build and manage playlists with iTunes, the digital jukebox included on all Macintosh computers. A playlist is a collection of audio tracks stored in a single file folder and assigned a descriptive title (i.e. “Debussy Preludes”). By creating playlists, students and teachers are able to share recorded music from different sources without the need for physical CDs.

For students, the listening room is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00am to 1:00pm (when the Music Librarian is on duty) and at other times with the permission of a Music Department faculty member.