Sunday, August 1, 2010

Writing About Music: Big Funk

By Melina Torres (Brawley, CA)

Today marks the day when the Summer Journalism Program first started to prepare us for news writing and set us out into the world on the mission of covering our first event. We had to gather as many quotes from the audience as well as the band Big Funk, which was performing in Palmer Square, to meet our deadline.

This was a rather daunting task for some of us who either have never interviewed someone or simply fear rejection. Just going up to someone you've never met and demanding their attention can be scary. Personally, I found the audience to be quite approachable. Of course, it's easier interviewing someone in a small group rather than alone. Right away, we shot questions at the "funky jazz" band Big Funk and they were very friendly. As the band set up, families and people in the band were interacting in the park on this warm, sunny day and some individuals were even playing frisbee. Brian Rokus '99, an SJP  counselor and CNN producer, was trying to take photos of a father and son throwing the disc back and forth.

After a while though, the weather began to take a toll on us and most of us were craving ice cream from Bent Spoon, but we had to meet our deadline.

Now back to the band.

Impressively, they mostly used improvisation. The end result is soothing, spunky, melodic music. Most of us are from a generation where jazz and blues are not as popular. But, I think it's safe to say most of us enjoyed the funk genre and writing about music. Besides being musically entertaining, they also had that charisma of being visually entertaining -- the bassist had eccentric facial expressions during the performance. For the first reporting assignment at Princeton, I think it was a success!


  1. Wow, it sounds like you had an amazing first day. I remember my first day at SJP. I was so nervous to just go up to random people and interview to find their thoughts about the band that was playing. You're right though, it is easier to do it in a group than to do it alone, but when you interview someone by yourself, you just get such good information. But, believe me, by the end of the program, you will have no problem just going up to people and getting their opinions on a subject for one of your pieces. You guys are making me so jealous right now. I wish I was back working those late nights and having those early mornings to get my pieces done. Have fun, and you're first reporting assignment really does sound like a success!
    -Elle SJP '09

  2. Congrats Melina!!! We are very proud of your work.
    Keep it up. Sometimes it will be hard but feel the fear and do it anyways. Rejection is only an obstacle to breakthrough to meet a new opportunity. We wish you the Best!!
    Mike, Joyced and Angelic