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=Katharine Conroy=
=Katharine Conroy=
[[File: kat.jpg|x350px|right|frameless|thumb|Katharine Conroy]]<br>
[[File: IMG_20170622_104039.jpg|x350px|right|frameless|thumb|Katharine Conroy]]<br>

Latest revision as of 12:16, 22 June 2017

Katharine Conroy

Katharine Conroy


The paragraph should give a three to five sentence abstract about your entire London HUA experience including 1) a summary of the aims of your project, 2) your prior experience with humanities and arts courses and disciplines, and 3) your major takeaways from the experience.

Milestone 1 Music Theory behind Grunge Music

Music Theory behind Grunge Music
Objective: Analysis of the the key musical elements to Grunge music.

This project is meant to introduce those who enjoy music to the music theory or backbone of music that makes it sounds a certain way or gives it a certain emotion. Music is defined by its elements, which allows a certain genre of music sounds different than another. So, I distinguished four important elements of music and did an in-depth analysis of each with a comparison of grunge to popular rock music of that time. From that analysis, I then produced a guide to producing my own gunge song with examples of what I would do. In my research, I found that grunge was more covered as a social and ethical topic with little being covered about the music itself. It was difficult to find much on the elements of music in respect to the grunge genre itself, but I did find some info on it under the umbrella of alternative. I discovered that its sound and style was primarily based off of the music’s harmony with the rhythm, form, and dynamics still very important to its overall sound. But, there was no real pattern to the music. Together in had a unique sound due to the harmonic practices, but what really kept the genre a genre was the music’s attitude and the taboo topics it tried to address. Each artist has its own unique style and sound but they all fell into the same genre. This project needs more research to fully grasp the musical differences between grunge music and the popular rock of the time.
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Milestone 2 Theater in London

Theater in London
Objective: Looking at the behind the scenes work that goes into a theater show.

Have you ever wondered about the behind the scene magic that goes into creating a play or musical? There is a tremendous amount of work, blood, sweat, and tears that go into producing a show for the stage. It takes a village to put on a show of any magnitude. So for the Theater in London milestone, we focused on the behind the scene departments that make the show a success. The main departments that we felt were very important were scenic, props, lighting, hair and makeup, sound, costumes, and poster and promotion. Without any of these, the show would not be able to go on due to the fact that all of them are crucial to the visual effects of the show. We each specialized in specific departments to learn the history, techniques and uses in a show. After we understood the nuances of these departments, we then watched “The Play that Goes Wrong” at the Duchess Theater here in London to see how they utilized each department. From that, we took inspiration for our own interpretation of the play. We utilized what we learned and incorporated it into our designs for scenic, props, lighting, hair and makeup, sound, costumes, and poster and promotion. We learned a lot about our respective departments and there was a copious amount of information for many of the departments. However, some like props and poster and promotion were quite as well documented but we found more current day information on them. This milestone is a culmination of our passions for the theater.
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Milestone 3 Grunge Music in London

Grunge Music in London
Objective: A comparison of London and American grunge music that depicts the key differences and similarities.

This project is meant to be used as an introduction to the misunderstood genre of grunge, which dominated the music scene during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. To help those unfamiliar with grunge music, I explored the genera and covered it in its entirety. This started with its birth in Seattle, Washington to its impact on society. In my research, I found that grunge music gained almost a cult following beginning in Seattle, Washington that it spread throughout the United States to many other places such as London, England. However, bands that appeared out of the grunge movement from London did not make it as big in London as they did in the United States. United States grunge bands became more popular than their British counterparts. In my research, I did an analysis of popular grunge songs from both the United States and the London area to create a short deconstructed “mixtape” with the purpose of introducing grunge music to a person who has never listened to the music before. I then described what makes these songs grunge and the reason I choose them. I concluded that grunge music was more of an American genera that spread like wildfire throughout the world, but it was influential to the bands of London also. This milestone is my music capstone and it is an analysis of an entire genre of music that took place in both the United States and London.
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Activity Journal

The activity journal represents an ongoing log of reflections gained through each and every project activity on the calendar.

Activity #1 Westminster Abbey and The Tower of London

Today was the first official day of our time here in London! Still, a bit jet lagged, we started our time here at one of London’s most famous churches, Westminster Abbey or the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster. Many know this location as the place where many royals have celebrations such as coronations and weddings. In my most recent memory, I remember all of the excitement when Prince William and Kate Middleton got married at that exact spot. So as I roamed the great size of the church, I looked at all of the magnificent details on all of the tombs, craving, and statuary. The stained glass was also breathtaking and detailed depicting many monarchs and religious figures. However, my favorite part of the Westminster Abbey was the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. It showed that no matter what class you were you would still be judged just the same under the eyes of God.

After the trip to Westminster Abbey, we went to see the Tower of London. It housed many precious items such as the Royal Crown Jewels, the armory, and torture devices also known as instruments of persuasion. As I walked through the castle I realized how important their history and tradition was. The monarchy is very devout to their traditions with many dating back hundreds of years. An extension of this would be the Yeomen or Beefeaters, who can be seen safeguarding the crown jewels. Originally my original impression of the Beefeaters was that they were people who were dressed in traditional garb to simulate the past uniform style, but when I asked a lady from information, she informed me that they were highly trained ex-military. This was very surprising and added greatly to my experience. After the first day of actives in London, I was very exhausted but also still very excited to see what was in store for me in the upcoming weeks.

Activity #2 St. Paul's Cathedral

Today we went to see the St. Paul's Cathedral , which is part of the Anglican faith. This cathedral was gorgeous with its murals, mosaics and baroque style. the baroque style was very unusual for an Anglican Church due to the fact that is was used frequently by the Roman Catholic church, which it split with when the pope denied King Henry the VIII a marriage annulment.

When I first walked in, I saw the huge baptismal font that is used during the christening of those seeking the faith. There were also wonderful icons of Jesus and Madonna and Child that I have only been able to see in textbooks or online. The Nave was filled with statues in memory of famous was generals.Then, once you are done gawking at the sight in front, you to gaze up at the ceiling and you realize the magnitude of the cathedral. The journey up to the Whispering Gallery was very tedious up to those stairs but it was really cool to look down onto the ground below. However, I am terrified of heights so let’s just say the ceiling was very pretty from that height! Overall, I thought that it was some of the most impressive artwork I have ever seen.

Activity #3 British Museum

The journey we took today brought us to one of the first places we met our advisor during our first day out and about; the British Museum. When walking past the museum, you can see its Greek architecture filled with columns and arches. The whole museum is decorated with ornate crown moldings and tray ceilings, which add to the openness of the rooms. However, unlike most of the sights seen so far, most of the exhibits are artifacts instead of a places to explore. It very much felt like the MET with all of the exhibits emphasizing different times in history and all that they had to offer.

My favorite exhibit of the museum was the one featuring the Mesopotamia region. This exhibit brought me back to sixth grade when I first learned about this region. I saw many tablets with writing in cuneiform, which I remember learning as a kid. It was really cool to see new and different artifacts there. I even got to see the Rosetta Stone, which I remember being a huge deal because it was used to decode other ancient languages. There were also some elements of the museum that kind of had something to do with my theatre milestone, due to the fact that there were ancient artifacts such as masques. This showed the early roots of both theater, where masks were often used to depict characters. Overall I really enjoyed the museum because it brought me back to a wonderful time of my life.

Activity #4 Natural History Museum

I was very excited about going to the Natural History Museum! I absolutely adore going to these types of museums due to the fact that they contain a myriad of exhibits with different exhibitions. The exterior and interior of the building is filled with a mix of roman and gothic architecture, which gave the area a feeling of openness and spaciousness.

When walking in, I immediately thought about my favorite museum The American Museum of Natural History in New York City. I sent a lot of my childhood and teen life exploring the place I called home. There was always something new and cool to see and it had my favorite prehistoric friends the dinosaurs too. So on arrival, I expedited my way to the dinosaurs and more specifically the prehistoric sea dinosaurs. They had a huge collection of pliosaurs fossils and some ichthyosaurus too. It honestly reminded me of the movie Land Before Time: Journey to Big Water. They also had a animatronic T-Rex which I found really amazing! But in comparison to the American Museum of Natural History, I feel it does not have as many really big dinosaurs (though I may just be biased). Pertaining to my project, I did see a picture of the Nirvana cover Nevermind, which shows the impact that grunge music had on London culture. Overall, found the museum very different then I originally thought. It focused mainly on a lot of different animals, reptiles, and geological topics, which made this a unique experience.

Activity #4 National Gallery and Lunchtime concert

Today, I saw The National Gallery and it was really disappointing due to the fact that my favorite artist, Monet and all of the Impressionists, were closed today. I really enjoy the impressionists because of the way they see the world. In their works of art, they provide nature and people in their everyday lives. They are not staged and contained many colors and movements. Another artist I was looking forward to was Johannes Vermeer, but they only had one of the three paintings available. I remember reading a book in second grade called Chasing Vermeer, so I was really interested in seeing a few of his paintings, but the one that was there was very intricately painted and contained a lot of symbolism.

We also saw a concert at the St Martins of the Feilds, which was really awesome. The concert was played by Nikolay Ponomarev who played the piano. I personally really enjoy listening to music and differentiating the styles of composers, so I was excited by the list of songs on the program. The Transcendental Etude No. 10 in F Minor by Franz Liszt had a very heavy and somber sound to it while as Etude No 10, Op25 in B minor by Chopin has more of a light and airy texture to it. It reminded me of sitting in my music history class in high school and the analysis of these songs to understand where the composer was trying to communicate.

Activity #5 Lunchtime concert

We went to see another concert at St Martins of the Feilds, which had a duet between both a saxophonist and pianist. At first glance that combination of instruments sounds pretty interesting, but the way the pieces were written they complemented each other quite well. The pianist was a young woman named Christine Zerafa and young man on the sax was Philip Attard. They were both highly accomplished players representing the Royal Over-Seas League. I really enjoyed Saint Saëns's Sonata Op 166 it was very relaxing and worked very well together but i really disliked Edison Denisov's Sonata for saxophone and piano because they attempted to mimic each other's notes and it sounded quite disjointed. Overall there were some parts i enjoyed and some I did not.

Activity #6 Tate Britain

After a nice and relaxing day of working on my milestones at the British Library, I jumped back into the museum journey. Unfortunately, I feel the strong need to keep continuing on with the milestones since I am progressing very well. So we went to the Tate Britain and the time period paintings from the 1500’s to the late 1800s were a lot of portraits of military, literary, and royal figures. But after that time period, many pictures contained that of which involved social movements. There was one piece in particular that covered the grunge movement which was a confusing flow diagram called “The History of the World” by Jeremy Deller that distinguishes one's problems covered by bass bands and an acid house. It highlighted the social and political issues that were dealt with during the Grunge era. I also got to see the newest commission at the museum called Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn Evans. It was an interesting piece that utilized light as that medium and space as a canvas. Overall I am pretty museum out and really would not like to look at another aristocrat portrait for a while.

After going to the Tate Britain, a group of us decided to go see David Tennant in Don Juan in SoHo. It was in a smaller theater that has a classic proscenium theater, which created an intimate feeling even with standing room "seats". The show was a modern take on the classic Don Juan and it was definitely very modern. During intermission, we took a look at the projection systems and lighting and determined that they used S4's with less dispersion do to the fact it was such a small stage. Also we determined that the amazing projection was done by three offstage projectors and an unknown number of projectors onstage. It was amazing to be able to reason through all of design and technical features.

Activity #7 Victoria and Albert Museum

Today we took a trip to the beautiful South Kensington area to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum. My first impression of the building was that it is massive and very ornately decorated. In the lobby was an amazing blown glass structure that spanned many feet long. I really enjoyed the ornate Islamic Middle Eastern artwork that ranged from tiles to silk and pottery. The calligraphy was so artfully done and was seen as a work of art due to its intricateness. I also saw an exhibit on theater and performance, which covered almost all of my milestone. I saw amazing diagrams of different set designs, costumes, books, and drawings that all pertain to the behind the scenes nature of my milestone. I only really concentrated on the parts of the museum that pertained to my project due to the fact that the museum is so large.

Activity #8 Tate Modern

Today was a visit just over the bridge at the Tate Modern. Unlike most of the other museums, the Tate modern had a very modern and architectural feel to it. It was not at all ornate and had many of the structural beams and hanging lights showing. Personally, I have a limited perspective on modern art. I usually cannot see the meaning in blank canvas or a random piece of wood that I can find in the woods. I have been known to make jeers at modern are also. This has been seen recently when I was doing a modern interpretation of an ice cream cone and correlating it to the coldness of society. However, surprisingly I did find some of the art absolutely breathtaking and full of meaning. I also feel that the backstory behind much of the artwork gives it more meaning. Some of the exhibits I did enjoy were Abstraction and Society and optical illusions. They Abstraction and Society display depicted social issues and problems through a different view that demands you full attention. All of those works relate to the grunge movement and how they decoded the problems with society in their lyrics. However even after going to many great parts of the museum I still felt that some pieces could be done by myself, one of little to no artistic talent. Overall, I feel that these museums are lovely and a great cultural experience, but I really need more time to research and write my milestones. I find it very difficult to go to the museum for half the day, write the journal and articles, and then go to the library to start working on the milestone at around 1 or 2 PM till 6 PM, eat dinner and work on it some more. I need more time to add more detail to my project.

Activity #9 Museum of London

The Museum of London was much smaller than I anticipated. It had the history of London from the prehistoric times to present day. It did have a tiny section that talked about Shakespeare and other playwrights from London but did not talk about any of the technical aspects of theater. Otherwise, there was nothing else that covered my milestones. I did enjoy the part of the museum that covered Roman London because I enjoyed the versatility of the amphitheater. It reminded me of the movie Gladiator with Russel Crow. I am ready for the weekend to continue working on my milestones.

Activity #10 Imperial War Museum

Today we went to the Imperial War Museum, which was right across the Thames River. The museum was surrounded by a green a luscious park with many flowers and plants. In the front of the museum, is a walkway boarded by a lavender that leads up to two huge cannons. The design of the museum was also cool with large columns. The entry of the museum was an amazing sight with all of the different planes and such suspended in the air. I made me think of a museum near me called the Cradle of Aviation because of they also had suspended planes but they were about air travel.

While walking through the museum, I really enjoyed how they had each level dedicated to a different topic. A number of artifacts they had was amazing. I was really interested in WWII and loved how it was from the British point of view because I remember learning it from an American point of view. It also went chronologically with it ending in the war on terrorism and they had a piece of mangled metal from the Twin Towers, which was very sad because of the impact it had on the United States. I also found the exhibit about the Holocaust extremely haunting and sad. However, it was one of the most complete exhibits I have seen on the Holocaust. On the fifth floor (which was really really high), there was an exhibit on the bravery of those fighting in the British Army. It talked about many brave men and women such as Joan Daphne Mary Pearson and Kamal Ram, who risked their lives for the betterment of their country.

Activity #11 Museum of London Docklands

Today we all woke up with the horrific news of the bombing in the Manchester Arena and it is so unnerving to know that no matter where you are in the world there will always be bad people in this world. The train ride was very quiet and somber.

The Museum of London Docklands is located a pretty far distance away and is like 4 too many miles to walk, but I really liked how it was on the “Isle of Dogs”. It’s such an interesting name! Anyways, like the Museum of London, I found this museum catered to a younger crowd, like elementary school students. So a lot of the information was at an elementary level. There were many great parts of the museum that talked about its history, slavery and its rectification, and many maritime things. I really like how they incorporated the Canary Warf into the museum’s history. The Canary Warf is so pretty and you can tell it would be an awesome to be on a Friday night.

Activity #12 Horniman Museum

Traveling even further than we did yesterday we are making our way to the Horniman Museum. It is way too far to walk, but it was only a train and bus ride away. A lot of these places required a decent amount of travel and I am pretty low on the oyster card, so I guess I am going to have to top up soon. However, the museum was in this suburban area and it was really nice to be out of the city. I grew up in suburbia so it was nice to not be so crowded with little store fronts and homes with back yards. Side note, I really like British expressions like top up and cheerio they are just really interesting terms. Now I digress to the actual museum experience.

So the museum itself is very pretty and is surrounded by luscious fields and Gardens. There were two main exhibits in the museum with one being about evolution and domestication. That part contained a lot of taxidermy animals, birds, and lizards, which was kind of sad because I saw some of my favorite animals stuffed. The next part was the collection of musical instruments. It was pretty cool to see all of the instruments from many different time periods. I also learned and saw instruments from the Seasonal Round: Haslemere Festival. My favorite part was the Garden because they were so peaceful.

Activity #13 Hampton Court Palace

To begin with I will be keeping this journal relatively shot due to time constraints of travel and other her. Today we visited the Hampton Court Palace in Zone 6 or better known as a place far far away. It was a really amazing place with a lot of history. I really liked how each in the entrance of the palace there was the coat of arms. I really didn’t get to go to many places but I did make my way to the playground, which was amazing. So my maturity level is at about the age of 2 and a half so I therefore had to go on it. It was awesome!

Activity #14 The Wallace Collection

Today, after a long and relaxing bank holiday weekend is a day that begins the milestone grind. I really enjoyed this weekend off from work to just explore and have fun. This week is really crunch time with only 3 weeks left and a lot of work left. At The Wallace Collection there were many paintings and such from the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a lot of amazing collection of artwork, statuary, and armory. I in particular really enjoyed the armory the most because I find the ancient weapons very fascinating. They had medieval swords with faded engravings and ornamental swords meant for display. The collection also housed a large amount of horse armor, which included a gothic piece from the 15th century. There was a lovely exhibit in the basement that allowed visitors to try on a chainmail headpiece and chest piece. They altogether weighed approximately 45 pounds and took a tremendous amount of effort to lift. It was really amazing to think that this place was once a home.

Activity #15 London Science Museum

The next adventure was to London Science Museum, which was in one of my favorite parts of London, Kensington. I really enjoyed this place due to the fact that it contained a lot of engineering related items and exhibits. Don’t get me wrong are great and all, however, it was nice to have the breath of fresh air while looking at engineering related exhibits. The night prior a group of us decided to go to the late night at the science museum where they were featuring robots or all shapes and sizes. It was amazing to see the huge array of robots taking over and a number of people interested in the event. They had so many cool exhibitions and I even got to create a robot head with LED lights for eyes. The museum itself contains so many different topics ranging from space to clocks to planes and much more. I found the Wounded, Conflict, Casualties, and Care exhibit very humbling and fascinating they talked about the treatment and how they would get help when injured. It makes me thankful that I am not in that potions and thank my lucky stars for the people who sacrificed their lives for our sakes.

Activity #16 Romeo and Juliet

We went to see Romeo and Juliet at the Globe Theater. The ambiance was great except for the fact that it was cold and down pouring for the first half of the show. I mean like full on drenching type of rain. We were all cold and wet, but it was awesome to be right in front of the stage where the orchestra would be. I felt like I was at a rock concert awaiting a mosh pit. Anyway, when we read the description of the play we knew that this would be a very modern take on the show and that was only reaffirmed when we saw some of the actors getting ready with modern clothing and white face makeup. The show started out with actors dressed in very modern clothing dancing and speaking their lines to rap and hip-hop music, which was very interesting. They wore makeup that makes them look like clowns, which was, quite frankly, pretty scary. They also did some gender bending with Mercutio’s character. From a technical point of view, the lighting was very reliant on the on stage LEDS and S4’s. There were many lights being used as spots attached to the seating balconies and the sound was also attached there. The props were very simple and added to the idea of the play. I feel they did take the show to a very dark place, which is where it should be due to the fact that it is a tragedy. I really liked how the actors were not afraid to break character on stage and that could be seen when Mercutio tossed her beating stick and it flew off stage in the back through an open window. She asked if she could get it back and it didn’t come back so she went on and when it came back on stage she incorporated it into the scene. My one critique was that the actress that was playing Juliet was way too old (not being ageist at all), even with her makeup on you could tell that she was much older that the actor playing Romeo. She was supposed to be 14 in the show but you could tell she was around 40 and he was 25 or so. But even so, the show seemed to be one long drug induced trip. It was creepy and weird, but I really enjoyed it.

Activity #17 Stonehedge

Our farthest trip as a group definitely has to do be our trip to Stonehenge. So Stonehenge is in the middle of nowhere right next to some pastoral fields with large burial mounds. Honestly, if you did not know that they were there you would definitely drive right past them without a second thought. From the road the stones seem pretty small and insignificant, but up close they were pretty large. It was interesting to learn that this rock formation was created thousands of years ago. It is thought to have been sacred grounds where religious practices occurred. The extremely heavy stones were thought to be brought from over 200 miles away without the wheel having been created yet. It is definitely was an amazing feat that is many thousands of years before its time. We then went to Bath, which is this amazing little town that has a hot spring. It was cute and quaint with a beautiful abbey. After Bath, we visited the location where they filmed some of Harry Potter. It was really cool and a very small village that had a small population. Overall it was an amazing trip with an amazing tour guide.

Activity #18 Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle was pretty cool. It was composed of many different parts with it stretching more than 20 tennis courts long. When we first stepped in they did a full body and bag scan, it was like going through airport security. The security makes sense due to the fact that we are visiting the residence of the Queen. We visited the drawing rooms, dollhouse, and chapel, which were all meticulously done. They were all ornately decorated with eloquently carved crown molding, gold, crystal, and paintings. I keep a count of how many dogs I could spot in the picture and found 7. Overall, most of the residence was blocked off and it took a little less than an hour to complete. I did not think it was worth it because it took us two hours to get there and we only spent an hour there. Also, it cost us almost 20 pounds to do the trip. So if there was more to see and it cost less then I would feel that it would be worth the journey and money.

My Complete Contributions

The journal section should end with the following link to your complete contributions (new articles, edited articles, added media, etc.)

All of My Created Content and Edits