Berklee’s Two Track Series Wraps up Fall Semester with ‘Gratitude’
Berklee’s Two Track music video series showcases the college’s student artists in an intimate setting with only one microphone and continuous camera takes. Since the series launched in September, videos have premiered every Wednesday evening on the Berklee YouTube channel. Each recording session revolves around a single theme expressed by the artist either through their track selection or a short storytelling segment that was recorded as part of the performance. The theme of “gratitude” closed out the fall semester.
On November 3, Kieran Rhodes, a self-taught singer and pianist, performed James Taylor and Carole King’s 1970 song "Sweet Baby James” and an original song, "Disengage," in which he shared his feelings of isolation and detachment. Through writing the song, Rhodes discovered a newfound appreciation for loved ones and for his musical talents.
The singer-songwriter found his passion for music in high school. He spent the following years honing his craft by learning to play piano, sing, and write songs. With only five years of musical experience, Rhodes has already released six singles and an EP, On the Corner of Somewhere Street.
Watch Kieran Rhodes perform "Sweet Baby James" and "Disengage":
The Nebulous Quartet Featuring Kely Pinheiro
On November 10, the Nebulous Quartet featuring Kely Pinheiro performed her original song “Sozinho.” Pinheiro, a Brazilian cellist, multi-instrumentalist, and arranger, was accompanied by Claudius Agrippa and Fabienne Jean on violin and Noah Leong on the viola. After the performance, Pinheiro explained how the word "sozinho" ("alone" in Portuguese) conveyed her feelings of isolation in Boston during the pandemic, leading her to discover new musical collaborations and possibilities with her quartet. The group also performed a funky version of Rodgers and Hart’s 1937 show tune “My Funny Valentine.”
A classically trained cellist, Pinheiro moved to the U.S. from Brazil after receiving a full-tuition scholarship from Berklee. She grew up in a music-loving family that encouraged her to explore a variety of musical styles, and since the age of 12 she has performed in concerts, participating in projects and festivals in Brazil and abroad.
Watch the Nebulous Quartet featuring Kely Pinheiro perform “Sozinho” and "My Funny Valentine”:
On November 17, Los Angeles native and Berklee senior Zoe Sparks sang her original song “Sober” with Grifin DiNardo on drums and Ben Dailor on trumpet. She also performed a cover of the 1992 single “Weak” by the R&B trio SWV (Sisters with Voices). A bassist, singer, and songwriter, Sparks plays R&B, funk, soul, and hip-hop, and is influenced by the music of the 1970s to the present.
In between songs, Sparks opened up about auditioning for a singing reality-television show over a year ago, calling it a “brutal experience.” One of her musical idols was on the judges’ panel and told her how awful she was. Distressed by what was said about her and her abilities, Sparks is now grateful for the experience because she realized that she doesn’t need anyone else’s approval except for her own. Through introspection and time, she has a newfound appreciation for her artistry.
Watch Zoe Sparks perform "Sober" and "Weak":
Twenty-three-year-old singer-songwriter Emily Sangder performed Joy Oladokun's “Look Up" and Yebba's "October Sky" on November 24. She was accompanied by Emanuel Keller on cello and Ely Perlman on guitar.
A native of Eugene, Oregon, Sangder grew up performing in and around her hometown as both a solo artist and with multiple bands and duos. During her session, she shared how grateful she was for her friends in Boston and the support they have provided, especially over the last few months after she learned that two close family members passed away from COVID-19. Sangder, who is in her senior year at Berklee, chose to perform “October Sky” because Yebba wrote the song about the loss of her mother, and Sangder felt that “her songwriting was a great way to express the grief of what that feels like.”
Watch Emily Sangder perform "Look Up" and "October Sky”: