Spotlight on Bridges – UCLA Music Video

overcoming depression, and forging a path forward in Bridges, a four-minute music video.

Bridges addresses what it’s like to break the mold as a young adult in college and embrace that sense of individuality through music, dance, and visual effects. The story was born out of real-life college experiences depicted in three acts, from gray and disconnected to breaking out of being a duplicate and a nobody with a blurred face, to truly feeling what is possible in claiming your own better self in all types of environments.

The visual effects throughout the video were all used with deep intention. The gray blur of not having an identity started the video and evolved to duplicates with a blur of searching for an identity. The final explosion of color shows the arrival of coming to finding the character’s best self.

The director Jay Weneta, from the Unmapped Cinema production team, stated, “The video is worth viewing because it’s cool and fun and it’s nice to see what these kids do when not bound to class. Expression outside of the mold of class is where the true beauty lies. The music video sheds light on the beauty of the college student being themselves and finding their potential outside of a classroom. Raphael [the main character] is part of the mold, then he breaks it, and he’s beautiful because of it.”

Executive Producer Dalida Arakelian recruited top tier talent from UCLA who were motivated to live and tell the story. The music drives a sense of determination to discover this bridge to claim the true self and true path, regardless of the societal pressures around. The music was a collaborative effort produced by Dalida Arakelian and Stephen Spies with guest rapper, Aristotle, a student of University of California, Berkeley.

The short film is a beautiful production featuring emerging talent across multiple disciplines at UCLA such as School of Film, Television & Theater, School of Music, and the Dance Department. Scenes filmed at iconic UCLA spaces such as Powell Library, UCLA School of Law, the UCLA Anderson School of Management Center for Health Sciences, and UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior.

Watch UC Student Life: Dance Edition – Bridges (Official Music Video).

Shaping Society to Fight Climate Change

Big, heavy vehicles like SUVs don’t make a whole lot of sense for most people. Your average driver isn’t going off-road. A third row of seats is very rarely necessary. They take more gas. And, if you’re hit by an SUV in a sedan, you’re more likely to die. So, why are SUVs so common? Economist Robert Frank argues it boils down to peer pressure. As some people started buying SUVs, their neighbors began to as well. It’s the core premise of his new book, Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work. Recently, Frank sat down with UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy professor Dan Kammen to discuss how this concept can be used to fight climate change.

Frank says in order to implement policies that would have a major impact on climate change we need to tackle, “the mother of all cognitive illusions.” The illusion is that requiring higher taxes of the rich would harm them in some way. Frank argues this simply isn’t true using a series of thought experiments. He asks the audience to imagine being rich in two different worlds, a high-tax world, and a low-tax world. The low-tax rich might drive a $300,000 Ferrari, while the high-tax rich might drive a $150,000 Porsche. But, in the high-tax scenario, the roads are maintained at a much higher standard. So, who is happier, the people driving Ferraris over potholes or those driving Porches on pristine streets? In Frank’s opinion, it’s clear that the Porsche owners would be happier. Frank expands on this example, explaining how we could implement higher taxes on the wealthy to pay for decarbonizing the economy, without requiring any meaningful sacrifice.

Watch The Psychology of Climate Change with Robert Frank.

Organ Failure and Replacement

Why do organs fail and what therapies are available for organ replacement?

This new series from UCSF focuses on the causes of organ failure, how to prevent loss of organ function and how we can replace organs when they do fail.

Hear from a variety of experts, including kidney and liver specialists, that are part of the UCSF Abdominal Transplant team, as well as transplant surgeons who perform liver, kidney and pancreas transplants.

This comprehensive review will give you a better understanding as to why our organs fail, and the incredible outcomes achieved with organ transplantation when organs need to be replaced. Several speakers also address the important role of living donors.

Browse more programs in Organ Failure and Replacement: Why Organs Fail and What Therapies are Available for Organ Replacement.

Transcending Turmoil

Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is the great composer’s most frequently performed and recorded work, one that often elicits complex responses in listeners. Some commentators see the Concerto as Bartók’s reflection on the turmoil that enveloped the world and his own life, while others see it as nothing less than the summation of a singular career. Whatever the interpretation, there is no doubt that the circumstances of its composition make the Concerto all the more remarkable.

Bartók and his wife reluctantly fled their native Hungary in 1940 to escape the ravages of World War II, settling in New York City. Fiercely nationalistic, Bartók was never entirely comfortable in America and found it difficult to compose. For their part Americans showed little interest in his music, and the Bartóks lived in near-poverty. To make matters worse, by 1942 Bartok was exhibiting symptoms of a debilitating illness. By the time leukemia was diagnosed in 1944 his failing health had necessitated hospitalization.

Just when a despondent Bartók was convinced his musical career had ended, conductor Serge Koussevitzky commissioned an orchestral work. A newly-energized Bartók completed the commission in eight weeks, and the Concerto for Orchestra premiered in Boston on December 1, 1944. The premiere was a success and the Concerto went on to become Bartók’s most popular piece, though he did not live to see its full impact. Béla Bartók died aged 64 in September 1945.

In terms of sonata form, the Concerto for Orchestra is an unusual work, starting with its title. A “concerto” normally denotes a large-scale composition for a solo instrument or instruments accompanied by an orchestra. An example is Schumann’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Minor. In Bartók’s piece there is no single soloist or ensemble of soloists. As he explained:

    The title of this symphony-like orchestral work is explained by its tendency to treat the single orchestral instruments in a concertant or soloistic manner. The ‘virtuoso’ treatment appears, for instance, in the fugato section of the development of the first movement (brass instruments), or in the perpetuum-mobile-like passage of the principal theme of the last movement (strings), and especially in the second movement, in which pairs of instruments consecutively appear with brilliant passages.

The five-movement Concerto has a symmetrical “arch” structure in which the outer movements frame the two even-numbered movements. The third, slow movement is the center of the arch and marks a turning point in the musical progression, which starts with the somber and introspective and evolves into the high-spirited, or what Bartók termed a “life-assertion.” There is also a surprising amount of sharp humor, as the composer transcended his trials and travails to create spirited music of great warmth and optimism that continues to resonate with audiences.

Watch Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra – La Jolla Symphony & Chorus.

Building Molecules and Drug Discovery

8232Contrary to what you may think – or perhaps remember from school – “O Chem”, or organic chemistry, is really deceptively simple in principle, and The Scripps Research Institute’s Keary Engle takes you on a thorough exploration of how the initial simplicity of “O Chem” can be exploited to great use in drug discovery.

From a simple understanding of how carbon atoms make bonds, Keary reveals the “language” of chemical structure and formulas and how he and his lab ultimately use this to create new substances to speed the creation of more novel molecules for therapeutic uses.

Watch: Saturday Science at Scripps Research: The Nuts and Bolts of Building Molecules with Keary Engle