• ashley hernandez

    meeting myself

    reflections from revisiting symphony hall

    April 25, 2019
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    As the audience lights dimmed and the stage lights brightened, I quickly flipped through the concert program to remind myself of the pieces’ names. A tuning note from the first oboist broke through the silence of the concert hall. Different timbres of sound emerged slowly underneath this steady note, soon weaving into a comforting harmony.  […]

    starless nights

    on light pollution and how to see in the dark

    April 12, 2019
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    I saw stars, and I mean really saw stars, for the first time when I was 18 years old. And no, I’m not from New York City or Hong Kong or some other neon-lit “City That Never Sleeps,” but a suburb in Maryland where a cursory glance at a clear night sky reveals Orion’s belt, […]

    haunted caretaker

    the shining, ambient music, and forgetting

    April 5, 2019
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    The first time I ever watched The Shining, it was well past midnight. I was wedged in between my best friends on a couch in a New Hampshire cabin, the stars alight outside. This was last December—during a brief weekend respite amid finals week, when I could concern myself with nothing but the sound of […]

    on belay

    sunday nights are for climbing

    March 15, 2019
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    We joke that climbers would make the best criminals. No fingerprints! Our identities have been rubbed off onto cold granite and colored plastic holds, but rocks keep secrets best. My hands aren’t that bad, though my pointer fingers feel a little cheese-grater-y—rough, shredded. Tiny rock edges wreck your finger pads, sandpaper grips rip apart your […]

    is girl rock an exclusive club?

    girlpool, cleo tuck, and the future of gender-defined spaces

    March 8, 2019
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    For years, the female-fronted rock scene has been connecting loyal audiences with female personalities. In a genre dominated by men who have laid claim to the “Rock God” persona, female-led rock movements like Riot Grrrl have cut against the grain. But despite efforts to subvert industry toxicity, an unwelcome deposit of transphobia within the subgenre […]