2014-2015 Staff

Amaris Ketcham, Faculty Advisor
Jesse Montoya, Editor in Chief
Keriden Brown, Managing Editor
Neethi Baskaran, Digital Editor
Kara Filipas, Office Manager
Michael Andrews
Emily Ayers
Victoria Camarillo
Caitlin Carcerano
Joseph DeBonis
Savanna Duran
Daniel Guardado
Sarah Haak
Quinci LeGardye
Kimberly Mitchell


2015 cover

Historical Facts: This year was the introduction of the Open Media Staff Choice Award and the first time a website has been published in Open Media.

What you'll find in this issue: The 2015 edition features work by 39 contributors from 17 schools. We are excited to present a variety of interesting and dynamic pieces, many featuring the motif of perception. In addition, this is our first year we've had an Open Media Staff Choice Award. For only $10, you can order a copy of the print edition to call your very own here. You can download the digital edition (.epub format) here.

Below are our Open Media pieces from this year. Enjoy!


Micaela Haluko 
Metropolitan State University of Denver

This short film explores the transformation of gestures and artifacts of everyday life into a broader, more meaningful story. Most of the film is split-screen, showing the main character's actions on one side, and an up-close view of her hand on the other. The duality of the film's format adds meaning to both sides of the story. This emphasizes the role the artist's hands play in her formation of identity, and shows how sometimes, the creative process can seem to have volition independent of the creative. 
Commentary by Scribendi staff

Dead Men Don’t Pull Triggers

(How Courtney Love Killed Kurt Cobain)

Nate Witham 
University of Utah

Arranged for string quartet, this piece is inspired by the conspiracy theories that surround the death of Kurt Cobain, the famous lead singer of the nineties grunge band Nirvana. The piece consists of three distinct sound worlds in constant conflict with each other. The string quartet emulates this chaos through interesting rhythmic techniques and contrasting instrumentals. The theories about Cobain's death are innumerable. From murder to suicide to a plot by his wife, Courtney Love, Cobain's death is surrounded by mystery. He was found with heroin in his bloodstream and a shotgun wound to the head, but everything from the fingerprints on the gun to the real amount of heroin in his blood has been thoroughly debated. Some private investigators who have looked into his death believe he was murdered. Without taking a position on the controversy, the artist of "Dead Men Don't Pull Triggers" creates a hectic sonic exploration of the mystery of Cobain's death and the heightened emotions that often accompany it. 
Commentary by Scribendi staff

Down to Fiesta!

Tim Sanchez
Colorado State University 

Music can be made in all kinds of ways and with all kinds of sounds. In this day and age, with the technology of the twenty-first century available to us, even traditional instruments are unnecessary. This piece was composed on the music sequencer in Little Big Planet 2, a game by Media Molecule. Based on the "chiptune" style inspired by video games, "Down to Fiesta!" is an exciting an altogether different take on what music is. Playing video games was for so long a visual experience, but with the emergence of chiptune, the musical aspects of old video games are being more closely examined. Chiptune is a fast-paced style of electronic music that manipulates the beeps and bops of theme songs from long ago. Without the limitations of physical instruments, only the limitations of the music sequencer exist. A percussive outburst gives this piece the flair to stand out among chiptune music. Chiptune is sometimes seen as a closed-off genre, but the incorporation of organic instrumentation into a technological world gives it a vibrant feeling. 
Commentary by Scribendi staff


Sam Roberts
University of New Mexcio

This piece is an audio exploration of death metamorphosis. The artist investigates the process of death by mixing recordings of himself singing and playing piano. Starting with a bouncy, enjoyable piano melody, the song begins as life would: happy, easy, and full of hope. Slowly it grows more and more intricate, adding more sounds, from faint vocals to a steady hi-hat beat. As the song progresses further, it becomes chaotic, convoluted, and representative of how life develops. There are warped, distorted cries combined with a swirling, electronic blur of noise that gives into static and explosive electronic sound waves. As "Gate" ends, the chaos reaches a crescendo of static pops and noises, climaxing into oblivion. 
Commentary by Scribendi staff


Jordan Burk
University of New Mexcio

Lucidity is an online, persona-based work of fiction. Check back for new updates! 

Portland Paranormal

Robert Eversmann
Portland State University
Editor's Choice Award: Open Media

Artist Robert Eversmann writes: "A little Dana Skully and a little Johnny Dollar, all Ghostbusters, the Portland Paranormal consists of your friendly neighborhood investigators Tyr Vitikar and Robert Ogden. What we have here is a suite of 'cold opens,' titled 'House of Louie,' 'Cold Morning,' and 'The Sewer Diaries,'" "Portland Paranormal" is a radio drama written, mixed, and acted by artist Robert Eversmann. 
In an era dominated by the internet by the internet and social media, storytelling without visual aid is not only a bit out of place, it is downright paranormal. "Portland Paranormal" is a "War of the Worlds"-style radio narrative broadcast, characterized by enticing humor, daring wit, and an impeccable construction of atmosphere. 
Commentary by Scribendi staff

The is EWE

Austin Roos
University of Montana

"When the world is still and thoughts cease to be, what will happen then?" asks Austin Roos, the creator of "This is EWE." This short film discusses the repercussions of living in fear of nothingness. It uses innovative artwork and a childlike, psychedelic dream world to explore age-old conundrums, like the question of why we live and what happens when nothing exists anymore. "I couldn't find meaning outside of myself, so I made some," said Roos. Or, he said, maybe this was all an excuse to draw Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything
Commentary by Scribendi staff

Turtles All the Way Down

Tim Sanchez
Colorado State University
WRHC Award: Open Media

In Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, an attendee at an astronomy lecture argues that the world is really lying on the back of a turtle. When asked what the turtle is standing on, she says, "It's turtles all the way down!" This piece tackles the story of the cosmic turtle through song. In some ancient folklore, there is a giant of the earth itself as the lower shell of a turtle, the sky as its body, and heaven as its upper shell. Similar ideas are found in Chinese and Native American mythology. Musically, the piece makes use of tritones in a diminished fifth, which sounds unusual compared to more common major-chord systems. "Turtles All the Way Down" uses percussive instruments like the xylophone and marimba to create a flowing, bouncy melody. The heavy use of accidentals builds tension until they pull into chord tones. The marimba carries the melody, producing a smooth feeling that contrasts with its staccato sound. Throughout the piece, the piano flows and creates a sense of importance and mystique. 
Commentary by Scribendi staff