Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Most Inspiring

So, um, I got this cool e-mail from the Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications last night:
Congratulations! Your Instagram photo is the winner [of the Founders Day Instagram Challenge] for the category Most Inspiring. . . . [W]e'll repost your photo on the main Yale Instagram account. (Please don't tell anyone until we've made the announcement by leaving a comment on your original photo.) Thanks and congrats!
The "Most Inspiring Instagram" was defined as "the best overall shot taken anywhere on the Yale campus during the Founders Day celebration." The prize? Lunch for the winner and a guest with University President Peter Salovey!

So, now that they've officially announced me as the winner, I can officially post this blog!

I joked about winning lunch with the President all day as I submitted thirty-one photos to the contest through my Instagram account with the tag #InspiringYale. Though I tried really hard by taking lots of photos, oddly enough, the winning shot was the first one I took! It's a view down toward Timothy Dwight College from the eighth floor conference room in my office.

Red tree in TD. #InspiringYale

I edited the photo in Instagram to punch the colors a bit, add a vignette around the corners, and use the radial tilt-shift to blur the edges and focus in on the single red tree in the center of the courtyard.

Below are the rest of my shots from the day. The photo captions are how I tagged the photos for the contest.

In addition to the winning view of campus, I tried to get a few overhead views of the campus from a couple of higher vantage points.

Harkness Tower etc. from the roof of the Loria Center. #InspiringYale

Yale and West Rock from the roof of the Loria Center. #InspiringYale

Kline Biology Tower, Marquand Chapel, Gibbs, Peabody Museum, School of Management, 55 Whitney, and East Rock. #InspiringYale

I'm lucky to have this skyline view from my office each day. Inspired by Yale. #InspiringYale

As a part of the day of celebration, I took the Yale Sacred Places Tour led by the Chaplain's office. We started in Battell Chapel, visited the Hindu and Muslim prayer rooms, walked through Old Campus, and ended up in the Buddhist shrine in the base of Harkness Tower.

Battell Chapel. #InspiringYale

Connecticut Hall, 1750. #InspiringYale

Fan vaults in the Harkness Chapel. #InspiringYale

Wood carvings in Harkness Chapel. #InspiringYale

I also popped in on the President's open house at 43 Hillhouse. The artwork he has on display from the Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art is amazing!

Welcome home, Mr. President. #InspiringYale

Oh, you know, it's just an old Albers in my parlor. #InspiringYale

I call this one "Founders' Day Selfie with Albers & Sleeping Toddler" #InspiringYale

May I take a message? #InspiringYale

The President's garden. #InspiringYale

YIMBY Mr. President. #InspiringYale

The Yale Center for British Art also opened their Founder's Room in honor of Paul Mellon.

Paul Mellon's Founders Room at the Yale Center for British Art. #InspiringYale

Louis Kahn's Yale Center for British Art. #InspiringYale

I Kahn't get enough of this building! #InspiringYale

Even my day-to-day business as I walked around campus allowed me the opportunity to post some additional shots of cool spaces and places, and the preparation for the Founders Day celebration.

Inspiring music. #InspiringYale

Ross Library at SOM...but where are the books!? :) #InspiringYale

Reflecting inspiration. #InspiringYale

Berkeley courtyard with autumn colors, presided over by Sterling Memorial Library. #InspiringYale

At the end of the day, I walked through Beinecke Plaza and stopped into the Beinecke Library on my way over to Cross Campus for the end-of-day festivities.

Fall colors are #InspiringYale

Calder on campus. #InspiringYale

The Gutenberg Bible at Beinecke Library. #InspiringYale

Noguchi? No problem! #InspiringYale

The day culminated with a celebration on Cross Campus in front of the Sterling Memorial Library, with yummy fall snacks and remarks by President Peter Salovey.

President Salovey is #InspiringYale

Shamelessly trying to win lunch with the President...but this is the closest I've been so far! :) #InspiringYale

Yummy fall treats for Founders Day. #InspiringYale

Party time! #InspiringYale

After the President's remarks, I left the celebration and headed back home on my bike, passing one last view of campus I always enjoy as I ride past each day: Harkness Tower as seen between Morse and Stiles Colleges.

Mind the gap, Harkness. #InspiringYale

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bass Library Court

Sketching is the perfect way to spend a lunch break on the beautiful first day of fall!

Entry door into the subterranean north court of Bass Library at Cross Campus.

Photograph taken after my drawing was complete.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Keep Calm & Carillon

Over lunch today I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Yale Memorial Carillon in Harkness Tower. I went with Kim, Kyrie, and three colleagues from work. Our tour was led by Will, an enthusiastic member of the Guild of Carillonneurs, which is the student organization that rings the bells every day during the academic semester and organizes special concerts in the summer.

Harkness Tower from the roof of the Loria Center.
Lest you decide not to read further, I'm actually going to start the story with a little bit of bragging about the best part of the tour, which happened at the end. After forty-five minutes learning about the Carillon, the Guild, and listening to Will play from inside the tower during the 12:30-1:00 slot, I had the opportunity to ring the 1:00 hour! So, if you were in downtown New Haven today and happened to hear the 1:00, yeah...that was me! (Also awesome was that, leading into the 1:00 chime, Will played the theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey).

Me, playing the bells for the 1:00 hour.

Ok, now back to the beginning of the story. Harkness Tower sits in the corner of Branford College's courtyard and is a prominent feature on High Street, over Old Campus, and in downtown New Haven. It is 216 feet tall, which is one foot for each year since Yale's founding to the time the tower was built.

The corner of Harkness Tower
from Branford College courtyard.

"This was taken from 72 feet below ground
in leveling bedrock for the
caisson foundations of this tower."

Interior view of the stairwell at the base of the tower.

Above the Memorial Room at the base of the tower, there is an office level for the Guild of Carillonneurs, and two practice carillons. (The water tanks referred to in the infographic below have been removed, but they took up a circular area left open in the center of the tower left open for the bells to be brought up internally one-by-one with pulleys!)

The two practice carillons are set up with the exact same layout as the large carillon, except the mechanism strikes chimes instead of bells. Although the layout is the same, there is a difference in the "weight" of the keys that one experience playing the actual carillon, since the full scale mechanism mechanically strikes the bells with clappers.

Kim with one of the practice carillons.

The second practice carillon.

The practice carillons are heavily-used by the Guild, as typical practice sessions are not possible on the bells, which only chime and play during certain hours. Not to mention the complaints from the community if the bells chimed out a practice session which, if my high school piano lessons are any example, are some days cacophonous at best!

Using the practice carillons, the Guild trains and auditions incoming freshmen to play, ultimately winnowing down a field of 80+ hopefuls through an intense process to those required to keep the Guild membership at 15, with each guild member playing once a week.

The Carillon keyboard.

Cables from the carillon keyboard go up into the belfry & operate clappers to sound the bells.

As part of his weekly playing, Will treated us to a performance of Erik Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1.

There are 54 bells in the Yale Memorial Carillon, for a range of 4.5 octaves. Originally, only 10 bells were installed in the tower in 1922. This was expanded to the current 54 bells in 1964. The bells have been rung by students since 1949.

The carillon playing chamber is only half way up the tower, and a spiral staircase goes to the tower crown. Too bad for this architect who likes high places, we were not allowed to climb the tower for insurance and security purposes.

Even so, in addition to the awesome experience of seeing, playing, and hearing the carillon from inside the tower, the views of New Haven are awesome! There are two locations you can come out of the tower onto small balconies, about a third up the tower in the Guild office, and adjacent to the playing chamber half way up the building.

Dwight Chapel & Linsly Chittenden Hall from the Guild Office.

Looking North over Branford and Saybrook Colleges from the Guild Office.

Kim & Kyrie overlooking downtown.

The view up from the playing chamber...

...and the view down.

Looking west over Branford College from the playing chamber.

Branford College Courtyard in the foreground with Wrexham Tower (Saybrook College) beyond.

Looking down into Branford College courtyard from the playing chamber.

The view east over Old Campus & downtown New Haven from the playing chamber.

Looking at the tower from the outside, the Guild office is just below the louvered windows, with two little bump-out balconies on each tower face. The playing chamber is just above the louvered windows, with a linear balcony on each face. The bells extend up just beyond the clock, and the crown of the tower sits above the bells.

Harkness Tower from High Street.

Harkness Tower from High Street. 

A recent view of campus from the roof of the Loria Center with Harkness Tower on the right.

And the best part? Kyrie had fun!