This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

The Theory of Flight Project Gets Its Wings

Classically trained for guitar and voice, singer/songwriter Nina Vyedin ’11 has had a prolific time at Vassar—playing lead guitar in the Drama Department’s staging of the musical, Rent; performing at Los Angeles’ famed Viper Room; presenting a senior recital. But the soprano had one more piece of the puzzle to complete before graduating later this month—making an album. “I knew that, before I leave college, I have to make this,” she says.

The quest to do just that took shape during Fall 2010, when Vyedin launched the Theory of Flight Project. She recruited singers and musicians, who became the six-member Undergraduates, and ultimately rallied a team of more than a dozen people, including photographers, engineers, and visual artists. The goal was simple: with Vyedin doing the bulk of the initial songwriting, they would collaboratively record, produce, mix and master an independent album.

Recording one to three times per week, mostly in Skinner, the group laid down track after track. Many of the songs involved “the idea of flight,” Vyedin says. “They’re about doing something big, something that’s kind of intimidating, and exploring the relationship between falling and failing at something, and needing to take off to succeed.”

Another common theme involved time travel, though not as you might think. “My relationship to music is that songs – my own and other people’s – mark periods in my life. Events, feelings, periods of time. No matter how much time passes, I can always anchor in some point in the past through a song.” With the Theory of Flight, “I feel like we’re building a time machine,” she says; one that, years from now, may transport Vyedin back to this time at Vassar.

The project gets its wings later this month, when the album officially releases on May 20th. It will also be available as an MP3 download through the Theory of Flight website, and will eventually appear on iTunes and Amazon. For Vyedin, the Undergraduates, and everyone who worked on the project, theory has at last become reality. –Peter Bronski

Visit the Theory of Flight website.

Photo Courtesy Nina Vyedin

May 2011

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