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Correction appended.

Music, poetry and kendo martial arts converged at Wednesday's release party for Visions magazine, Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design's Asian and Asian-American art and literary publication. The open mic event was casual and attracted a crowd of almost 100 mostly Asian and Asian-American students from  Brown and RISD.

Lee Kava '11.5 kicked off the event with a song she had written, followed by a cover of James Morrison's "If You Don't Wanna Love Me." With just a guitar and her soft voice, Kava filled Salomon 001 with a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The Christmas lights on the walls and projection of artwork and photos included in the new Visions issue added to the relaxed feeling.

Chris Heo '14 and Ingu Lee '14, a particularly popular duo, performed two songs, one of them a mash-up of Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and Oasis' "Wonderwall." Even though the two were slightly off-key at times, the mash-up was well-composed, and the two songs fit together nicely.

Mila Chadayammuri's '13 and Elliot Creagor's '12 cover of "Easy" by half-Indian singer-songwriter Norah Jones and her half-sister Anoushka Shankar was another stand-out performance. The duo electronically added an echo that gave the song an authentic Indian vibe. Chadayammuri also managed to be dynamic with her voice, varying its projection to great effect.

Though most musical performances were good, there were a few too many acoustic covers of pop songs. Kat Lee's '13 "Cannonball," originally by Damien Rice, and Kristina Leung's '12 version of Rihanna's "We Found Love" got the whole room singing but failed to add anything new to the night.

Margi Kim's '13 Korean vocal performance was a particularly enjoyable variation in the program. She had a unique sound and stage presence that evoked a sentimental and personal experience. Her performance caught and held the audience's interest through her second song, a cover of Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts."

Poetry reading added another dimension to the evening. After explaining the story behind his poem, Amritendu Ghosal, a Fulbright foreign language teaching assistant, read his original and moving "Girmitya." His impressive presence and great intonation added to the strength of the already evocative work, which is included in Visions.

Ayoosh Pareek '12, managing editor of Visions, also read his own poem, "Summer Romances." His words, "Think about falling down spiral staircases. That's how you make me feel," were spoken with conviction and slight humor, making the poem a true delight.

Another highlight of the open mic night was the contribution from Brown's Kendo Club, which provided an introduction to Japanese fencing. Not only did the audience learn the basic outfit, rules and vocabulary of kendo — literally meaning "way of the sword" in Japanese — but it also got to see two practitioners fight a captivating battle of mental and physical ingenuity. A member of the audience even got to try the fighting style at the end.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Christina Pan '13 sang "Cannonball." In fact, Kat Lee '13 performed the song. The article also implies that singer-songwriter Damien Rice is American. In fact, he is Irish. The Herald regrets the errors.




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