Alice and the Robert Cuckson Time Machine + bibliography

It all happened on my graduation day, May 18, 2018 – I was already very emotional, when professor Cuckson walked up to me and said something like “Alice, I’m going to miss visiting Bach with you.”

He was referring to my “time machine” comics a while ago. That did it – I cried immediately and ruined my makeup, and looked very ugly for the rest! of! the! day!!!

Nobody messes with my makeup!! Thus is this comic created – I made it for professor Cuckson in the hopes of making him cry.

Since this comic includes quite a lot of scenes from the Baroque era, I didn’t want to bring shame to my favorite history professor Paul Schleuse. As a result, I spent quite some time doing my research, and I think it’s ready for the world to see now!





Cuckson Time Machine - cover

In the background is Moses, and … the four founding fathers of America. I screwed them up, didn’t I?



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Thank you Alejandro Espinosa for letting me looking at his tool box in order to draw the tools!



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Alejandro says “the statue of liberty is really far from those buildings”. … Not in my world, sir, not in my world



Cuckson Time Machine - 5

I tried my best to make the city of Leipzig accurate – thanks to the picture from the San Francisco Early Music Society! (I only had enough room to draw the left half of this picture. Hope it looks about right)



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In the background is my failed attempt to draw Leipzig city from afar. Well, thanks anyway, Lebrecht Music & Arts! (But I have the horses and the carriage right) 

leipzig far


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For those of you thinking “what the hell is he wearing” – I didn’t make this up! It’s an actual man-dress thing from Leipzig in the 18th century! Thank you Fashion Breeches – Full Seat Baroque

cuckson dress



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This is actually the St Nicholas Church in Leipzig! I stole the picture from the church’s website.

German translation: prof Cuckson is saying “Ahh, the St Nicholas Church”




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For those thinking “what’s with her choice of colors” – believe it or not, the church’s ceiling is actually pink and green!! I love it

church inside


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Thanks to the pictures stolen and a portrait painted by Granger!

Bach piano



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I switched to pencil because I keep screwing up the little details. This alter/table thing is also an actual piece in the church!

German translation: Bach is saying “today is the premier of Saint John’s Passion. Please be quiet!”




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German translation: prof Cuckson says “Master Bach, it’s such an honor”



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German translation: Bach is saying “come to my home, my friend”



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In 1724, Bach just had his 9th baby, which is why I drew 9 children. However, the sad truth is, a few of those children had died already… but since I’m the artist and I’m in control here, nope! In my world, they lived.

German translation: Bach is saying “I’m home!”

bach house

Bach’s house in Leipzig – since the picture is in black and white, I don’t even know what color the building is and made up my own color. Hey, at least I got the street lamp


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German translation: Bach is saying “look here, the full score of Saint John’s Passion!” 

Oh, and… At this point I gave up drawing his living room, and drew his blue table instead.



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German translation: professor Cuckson asks “Can you give me one page? Just one.” Bach says “no”



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German translation: professor Cuckson says “I’m begging you! I’ll do anything.” Bach says “really?”



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Since it’s April 1724 now (in the comic), Bach’s youngest baby Gottfried Heinrich is now 2 months old, and his second youngest, Christina Sophia Henrietta, is 1 year old. That’s them being carried by prof Cuckson



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Usually Bach’s music puts people to sleep. But this time, we put Bach to sleep!



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German translation: “Master Bach, hurry, your premier is soon!”



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German translation of the two guys in the pit:
“Master Bach looks different!”
“You missed too many rehearsals”



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I totally screwed up the floor pattern… sorry




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Yes, he still has the baby.

And yes, the guards are wearing what they’re wearing.




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Dropping the baby on a parachute was Alejandro Espinosa‘s brilliant idea



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Alejandro says “you screwed up! Your spelled ‘Bach’ in lower case letters.” But… I didn’t!! That’s how it’s written on the wall of the ACTUAL Bach Museum!!




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Goodbye Bach buddy, we’ll miss you. Thanks for forgiving us.



Reasons NOT to Attend the MTSNYS with Professor Lynne Rogers

On the weekend of April 14 and 15, 2018, I attended the 2018 MTSNYS (Music Theory Society of New York State) conference in Hunter College, New York with professor Lynne Rogers and professor Christopher Bartlette. My huge apologies go to the wonderful professor Christopher Bartlette, who in fact spent the 2-day conference with me – because I’m naming this comic “Reasons NOT to Attend the MTSNYS with professor Lynne Rogers” as my graduation present to her.

I have to be honest: there was some stuff about this particular conference that was controversial. I’m still glad I went, it was a very interesting experience! And most importantly, it led to this comic, which I think is my best work of the year.

This comic actually involves quite a few awesome special stars!

In the background of the first frame are professor Poundie Burstein and professor Joel Lester, two awesome music theorists. The reason they looked identical in this comic is because they happened to wear very similar clothes that day – sand beige color sweater vest and a light blue shirt – and sat together, it was kinda funny!! If any of these two professors saw this… I’m sorry, guys!!!

Under “reason 1” – I think all my friends know by now my dog is a Chow Chow!
Also – The lady in the blue dress is professor Rogers’s friend Mary, a retired music theory professor. She was very very friendly, and talked to me about her little garden and peppers! Did you guys know all baby peppers are green, but when they grow up they get all sorts of colors?

Under “reason 2” – Just let me point out that professor Poundie Burstein is in the background “fighting” with the Schenkerians. I mean, that didn’t really happen in this conference, because unfortunately there were ZERO papers on Schenkerian!
Also, that’s Alejandro Espinosa – who really really wanna be in this comic – eating the popcorns.

Under “reason 3” – There he is!! That’s the man who changed my life!! This comic portrays my desperate attempt to make Professor Christopher Bartlette proud of me.

Under “reason 4” – Now, I can’t draw a theory conference comic without including my only two young friends in the field, can I? Young Avinoam Foonberg is my latest character, he’s graduating from Mannes School of Music, and will attend Cincinnati for his Masters.  And Clair Nguyen is graduating Hunter, she’s also going to Cincinnati for her PHD! For God’s sake, these two are teaming up against me!


And in the last frame: Considering I’m graduating from Mannes, I may not get that many justified opportunities to draw these guys again. Let me include the Mannes Faculty one last time! Dean Kessler, Yuval Shapira, professor David Loeb, professor Lynne Rogers, professor Robert Cuckson (whose seat I took), and professor Hedi Siegel!! —- And there’s no room on this page for more people, so apologies to the rest of the Mannes faculty… 

Photo Apr 19, 7 39 34 PMPhoto Apr 19, 7 51 34 PMPhoto Apr 19, 7 51 57 PMPhoto Apr 19, 7 52 13 PMPhoto Apr 19, 7 52 38 PMPhoto Apr 19, 7 53 04 PMPhoto Apr 19, 7 53 19 PM

Special Edition: Professor Rogers In CHINA

Professor Lynne Rogers and Professor Poundie Burstein went to a music theory conference in Beijing, China. I believe it was called “Sharing Ideas in Music Theory: A Continuing Colloquy”! (中国音乐学院教学实践公开课:第一届国际作曲技术理论专题交流季)It was held by the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing. She went for a week, I believe – and I missed her terribly! I wish I could have gone with her so I could provide her with translation service, but she told me they took very good care of her over there. Bravo, good job, CCM! Also, professor Rogers and Burstein both gave awesome and successful presentations. It’s no surprise really, but still, big congrats to these two amazing music theorists.

Thus was this comic created – this is a special edition, one that features professor Rogers’s trip to China. I didn’t go with her, but I still managed to insert myself into this story… talk about “thy shall not steal thy professor’s thunder”!

Photo Apr 05, 10 04 08 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 04 22 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 05 02 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 05 31 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 05 50 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 06 06 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 06 20 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 06 45 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 07 08 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 07 26 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 07 48 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 08 03 PMPhoto Apr 05, 10 08 17 PM



Meeting Carl Schachter

I created this comic to celebrate the fact that I got to study with Carl Schachter, a walking legend of music theory!
The comic’s cover depicts my first meeting with Carl Schachter at the 2016 Music Theory Society of New York State Conference (MTSNYS) – I was overwhelmed with emotions. 4 awesome musicians are in the background – Lynne Rogers, Poundie Burstein, Hedi Siegel, and Christopher Bartlette.
The comic’s content tells the story of my second meeting with Carl Schachter – Professor Yuval Shapira took his class on a “field trip” to visit professor Schachter. I was making an evil plan to cut off one of his sleeves as a souvenir. However, I found out that he remembered my name, so I gave up my evil plan.
My non-evil-ness didn’t last long, though: after screwing up on the piano and completely embarrassing myself, I jumped up, grabbed his arm and ripped off his sleeve, and ran off into the sunset (ok I may have exaggerated a bit)!
 Photo Feb 13, 9 13 42 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 15 16 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 15 28 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 15 37 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 15 51 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 16 00 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 16 19 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 16 34 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 16 47 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 16 59 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 17 09 AMPhoto Feb 13, 9 18 08 AM