A Spectrum of Songs: UCSB’s College of Creative Studies Set to Launch “Spectrum” Literary Journal

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Tia Trinh & Sophie Najm

Arts & Entertainment Co-Editor and Copy Editor

On June 8, UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies (CCS) will be holding a launch party for their annually published literary journal, “Spectrum.” Across a three-quarter series, students learn about the literary publishing world, review hundreds of submissions for publication, and put the journal together. The LXVI edition of the journal is a series of fiction prose, nonfiction prose, poetry, art, and hybrid pieces carefully curated to create a collective experience of voices.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

In preparation for the launch, The Bottom Line teamed up with the “Spectrum” editorial team to create a playlist that encapsulates the vibes of their upcoming edition.

“Les Fleurs” by Minnie Riperton

A powerful song to start off this playlist; it captures the overall energy of “Spectrum.” The choir of voices accompanied by blaring trumpets reflect the discussion table as students contended for the publishing or rejecting of pieces. The song itself calls for the simple joys of humanity, bringing together a wide variety of voices in a collective journal. 

“Eat Your Young” by Hozier

This song best encapsulates some of the darker tones of the journal, hinting at the otherworldliness that pieces like “Under the Giant’s Palm” and “There is a God” touch upon. It offers a sense of mystery and discovery, playing with the same fears and entities that the published “Spectrum” pieces do.

“bouquet” by Ichiko Aoba

A dreamy, hazy lullaby that draws in the reader, “bouquet” reflects many of the featured art pieces that catch the reader’s attention and ask them to linger in the photo. Aoba’s breathy vocals speak to acceptance and having an epiphany, similar to some of the themes that are present in the journal.

“The Bug Collector” by Haley Heynderickx

In a gentle and almost unnerving way, Heynderickx’s song is a murmur that links together themes of introspection, personal anxieties, and relationships. Although the song best connects with the nonfiction piece “Blurred Lines” and the poems “SASSIE” and “ABYSSINIA,” it still extends to overlapping concepts found in the other pieces.

“Anywhere” by Madison Cunningham

Unlike the darker and mysterious tones of other songs, Cunningham offers a wistful and rebellious timbre to contrast the darker tones of the journal. In its own playful manner, the song asks the reader to reevaluate their own perspectives — just as how the art, prose, and poetry ask as well.

“Cynical One” by TV Girl

The melancholic yet childish vibe of “Cynical One” weaves together themes of silence and self-deprecation. Poems like “The Gardener and His Wife,” “Until the Bones,” and “A Historicity of Blue” match the semi-upbeat yet thoughtful vibe of the song.

“Andromeda” by Weyes Blood

Ethereal, magical, heavenly: three words to describe the beautiful mystery that is “Andromeda.” The pains of womanhood and the mysticism of life thread through not only Weyes’s song but also in “Spectrum” poems like “The First Time I See My Mother Naked I Believe,” “The Men I Come From,” and “Honeybee Heroin.” 

“mother tongue” by Liana Flores

The gentle playfulness of “mother tongue” paired with Flores’s lilting voice creates a lullaby about language, inheritance, and broken promises; it’s a perfect pairing to the poem “Léeme un Cuento” about lost tongues and quiet shame. 

“Dream Sweet in Sea Major” by Miracle Musical

The absurd anomaly that is “Dream Sweet in Sea Major” perfectly accompanies the existential hybrid pieces “Wolf Cries Welcome” and “Rachmaninoff’s Birthday.” Like floating in your deepest dream, Miracle Musical takes you on an operatic journey across time and space. 

“Talk to You” by Ricky Montgomery

Just like how “Spectrum” works to combine an array of voices and experiences, “Talk to You” playfully engages in the same dialogue. The conversational song echoes the nonfiction piece “Blurred Lines” alongside the art pieces “Chicken,” “AR,” and “Our Imagination has Never Been Enough.” 

Come to the “Spectrum” launch party on June 8 from 5-6:30 p.m. in Old Little Theater next to the CCS building! The party will include journal sales, readings, and refreshments. You can follow the “Spectrum” journal on Instagram.