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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Colleen Ryan at 9:03PM   |  Add a comment
Photo of Chris White

 

Blog post written by Colleen Ryan, Television-Radio '12, Anthropology Minor, Lansing, NY

 

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris White, an extremely talented musician, and one of FLEFF's returning performers.

On Sunday, April 1st at 7:00 p.m., Chris will be performing an improvisational live score to Nanook of the North with trio members Robby Aceto and Peter Dodge at Cinemapolis.  

White is classically trained on the cello, and also plays the guitar and harmonica.

It was Dr. Patricia Zimmerman's (co-director of FLEFF) idea to bring together the three musicians for FLEFF several years ago, and the trio has been doing live improv film scores ever since.  "It was easy from the get-go," he said.  "We just flowed so easily. We each have our own bag of tricks, but a common vision and language that works well together."  

White told me that the trio watches the films by themselves, and then together practice improvising. They converse about the mood of the film and its transitions. Each time the score is played differently.  The trio doesn't practice too much so the day of the performance is fresh and well, improvised! 

"Every experience with FLEFF has been great," he said.  To him, playing and improvising with a film is a much different experience as a musician.  "It's liberating," he remarked.

Although the trio has only performed for FLEFF, and one other event for the Ithaca Motion Picture Project, White revealed to me that the trio is considering putting out a CD of their scores, perhaps in time for next year's FLEFF.  (I've heard samples from their work, and believe me, it's a must have!)

To listen to Chris's personal work with the Cayuga Jazz Ensemble, you can click here.

Although I, personally, could never fathom a career in professional music, to young musicians who wish to dip their toes into improvising, Chris's greatest advice is to listen to a favorite genre of music and imitate it. Practice the style, and put a lot of time into it. "It happens more naturally than you might think," he said.

With that being said, I'm excited to watch White and his cohorts perform.  It's something that indeed comes extremely naturally to them, while enjoying and appreciating their talent, is something that comes naturally to me. 

If I had longer arms I'd save you all seats, so get there early, it's going to be a happy and full house. See you Sunday night!    

 


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