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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 Elma Yedda Gonzalez at 12:03AM   |  Add a comment
Chris White, cellist, Cloud Chamber Orchestra

Ithaca’s very own Cloud Chamber Orchestra returns to the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival this year to perform at the screening of the Russian silent film Battleship Potemkin (1925).

Cloud Chamber Orchestra is an improvisational group consisting of local musicians Robby Aceto, Peter Dodge and Chris White.

Battleship Potemkin chronicles the story of a Russian naval mutiny that results in a street demonstration and sparks a police massacre.

Traditionally, silent films include the musical accompaniment of a piano or an orchestra, White said, many following standard formulas. Cloud Chamber Orchestra doesn’t follow any standard. It simply aims to create an ambient sound that enhances the visual experience for the audience.

The group pays close attention to the mood in the film and in the theater.  The music doesn’t necessarily follow the scenes; instead, he said, the band members respond to each other with harmonious — and sometimes dissonant sounds. Neither music, nor life would be as interesting without a little bit of dissonance, White said.

“We take a different approach,” he said. “We use the film like an ever-changing canvas or painting that is always changing; we are sort of just interacting with each other musically in response to what we see on the screen or what we hear each other doing.”

White is the group's cellist, but his performance work spans from the Cayuga Jazz Ensemble to The Binghamton (NY) Symphony. He directs the New Directions Cello Association and Festival, which celebrates nonclassical cello and includes  Artistic Advisors David Baker, Ron Carter, David Darling, Yo-Yo Ma, and Julian Lloyd Weber.

Cloud Chamber Orchestra has performed at the festival several times before, and this year, their music accompanied the screening of Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life at an event co-sponsored by the festival.

The film screening and performance is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m in at Cinemapolis. 

 


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