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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 Andrew Ronald at 7:16PM   |  2 comments
Andrew Ronald, FLEFF Intern

Blog posting written by Andrew Ronald, Film, Photography & Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Intern, Mahopac, New York

"There are so many brilliant people on this campus. They are extraordinary musicians, fantastic friends, wonderful colleagues, and what I've learned from them is to have the guts to push the envelope and go artistically and emotionally where you never thought you would go."

7:05 PM - Dr. Patricia Zimmerman buoyantly informs us interns about the pianist, Dr. Martin, and baritone singer, Dr. Hougham.

7:12 PM - Musical decisions are announced! In order to promote the interdisciplinary culture behind FLEFF, synthesis of spiritual, ethnic and emotional music is declared.

7:14 PM - The audience rises! Clapping in rhythm, we get to preview the piano accompaniment, filling the room with energy and joy.

7:15 PM - Technical problems! Luckily us interns are technological people and know what to do!

7:19 PM - Beautiful opera music fills the room, lulling us into a daze as we hear Ice Habe Genug, meaning "I've had enough," addressing the state of human morality. As to why the selection was picked, Dr. Hougham comments: "I picked it because it's a piece that I love, love, love and wanted to sing." He continued to declare that it's heart-wrenching and I couldn't agree more.

7:25 PM - Dr. Martin blissfully plays gorgeous harmonies on the piano with a smile on her face. And yes, she's about as sweet and humble as her joyful music. 

7:30 PM - Dr. Hougham just said the word "microtopia." All the interns just got so happy on the inside. I could tell.

7:33 PM - "You'll hear a lot of harp, you'll hear strings and there's woodwinds, but there's some really nice places for the harp," Dr. Martin says. Live blogging does not give justice to the fantastic music we are listening to right now.

7:35 PM - "Children wade, in the water. God's gonna trouble the water." The familiar tune to Wade In the Water ripples throughout the room, and even after hearing three different versions, the message still remains the same. Dr. Hougham struggles internally, however, by questioning "What business do I have singing this music? However, one of the things that occurred to me about microtopias is that they exist all over the campus." Upon hearing that an African American student said, "Honey, I sing gospel music, I gotta help that guy," the theme of microtopias becomes definitive. Students teaching teachers and teachers teaching students. Either way, it's a microtopia.

7:45 PM - Anytime by William Finn comes on. I've never heard it before, but trust me, it's good. What a voice. 

7:49 PM - "When I go to a movie, I listen to the music. I notice if it's bad." As a film student, I'm loving this right now.

7:52 PM - "Personally I feel like FLEFF has opened my own creative parameters. This is Ithaca. It's a really tremendous place to try new things." I couldn't agree more, Dr. Hougham. I couldn't agree more...

7:54 PM - "When you try and describe music and creative art to someone, you never have enough ways because you never know what message will get through." Dr. Martin compares music to art, dance, and literature, and truly understands the fusion music plays in everyday life.

8:00 PM - "Why is it important to perform in a packed theater, and what does it mean to musicians? What does it feel like? Why does it matter?' Dr. Zimmerman makes the audience ponder the meaning of community and how often we can forget that the performer is actually aware of us. It reminds me a lot about the same question I asked myself when I wrote this blog post. We all come to the conclusion that the audience is really not that removed from the performance in the concert hall. It's more than mere entertainment. It's alive. It makes you feel different. After all, it's FLEFF: A Different Environment. 


2 Comments

I love the quote you inserted at the beginning from Dr. Zimmerman. I was really touched and inspired when she said that, and encompasses the central heart of FLEFF in many ways!

This play by play (pun intended) of the FLEFF intern behind the scenes (BTS) session with baritone Brad Hougham and pianist Debbie Martin shows both immersion and analysis of the experience. Which piece from tonight's BTS pushed you to consider some sound or ideas you never thought of? Perhaps a microtopia can best be defined by your closing comment " it's alive. It makes you feel different."



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