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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Blog posting written by Kacey Deamer, Journalism and Environmental Studies '13, FLEFF Intern, Binghamton, NY
I hope you all were able to make it to Hockett Hall last night for the Concert for Microtopias. If not, you should also read intern blogger Meagan McGinnes' post about the concert as a whole. She delves into the concert's connection to FLEFF's theme of microtopias.
The following is a list of my top five moments — though there were many more than five — from last night's concert. I've allowed myself some poetic license in the descriptions.
1. Pianos. Dueling pianos can be found in jazz bars across the country. I have experienced a few of them. But piano duets, now that is something special. Jairo Geronymo and Deborah Martin were perfectly in tune as their fingers danced across the keys creating an beautiful harmony. "Two Step" was one of my favorites, a more lively duet that conjured the image of swing dancers in 1950s garb smiling as they moved around stage.
2. Fabric. How do you dress a stage for such an integrative performance as the Concert for Microtopias? You use fabric, hanging from the walls. But, one sheer pink/purple piece of fabric lay across the stage, available for use by the performers. Which brings me to number 3.
3. "Lullaby." Brad Hougham has the voice of an angel, and as he sang to the piece of fabric (bundled and held like a baby) I had tears well up in my eyes. There was such a tenderness to his performance, a tangible love he displayed. It was powerful.
4. Farewell. The closing piece, a reading of the "Microtopias Benediction," brilliantly summarized the FLEFF theme. But Cynthia Henderson stole the show when she found a young boy in the audience just as she came to the line: "Microtopias never stay the same." The boy's father visibly had a 'knowing' reaction and the entire interaction was simply beautiful.
5. Water. Dr. Hougham had mentioned his apprehension to perform "Wade in the Water," an African-American spiritual song connected to the suffering of slaves. During the intern session in February, Hougham had said it is incredibly difficult to perform a song such as this without having a connection to those experiences. I must say, his apprehension was needless. I could hear a desperation in his voice, but there was hopefulness as well. The vibrato he held on the last "r" of "water" before he started to move on stage was incredible.
The concert as a whole was beautifully executed, but those were a few of the elements that I am still thinking about today. What stuck with you from the concert?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
“If utopias are nowhere, microtopias are everywhere.”
Microtopias never stay the same. They are alive. Like an audience, they move, respond and engage.
The concert was harmonious in its differences, overlapping in a seamless manner. It took the microtopias concept of a shared world, applying it to the worlds of music, theater, poetry and live audio/visual mixing.
Everything was fantastic and vital to the concert. The pianos. Brad Hougham’s angelic voice. The poetry brought to life. The visuals. My favorite use of the visual mixing was the combination of past rehearsal films and in-the-moment monologues. Also the overlap of close ups on hands with the larger shot of the piano performances was unique and strikingly beautiful.
Each aspect of the concert was a small place, a microtopia within the microtopia of the concert.
The performers, the visuals, the music all engaged in a conversation with each other, but also with the audience. They broke all performance boundaries — because there are no such things as boundaries within a microtopia. The possibilities are endless. Grow and see the world with different eyes and different perspectives; acknowledge different concepts.
For example, the purple fabric was transformational. Depending on the context, the small space within the concert, the fabric went from water to a small child being sung a lullaby. At one point, when the fabric represented the tide, it skimmed my foot as it was dragged down the stairs. Invested in the concert and the moment, I could have sworn water trickled over my toes.
But even with its different purposes, the transparent cloth was a constant throughout the entire concert. It was a staple uniting the pieces. It also united the audience, being carried over the their heads. The moment when everyone reached up, mystified, to touch the fabric was extremely powerful.
Jairo Geronymo told me this concert would be different than anything I ever could expect. He was so right. The Concert for Microtopias flooded me with passion and moved me to tears -- it shocked me in all the best ways possible. And now all I want to do is talk about it.
Welcome to FLEFF week.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Blog post written by Sarah Lockwood, Cinema & Photography '15, FLEFF Intern, Blairstown, NJ
"What does a DJ do?" Art Jones asks in response to my question.
A DJ at an event pools music from multiple sources, mixes and edits them through spontaneous editing to suit the audience, creating a mixture of songs and moods that is eventually "greater than the sum."
A VJ executes the same remixing and audience reading, except visually.
And what do you need to VJ? "A place with a projector."
A first-time FLEFF visitor this year, Art Jones is excited at the prospects of what may come - in fact, he isn't even sure how his own remixing class will proceed!
With this comment, Art laughs. That may be exaggerating to a degree, but mystery and spontaneity is what truly creates an authentic remixing experience. Most of what his class entails depends on the audience, the mood, how he choses to remix at that point in time.
This element of surprises mean one thing - the only way to truly understand DJ/VJ-ing lies in the experience.
Come see for yourself just what possibilities Art may unfold here during FLEFF week.
During FLEFF week, Art Jones will host a master class titled Live Remix Revisited (Monday 3:00pm, Park Auditorium, Ithaca College) and contribute his DJ/VJ skills to the Concert for Microtopias (Tuesday 8:15pm, Hockett Hall, Ithaca College)