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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 Cindy Yong at 1:35PM
Gordon Stout

Blog posting by Cindy Yong, Biology, Writing ’16, Eagleville, PA, FLEFF Blogger

Slowly.  A woman teases a red ribbon from the inside of a man’s black suit.  The man’s head leans longingly towards the motion.  But he stays rooted to play the piano.  The woman tugs and trails the ribbon across the stage.  Slowly.

The audience absorbed this opening scene of the Carmen’s Habitats Concert in Hockett Hall for the 18th annual of the Fingerlakes Environmental Film Festival.  Gordon Stout performed the marimba in the Maslanka piece Nighthawks and the snare drum in the Ravel piece Bolero.

Gordon Stout’s love for the marimba kindled at the age of 9 or 10.  Since then, he built his finesse for the marimba.  In the past, he performed across the globe as the featured marimbist in twelve Percussive Arts Society International Conventions in Japan, Europe, Thailand, Singapore, and Mexico.  Currently, Gordon Stout teaches at Ithaca College as a Performance Studies professor with a Percussion specialty.

In the Nighthawks piece, Stout started with one mallet in each hand.  The marimba’s soft sounds smoothly melted into each note.  Deftly, he switched to holding two mallets in the palm of one hand.  With ease and confidence, Stout glided and sometimes plunged into the wood of the marimba.

Professor Stout mentioned, “It [FLEFF] is significant in bringing a large community of artists together: music, dance, stage design, film, visual arts… all at the same time for a significant experience for the audience.”

As part of molding the best FLEFF experience, Professor Stout suggested to his colleagues Conrad Alexander (percussion) and Debbie Martin (piano) that the Maslanka piece would be perfect for this year’s concert.  He actually discovered the Maslanka piece through a Facebook posting.  Modestly, Professor Stout says this is all he had to do and everybody else made it a reality.  The collaborative teamwork of the FLEFF musicians made this year’s concert an absolute success.

Stout confided, “I just do my part to play musically as well as I can.  Everyone else involved in the production of the concert does the same.  The audience members will each bring their own experiences and perspectives to what they hear and see.”

He hopes to perform in future concerts, but you don’t have to wait for FLEFF to expose yourself to his marimba.  A list of his recordings are available online.  As FLEFF closes tonight, I cannot believe we've reached the finish line.  I find myself already wondering what scene awaits the audience for the opening concert of FLEFF 2016.

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