Blog posting written by Shea Lynch, Documentary Studies ’13, FLEFF Intern, Glens Falls, New York
Pianist Jairo Geronymo will be joining us all the way from Germany for the unique FLEFF concert special, Carmina Burana Tuesday April 2nd 8:15 p.m.
SL: Can you talk a little bit about the collaboration process between Professor Brad Hougham
and Professor Deborah Martin
, especially since you live far away?
JG: I taught Piano at Ithaca College between 2004 and 2008 so I know Deborah Martin and Brad Hougham quite well. I admire their work as musicians but also as organizers of complex events. This way, I know that through countless E-mails we can put together the most complex of events. Patty Zimmermann has great experience being a producer and inspires us to work together in these great projects. The creative process starts with Patty Zimmermann giving us some ideas about the concept for FLEFF and of course, the main theme for the year. We generally have already some ideas burning in our heads and then we decide which one would be the most appropriate, richest musically and with the most multimedia possibilities. We have also some 'brainstorming sessions' with Patty Zimmermann in which many ideas flow, and then we try to filter out the crazy ones.
SL: How has your experience been with FLEFF in years past? How long have you been apart of this concert series?
JG: My first project for FLEFF occurred in 2005. Pianist Diane Birr
and I played the Four Seasons of Buenos Aires from Astor Piazzolla
; wonderful passionate music related to the Four Seasons of Vivaldi. In this project we incorporated two Tango dancers and archival footage from New York and Paris, cities in which Piazzolla lived. It was a huge success and since them we have created four other projects, with a myriad of different artists and musicians.
SL: How does the theme of mobilities relate to Carmina Burana and the collaborative atmosphere of this concert?
JG: Carmina Burana is perhaps the most performed choral/symphonic composition of the 20th century. It's power is well proven, since every child knows at least the opening theme. Through it's many facets, Carmina Burana can be conceptually approached from many different angles. We could talk for hours about it's rich harmonies, driving rhythms and of course, the controversial text. We are doing a very different version for FLEFF, using the two pianos and six percussionists version as a basis, but most of the vocal and choir parts will be done instrumentally. I actually never heard of that being done with Carmna Burana and it has proven to be quite an exciting concept to put together. Is the saxophone the perfect match for the drinking song in 'In Taberna' ? Is the flute the perfect match to 'paint' maidens at play? Is the violin the perfect match to a woman giving herself to her beloved? This multifaceted concept proves to be very free and fluid, and thus mobile. There is a sense of change as the highly contrasting pieces parade themselves before us, grabbing our attention through pure love, debauchery and sex. Of course, this is all done through music. When we first heard about the mobilities theme, it was clear to me that Carmina Burana was a fantastic match. The rest is history (to be made)!
SL: Tell us a little about KIK
and your present work/classes in Germany?
JG: My work in Berlin is also multifaceted! I perform regularly, both in solo and chamber music settings. I teach mostly students in the University Preparation Program and I am the founder of Leos Klavier Orchester. This group has performed in Germany and Israel and it's several Workshops and 'Weekends with Leos Piano Orchestra' are extremely popular. KIK (Klavier Interaktiv Programm) is a Music Camp, following a similar concept of Piano Ensembles acting as an orchestra. I am also active with exchange programs with Argentina and Singapore and have two publications by german publishers on the way. In the last year I have presented at international Piano Conferences in England and Germany and of course, I try to reserve time also to enjoy life!
SL: What are you most excited about the Carmina Burana concert?
JG: For me, the most exciting aspect of this project is it's multi faceted beauty, that matches the complexity and richness of the music. There are so many ways to read this multi media event and the power of Carmina Burana's music binds it all together perfectly. I am sure that each person in the audience will be awed in different ways by different aspects of this event. It is going to be truly fantastic. But do not believe me! Come and see for yourself why this event is making history!