Sunday, May 1, 2011

Foundations: Building More than a Film Score

This spring I have had the extraordinary pleasure of working with young film maker, Rose Glaeser.  She is in the final throes of finishing her degree at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) and she contacted me to help her with a film score for her thesis. What is so interesting about her film is that it is a collage of images that build on the foundations of running.

In viewing the film for the first time, my mind instantly heard the sounds of drumming.  I thought that the sound of African drumming could serve as the foundation for her film and bring cohesion to the score.  The imagery of a ballet dancer evoked the sound of a piano; football the sounds of whistles; baseball the sound of the electric organ, and kung fu, the sounds of a flute and a metallophone.

When I shared my thoughts with Rose, she was open to the ideas.  I think this is what made the experience so much fun.  Rose was open to the ideas and understood the nature of collaboration--staying true to her vision of the film, but cognizant that when others contribute to her art, she could have a greater realization of her vision.

Her openness allowed me to bring together many elements and people.  For the foundational element, I contacted a fabulous woman, Colleen Hendrick, who is with Bush Mango Drum & Dance to provide the organic sounds of West African drumming.  I composed a flute piece called "Qi" for my daughter to play and she had the experience of being recorded in a sound booth.  In providing the piano music, I had the opportunity to write a new intermediate to advanced solo piano piece called "Valse gothique", which had been whirling and twirling around in my head since December ...

All of these elements will be combined in Rose's film --in a collage -- in collaboration.  And ... I am getting excited about her screening.  What excites me more, though, is the spirit of her work as an artist and the joy she gave others in allowing them to collaborate with her.  Rose ... Congratulations!