Eastman School presents “Visual Music”

Local News

The Eastman School of Music will present “Visual Music: An Evening of World Premiere Film and Music Collaborations” this Thursday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall.

The program is free and open to the public.

The Director of the Eastman School of Music Beal Institute for Contemporary Media & Film Scoring Mark Watters and Eastman student Claire Caverly discussed the ambitious event Monday during News 8 at Noon.

“We’re going to premiere two hours of music, that will be a great collaboration between filmmakers and music composers,” said Watters. “We’re going to perform it live with a 40 piece orchestra, and student composers who will conduct the music live-to-picture.”

The compositions featured are from students Jacob Denny, Andrew Karbovski, Benjamin Magruder and Seth Wright. Caverly has been tasked with making sure the imagery and music match precisely. “It’s really hard because everything has to be so perfectly lined up,” she said. “Our conductors actually have a ‘click’ in their ear, which is like an metronome, but it’s a metronome of the film. While the music is happening, it’s perfectly lined up with what’s happening on the screen.”

Caverly is confident the evening will go as planned. “Eastman has taught me so much about music history and music theory, and just music in general. I am kind of in a comfortable place to put music and film together, at this point.”

“Visual Music” will mark the first departmental recital for the newly created Contemporary Media & Film Scoring curriculum at the Eastman School of Music. “It’s a very selective program,” explained Watters. “It’s a graduate program. We only allow six in for each year. We have students from all over the world apply for the program. It’s very exciting. It’s a very, very exciting new era at Eastman.”

Watter brings considerable experience to the department, including six Emmy awards. “I was in Los Angeles for about 40 years, pursuing my career. I was fortunate enough to work in a variety of fields, from live concert-making, composing for TV and film, and orchestrating and arraigning. I have a pretty varied background, and it’s helped me to be able to pass that onto my students.”

“Visual Music” also represents a collaboration with students at RIT. “They have a great film school, and I would say about half of the program are RIT student films, as well,” noted Watters. “These are premieres of their films as well. It’s a very exciting time for the filmmaker to be able to see the film with the score performing live. It’s just going to be a great evening. For the rest of the program, we’re doing some classic silent films that have not had score put to them. It’s quite a varied program.”

For more information about the Eastman School of Music and the Beal Institute, visit esm.rochester.edu.

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