Motion-Picture Soundtrack / 1960 – 1980

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I have compiled what I believe to be the quintessential soundtrack for ‘60s and ‘70s period on an iTunes playlist. The choices not only combine selections from two hit movies (Almost Famous and Pirate Radio), they also take on themes that pass like waves throughout the playlist. I attempted to create something coming out of that era which captures the sarcasm, rebellion, free love and confidence of the culture we’ve come to love. This is the music that, as gen-Xers we inherited from our parents. Although this type of music is not from my generation it heavily influenced my generation’s music. On the other hand, if you consider the music I loved in middle school it was all pulled from my parents vinyl collection, plus, growing up in Rochester, NY I was also into listening to 96.5 WCMF. DJs like Dave Kane or “Kano” opened me up to even greater depths of classic and progressive rock. When alternative came on the scene in the 9th grade I made the transition, it could have been pressure to fit in at school, influencers, radio at the time, maybe just a combination.

For this playlist I don’t think I can get away with saying anything like “I remember where I was when I first heard…” but the music does bring me back to visions I could only have imagined but somehow felt I’d lived through. It creates ideas that were and are completely foreign to me but still have a relevance, like finding my way around a familiar place in the dark, I was, just now, hearing them again and realizing that it was a lost part of my culture. It was not something I had a chance to forget, but instead something heard in another life. Some music creates this sense of inheritance, and that’s what I am trying to say with this playlist. Enjoy.

Shana Campbell Project

You can tell right away when you meet him, Kevin Carges is a good leader.  As owner of Canandaigua QuickPrint he is a consummate and understanding boss who cares about the development of his employees and business, as a deacon, he has an understanding for the spiritual journey of his congregation.  Perhaps it’s no surprise then to find that he is also one of the founders of Eight 4 World Hope, a benevolent organization charged with supporting youth in third-world countries like Jamaica.  Typically, Carges’ emphasis is on rehabilitating schools, whether they need new plumbing or a new roof to stay inhabitable, he and his team figure out the best ways to keep cultural-sustaining institutions intact.

When Kevin hears about things he can have an impact on he takes notice and, in many cases, action.  Here’s an inside look at what he is up to these days:

To find out more about Eight 4 World Hope and some of Kevin’s other projects visit http://www.deaconkevin.org

Article Analysis: Upfront Filmmaking

arri_newsprintOn an international level, there are few professional standards for ethical practices in documentary filmmaking, therefore, it is important for filmmakers and production companies who produce documentary content to stand out by setting the bar high.  Steve Thomas’ article, entitled “Upfront Filmmaking: The Ethics of Documentary Relationships,” argues that during the filmmaking process interview subjects should be informed about how they will be presented in the final product.  The filmmaker, according to Thomas, has a responsibility to his or her interview subjects.  How closely should they be informed about possible audience conclusions drawn from the work?

Thomas presents evidence that suggests American and European filmmakers have trouble partaking in ethical practices, because they do not always understand the principles in the context of a given situation.  Many believe these practices should be revised to reflect current technological and financial pressures.  Furthermore, in a sea of new content being published daily, filmmakers are encouraged to make their work more sensational for audiences.  This kind of emotional saturation can affect styles of interviewing, and even off-camera interactions with an interview subject.  In this way a participant’s behavior may be impacted, they stand the chance of presenting themselves as unethical.  Thomas recounts his own experience with this wherein he had to deny a subject access to a copy of the film before it was screened to audiences, thus denying them the chance to censor their depiction if they thought it painted them in a bad light.

Another survey distributed to filmmakers found that, in many instances, directors responsible for a film’s production would even deny an interview subject knowledge of what the film would be about for fear the person would decide against participating.  Filmmakers also stated that, in most cases, participants would receive unequal treatment if their views didn’t match the producers of the film.

Next, Thomas discusses the ethics involved in consent.  People involved in a scientific study, after all, are regularly informed on the purpose of that study, but makers of documentary films, due to findings discovered during the making of the film, would have difficulty knowing what the film was about until after it is finished.  The author argues that the relationship between the subject and director would benefit from constant updates as to the central idea.

While there is no specific recipe for making a film, having the interview subject sign a release form is standard practice.  This document performs two functions, one, it authorizes the subject’s participation, and two, it declares the producer as having the ownership rights to the footage.  The article claims that filmmakers typically do not like using these forms, they insist that the legal terms of the agreement are not always aligned to what the production team believes is relevant.

Filmmakers are often faced with weighing the importance of critical success alongside participant and sponsor needs, they should be conscious of a contributor’s vulnerability, and because of these factors they themselves are vulnerable.  Ever fleeting industry-wide codes of conduct do not always provide enough guidance.

Thomas claims that even the most unbiased filmmaking is not completely without opinion.  He brings to light the social sciences theory of reflexivity which suggests that the personality of any creator is revealed through his or her work.

To sum up, the author suggests a useful way of circumventing subject alienation while fostering a storytelling perspective.  It’s about ownership. Thomas came up with a real-life illustration, a film he made with a survivor of an oil tanker disaster, the film was a way for her to tell the story from her perspective.  Amal, the story’s main character, was invested enough to take on the role that a film’s producer might.
Source: Steve Thomas. “Upfront Filmmaking.” From Metro, Winter 2012, Issue 171, p80

New Horizons Band

In 2014, concert band director Bruce Burritt and I began to form a plan to spread the word about one of his favorite activities.  Burritt conducts the Symphony Orchestra for the Rochester New Horizons Band (RNHB), a now multi-national, Rochester-born organization tasked with organizing amateur musicians, mostly senior citizens, into bands dedicated to playing different genres of music.  Music is Burritt’s passion, after a career as a high school band teacher he was surprised to find something new when he started conducting at Roc New Horizons:

I had to work a lot harder to get really good expression out of high school students, much more so than I have to out of our current members who are, of course, seniors and who have a whole life before them that they’ve experienced… they’ve experienced great joy, excitement, great sadness, tragedy and all the wonderful emotions in between all of those. It’s really interesting to see how they respond to the music that we give them and really quickly grab hold of the emotion part of that very effectively.

You could call it coincidence, the Rochester New Horizons Band wraps up in June and begins again in September.  This leaves Burritt (along with co-conductor, Alan Woy) time to prepare the program in July and August as he once did in his days teaching adolescents.

The RNHB consists of five concert bands and a number of sectionals and ensembles.

The next piece is a summary of three of the traditional concert bands.  The Symphonic, Concert and Green Band.  The last is merely defined in terms of color so called because its members are “green,” (that’s slang for inexperienced).  Green band is a popular place for many new members to start, regardless of their instrument prowess.

The string orchestra is comprised of cellos, violins, violas and contrabasses:

The two jazz bands, the Vintage Jazz Band and Big Band, were the last to be created at RNHB.  Their unique and classic sound is the most distinct as one hears it wafting through the concrete walls of the Unitarian Universalist church, the venue that RNHB rents out every Tuesday:

Reverend Susan S. Shafer: A life in ministry

On Saturday, June 27th the Reverend Susan S. Shafer received recognition for her 34 years in the life and ministry of Asbury First United Methodist Church.  The evening took place at the Joseph Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center where some of Susan’s closest friends and colleagues had come to celebrate and remember her.

Susan has devoted her life to supporting people. Whether it is members of Asbury First where she was the head pastor before her retirement, members of our community in need of assistance, or the many members of her own family, Shafer has committed herself to being a part of their lives in many significant ways. Susan has strong ties to Irondequoit, New York where she grew up and currently resides. One of the first speakers to approach the podium was Jim Miller, her youth pastor at Lake Ave Baptist.  Miller kicked off the program that night with a quote from Rev. Dr Samuel C. Bartlett of Dartmouth College, “After all these years there seems no greater honor that can come to a person than the invitation, ‘come be our pastor.”

Prelude to a Call

Balance has been a big part of Susan Shafer’s life in ministry.  At Asbury First she has been a preacher, full-time pastor and administrator.  In addition to all of this she has been a mother to three grown children and a grandmother to many grandchildren.

Beginning a Career in Ministry

Former Asbury First head pastor Bob Hill provided an in-depth look, along with several amusing anecdotes in regards to Shafer’s time at Asbury First,

Susan carries that tradition of pastoral care, that combination of  psychology, theology and spirituality that was once more prevalent than it is today: Seward Hiltner at Princeton Seminary, the Danielson Institute at Boston University, Paul Tileg and Ann Belford Ulinoff at Union, that capacity to listen.

In order to reach this pinnacle of achievement, 34 years of ministering Asbury First’s congregation, Shafer had to take the first step to being ordained.

A Pastoral Life

Susan Shafer’s boundless love for the congregants of Asbury First was unrestricted by both time and geography.  It would be an impossible task to talk to the many lives she has touched over the years.  The following video is an edited version of recordings done on a Sunday in May 2015, a month prior to Shafer’s retirement date.

A Legacy of Care

During her career at Asbury First Shafer broke new ground in a number of other areas within the church.  She was instrumental in the church expansion that would eventually house the Greeting Center.  She led the technology committee in creating a video streaming service at Asbury First so members who could not be in the church on a Sunday had a means of watching the services take place.  Shafer also greatly influenced the church’s various outreach ministries.  These came to be known as pillars in the Rochester community for people in a time of need.

Extras

Here are the rest of what we called Susan Moments, more recordings from the people of the congregation thanking Susan for her many gifts.