“Filmmaker Lee Boot had heard me perform my music in Baltimore years back and he called me last spring and asked if I would review his film with the possibility of my adding a complete musical score,” said Barnes. “I was elated. I had wanted to compose for film for years and here was a work that had already won a Gold Medal in its original form.”
After viewing the film, Barnes met Boot in Baltimore to discuss the scenes he would score. He then spent the summer and early fall composing the music and sending it to Boot as electronic e-mail attachments. Boot would respond after placing the music behind the film. The electronic dialogue continued until October when Barnes went back to Baltimore to meet with Boot, hire musicians and mix the music into the film.
“Imagine your work being one-dimensional and suddenly being given another meaning—another life,” said Barnes. “In one high pressured week, my music was transformed.”
Barnes said the film’s visuals are so striking that he was challenged from the beginning to write music with enough character to enhance but not overpower.
“It was a bit intimidating, but a thrill from beginning to end,” he said.
The feature-length documentary is an out-of-the-box art and science film that asks: In a country built for the pursuit of happiness, is it working? Is living a meaningful life the secret to a natural high? Boot starts by defining the real American Dream as emotional survival and travels across the country searching for clues and human stories to shed some light.
The public will have the opportunity to view the film next week and to meet Barnes and Boot. “Euphoria” will be shown Wednesday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Coleman Recital Hall in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center. On Thursday, February 22, at 12:30 p.m. Barnes will give a presentation, “Composing Music for an Award-winning Film” in the lower level of the Mitchell Fine Arts Center. At 3:30 p.m. in the same location, Boot will give a guest lecture about the project, and at 7:30 p.m. the film will be screened in Cowgill Center 102.
All events are free and open to the public.
For more information, contact the public relations office at (859) 233-8120 or Barnes at (859) 233-8179.
About Lee Boot
Boot’s video and internet works have been broadcast and exhibited nationally and internationally in a number of venues, including Public Television, the Johannesburg Biennial in South Africa, London’s Serpentine Gallery and Baltimore’s Contemporary Museum. Boot left his 16-year career as a school teacher in 2000 (a career that earned him a Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars) to work toward using film as a way to help make powerful and profound information part of our culture. “Euphoria” is the first major project that is part of that goal.
About Larry J. Barnes
Barnes, professor of music at Transylvania, is a distinguished Bingham Fellow for Excellence in Teaching. His compositions have been featured on contemporary music programs in Barcelona, Brussels, Darmstadt, New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Memphis, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and numerous other locations. His “Solar Winds” won the Cleveland Orchestra Composition Award. His “Morning Gigue” was recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony and released on compact disc in 1998. Commissions include music for Bertram Turetsky, Marilyn Mason, the Cincinnati Composers’ Guild, Kentucky Music Teachers’ Association and Sine Nomine Singers. Barnes is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Composer Fellowship, two Kentucky Arts Council awards and the Howard Hanson Prize. His music is published by Southern and SEE-SAW Music Corporations. In 1992, He toured Ireland as an Al Smith Award recipient. In 2001, he participated in a Council for International Educational Exchange tour of China as part of his study of non-Western traditional music. He is currently composing music for a pilot series for Florida Public Television.
Barnes has also maintained a strong performance career. He joined the Eastman Wind Ensemble for a performance of music by Hanson, Schwantner and Copland at Lincoln Center and for a subsequent recording on the Phillips label. He has performed solo recitals across the country and has performed his own works at numerous conferences and festivals. He has also performed chamber music with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Albany Symphony, San Antonio Symphony and Lexington Philharmonic.