When Boise Baroque Orchestra artistic director Dan Stern commissioned a piece inspired by the Jewish liturgy from Jim Cockey, the composer had no idea of the personal journey he would embark upon.
The early discussions about the work began centering on the Holocaust as a possible topic because April is Holocaust Remembrance Month.
“I just ran with that,” Cockey says, but it took him somewhere he didn’t expect. Cockey realized that he is Jewish, a fact that was hidden by his mother when he was growing up.
“I remember when I was very young my brother told me we were Jewish and not to tell anyone because if something bad happened they would come for us,” Cockey says. “I realized my mother in Idaho in the 1950s was still terrified of what might happen. It helped me understand the power (the Holocaust) has to affect generations.”
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The piece for orchestra, baritone and choir starts in darkness and transcends toward hope through the stories and poetry of Holocaust survivors. Cockey’s score mixes musical lyricism with contemporary dissonance, inspired by Eastern European folk music.
Boise Baroque Orchestra, Opera Idaho Chorus and baritone Jason Detwiler will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 24 and 2 p.m. April 26 at the Cathedral of the Rockies, 717 N. 11th St., Boise. $25 general, $20 seniors and students at boisebaroque.org and at the door.
Choreographer Lauren Edson and musician and composer Andrew Stensaas introduced their new company last week at Trailhead Boise, a launching pad for entrepreneurial projects.
The name LED is inspired by the term “light emitting diode.” Edson and Stensaas, who are married, say LED will bring artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and others together for creative projects.
Edson’s company performed excerpts from “This Side of Paradise,” a ballet that will be at the Morrison Center in October. It’s a blend of live music by Stensaas’ and Ryan Peck’s band Edmond Dantes, Edson’s dance company and projections by filmmaker/producer Will Von Tagen.
Edson grew up in Boise and returned to dance with the now-defunct Trey McIntyre Project dance company. The performance featured fellow former TMPers Brett Perry, Liz Keller, Travis Walker and Jason Hartley, along with Ballet Idaho principal Phyllis Rothwell Affrunti and Mallory Welsh.
Learn more at LEDBoise.com.
Idaho filmmakers find success
• Boise’s Christian Lybrook and Greg Bayne spent last week at theTribeca Film Festival
in New York City with their Web series “Zero Point.” The project won awards at the Sun Valley Film Festival in March and was part of theNew Online Work
category at Tribeca. NOW reflects a growing trend in the industry of Internet-only production. There is no submission process. The festival programmers seek out projects and invite filmmakers.“Zero Point”
is one of 12 featured this year. The story follows Dr. Alex Embry (Lisa King Hawkes) as she investigates a mysterious disease that threatens to wipe out an entire generation of children. You can see the pilot episode streaming on theTribeca NOW website
for the next year.
• Karen Day’s documentary “Girl From God’s Country,” about pioneering woman filmmaker Nell Shipman who lived in Priest Lake, will show at the New York International Film Festival, which runs April 30 to May 8; the inauguralBentonville Film Festival
in Arkansas, which runs May 5-8; and theArtisan Festival International: Cannes World Cinema Initiative
, which runs May 13-24, during theCannes International Film Festival
The Bentonville festival, co-founded by Oscar-winning actor, producer and activist Geena Davis and ARC Entertainment CEO Trevor Drinkwater, offers opportunities for women and minority filmmakers.
Day plans to be in New York City and Bentonville with the screenings.
• Eagle teenager Connor Williams’ “Spoilers” was a finalist for Best First Film at theVictoria Texas Independent Film Festival
in March. He shot using money he saved from acting in small films and his job at Pizza Hut.
Though Williams didn’t win, he snagged the Frels Award, which garnered him $60,000 in film equipment to make his next film in Victoria. Williams, who turned 18 earlier this year, is primarily an actor but will “do anything to work in the film business,” he says. This week he is at the International Christian Film Festival in Orlando, Fla., with director Andrew Papke and actor Stephen Baldwin and their film “The UnMiracle.” He will head to Chicago this summer to work on another film with Papke, then he plans to move to Los Angeles. Williams also plans to make his film in Victoria, B.C., in 2016 with “Blind Side” co-star Quinton Aaron.