Science on Screen®: The Art of Sound, Recordings from the Shenandoah National Park Artist-in-Residency & “Songcatcher”

Midnight weekend screenings happen on Friday & Saturday nights (meaning arrive on Friday and/or Saturday night by 11:45pm for seating, the movie starts after midnight)!

Run Time: 180 min. Rating: PG-13 Release Year: 2001

Please join us for The Gem’s FREE Science on Screen Event on March 13th at 4pm. We welcome sound artist, Dianne Ballon, as our speaker and will screen the film Songcatcher following her talk. We are extremely excited for this event and hope that you all can attend!

4:00 to 5:00pm: Dianne Ballon: The Art of Sound, Recordings from the Shenandoah National Park Artist-in-Residency

Sound artist Dianne Ballon has been working in sound for over thirty-five years. She is the 2021  recipient of a Maine Artist Fellowship.  In 2016, she was awarded an artist-in-residency at Shenandoah National Park. The residency consisted of two rigorous weeks of recording the rivers, streams, waterfalls, birds, night sounds, visitors and the local folks who call these mountains home.  From the sound recordings, she created: Shenandoah National Park: A Sound Portrait

In this presentation, Dianne will introduce listeners to the beauty and the richness of sound through the recordings she made during her residency.  She will share the stories behind the sounds, including the difficulties of field recording and unexpected moments on the trail.

5:00 to 5:15pm: Break to order food and drink. The Gem’s pizza oven will be on!

5:15 to 7:15 Songcatcher: After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia. There she stumbles upon the discovery of her life – a treasure trove of ancient Scots-Irish ballads, songs that have been handed down from generation to generation, preserved intact by the seclusion of the mountains. With the goal of securing her promotion, Lily ventures into the most isolated areas of the mountains to collect the songs and finds herself increasingly enchanted – not only by the rugged purity of the music, but also by the raw courage and endurance of the local people as they carve out meaningful lives against the harshest conditions. It is not, however, until she meets Tom – a handsome, hardened war veteran and talented musician – that she’s forced to examine her motivations. Is the “Songcatcher,” as Tom insists, no better than the men who exploit the people and extort their land?

A huge thank you to:

An initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.

Proof of COVID vaccination is required for everyone who is 12 years and older. Masks are highly recommended.