LAYTON - The only thing more fun than experiencing art is making your own.
The Gangrene Film Festival is not only celebrating the creative impulses of their contributing filmmakers this year, they’re giving the public a chance to indulge their own. In addition to their usual comedic short-film festival, set for Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Ed Kenley Amphitheater in Layton, they’ll hold a creative symposium on Aug. 30 starting at 11 a.m. at the Davis Conference Center.
At the symposium, authors, musicians, screenwriters, filmmakers, designers and more will share the ins and outs of their craft, giving advice on what art can do and how to create the best art possible.
One of the presenters, local musician Mark Robinette, will shine light on the process of writing musical scores for movies. He’ll do this by re-scoring a scene live for attendees, changing the entire tone of the clip simply by altering the music playing in the background.
“You see it on YouTube sometimes - they’ll start with a funny scene, then put some scary music to it, and suddenly it has a whole different feel,” said Robinette. “It changes the entire mood of the scene.”
Just like changing the background music can turn a movie scene from comedy to horror, a small alteration to the notes themselves can change the entire feel of a piece of music.
“A major chord is a happy sound, and a minor chord is a sad sound,” said Robinette. “The only different between the two is you take the third note and move it down a half step. That’s like the two plus two of composing.”
Beyond that, altering the feel of a piece of music depends on knowing what people expect to hear in a certain situation.
“Most of the music we hear is based on the same types of chords,” said Robinette. “The further you stray from that, the more dissonant a song is. The more dissonant a song is, the more psychologically uncomfortable it makes you feel.”
Certain instruments are more suited for certain types of moods than other instruments as well.
“A harp is pretty and nice, while a bassoon has a low, growly sound,” he said.
When the composer brings a certain instrument and certain type of music together, the resulting score can have even more impact.
“If a violin plays two high notes close together, it’s very dissonant,” said Robinette. “It’s like the lady in the shower. You just know something bad is going to happen.”
Film festival and symposium tickets are available online at gangrenesymposium.com/get-tickets. The cost is $15 for both sessions of the festival ($10 for one session) and $25 for the symposium, with a $40 ticket available for all events.
The Ed Kenley Amphitheater is located at 403 N. Wasatch Drive in Layton, while the Davis Conference Center is located at 1651 N. 700 West in Layton.