welcome to fresh inc 2012!

Well folks, it’s finally here! fresh inc has officially launched, and we’ve all arrived safely at the beautiful Carthage Campus. Here are a few attendees flying in now!

A few items of business to begin with. First, as decreed by composition faculty Stacy Garrop and Davy Rakowski, the official theme song of the festival is George Michael’s Faith, so expect to see that little ditty pop up at various points throughout the next 2 weeks. There is a rumor that the composer with the best arrangement of this song wins a cake.

Second, our festival mascot is Millie, an odd little bouncy thing that erupts into flashing light when provoked. We’ll be chronicling her travels throughout the festival. Here she is, having checked into her room and configured her iPad for wireless access:

Arrival day was a fun mix of loading in, checking out keys, and figuring out where the food was. Because there can be no summer festival without s’mores, we gathered near a fire pit to make that happen.

How many musicians does it take to successfully light a fire? Answer: only one who is willing to gather twigs. Justino Perez saves the day!

He celebrates with the finished product in a pensive pose:

Once the flames got going, we had many a discussion about the proper way to toast a marshmallow for s’mores. Many of us (ahem, me) have no patience, and prefer to light the sucker on fire and blow it out. That said, a rare pleasure is the perfectly golden brown, slow-roasted s’more that only comes with time.

Mmmmm (Herine has patience)

And pigeon toes.

On day 1 we gather in the recital hall after a morning of rehearsals for our first guest workshop with Cliff Colnot.

He starts us off with an intonation workshop, using the Poulenc Sextet as an example. We learn how and when to use just diatonic, expressive, and even-tempered tuning. And, just as importantly, how to use science and objectivity to overcome the ruffled feathers that are an automatic extension of any intonation criticism in rehearsal! (You’re sharp! You’re flat! You stole my girlfriend! I hate your face!)

Cliff follows up by answering a ton of questions about the rehearsal process, and about creating a diverse career in music. In his view, avoiding concentration in any one area is a major priority and ensures that you have options (think: not dropping your whole life savings on the Facebook IPO – and if you did, we’re sorry, you’ll be fine…).
Speaking of which, visit our Facebook page for more photos! (we love you, Facebook!)
After dinner, we had fun times in the Student Union, introducing ourselves, then breaking into teams to produce tiny performance pieces using our personalized sounds and movements. Silly, yes. Fun, also yes. Millie’s action was the bounce.
And here are Davy and Millie doing their best Iron Man impression. She’s so excited she got all lit up.
Major takeaway from Day 1: everyone here is awesome. We’re having a great time getting to know everyone musically and personally, and we couldn’t be among better folks.
Time to get some rest before Day 2! We do instrumental lessons, an arts start-up workshop, educational outreach training, and a whole mess of rehearsals. Bedtime!