Typically, music is added to a film to create suspense or convey moods.
But students at Lawrence High School are reversing the process by making a film to accompany the world-renowned Cypress String Quartet during a performance today for Lawrence public school students.
"We gave them different musical tracks of pieces that we like to perform, that represent sort of a range of styles," said Tom Stone, a violinist in the group.
Cypress String Quartet
"And then we picked out a song and we started trying to put this together, brainstorming this concept of freedom, because that was kind of the theme for their music," said Ivy Knight, an LHS senior who helped make the video.
The San Francisco-based quartet formed 10 years ago with the intent of revitalizing chamber music - and engaging younger generations along the way.
"We realized quickly that education was something we were really passionate about," Stone said.
Instead of just flying into town for a concert and leaving, the Cypress String Quartet sticks around, working with and playing for students in schools all over the world. In Lawrence, they've taken the process a step further with the video project.
The students' six-minute film is a video meditation on Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech, in which the president proclaimed that every human should have freedom of expression, freedom to worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. The scenes were shot in and around the high school.
On Wednesday, the students and musicians gathered for the first time to see the results of the collaboration.
"It definitely brings a different tone to a piece, especially with modern images and in this high school setting," said Mya Weil, an LHS student who worked on the film.
The Cypress String Quartet will perform the piece, with video accompaniment, today for LHS and West Junior High School students. The quartet will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lied Center.