“Being Hear” short film screening at Beyond the Classroom – Thursday night

Above: The Beyond the Classroom exhibit featuring works by previous Southborough students and their teachers will include the screening of a short documentary by an Algonquin alum. (images from press kit.)

I’ve previously posted that this Thursday is A Night of Art in Southborough. But there was one element of that night’s exhibits that I neglected to share.

I had explained that the “Beyond the Classroom” exhibit Opening Reception will be held upstairs in the Southborough Library from 6:00 – 8:30 pm. But, if you head downstairs, you can also catch the screening of a short documentary.

Palmer Morse (Algonquin Class of 2012) partnered on an award winning documentary “Being Hear”. The film follows Emmy-winning acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, who:

shares insights on the constant and nuanced communications of nature, the alarming extinction of places unaffected by human activity, the way quiet can open our eyes to the larger picture and the benefits of simply paying attention to place. Silence, as he puts it, “is the think tank of the soul.”

Morse directed, produced, and edited the film with Matthew Mikkelsen. He was also the Director of Photography. And while the focus of the film is the soundscape, the sumptuous visuals clearly play a critical role.

The film is just shy of 10 minutes. During the reception, it will be played on a loop in the Eaton Meeting Room. Here is a preview from Vimeo:

The Southborough Cultural Arts Council shared: 

Palmer is an award-winning filmmaker rooted in activism who focuses on using the devices at hand in our visual and media culture that can drive our society to make change. His short films have been shown on National Geographic, PBS, in festivals around the world, winning both awards and high praise. Interested in stories of humans, our planet, and the interactions of the two, Palmer often works with organizations, non-profits, and brands in honing in on their mission in a visual format.

He currently lives in Oakland, California, serves as the in-house Video Producer at the Oakland Museum of California, and is the Co-Founder of Spruce Tone Films.

In a Director’s Statement, Morse and Mikkelson address the impact the Being Hear project had on them and that they hope it will have on others:

“We cannot think originally and be ourselves without quiet. Silence is the think tank of the soul. It is there that deep changes occur.”

Gordon Hempton said this as we sat in the dense moss of the Hoh Rainforest in the Olympic National Park. We had been chatting for nearly an hour as dew collected on the tips of evergreen needles. The drops fell from mossy tree limbs thousands of years old, landing softly on the rainforest floor. Despite our muted voices, the silence made us feel as though we were the only animals present for miles.

Nearing the end of our time spent with Gordon in the Olympic National Park, we both felt a deep change inside of us. It was here that our weeklong discussions of sound, silence, listening, and the need to preserve our most naturally silent spaces was self-evident.

It is Gordon’s hope, and ours as well, to encourage an appreciation for a natural silence, that is imperiled by human noise such as airplanes, highways, construction, and other intrusions. This hope is rooted in our desire to protect the few remaining quiet places in the U.S. As Gordon puts it: “when you’re in a quiet place, it becomes obvious. It is the way life was meant to be”.

Unfortunately, Morse won’t be part of the Artist Stroll at the Library. But you can meet other artists involved in the upstairs exhibit. For a reminder of those details, and info on the “Celebrate Wellness” exhibit and reception at the Community House that night, click here.

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