MADDY IS A MUSIC SCIENTIST!
Maddy was honored to present a workshop on the "Science of Music" as a part of JH Wild's all-day 2016 WILD Festival: Science! Through interactive games, experiments and group music activities, Maddy lead workshop participants through the science of sound and how music works and affects both people and place as it physically moves through its environment.
JH WILD is a subsidiary of the Internationally-renowned Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, one of the world's preeminent documentary and science film festivals.
Coverage by Jackson Hole News & Guide of Maddy's Fall 2016 #BABYASK music video film shoot. Article by Julie Butler. View the original article here.
It was chilly last Thursday afternoon, when Maddy German sat down at the piano in her east Jackson front yard and began to play the opening notes of her song “Baby Ask.”
Dressed only in ethereal white tulle and a white leotard, German was oblivious to the 50-degree temperatures; all she felt was elation as cameras rolled and her long-planned music video began filming.
What will amount to a nearly 4-minute video has been more than six months in the planning. After about 12 weeks of postproduction, German aims to premiere the video on YouTube and Vimeo and is shooting to host a viewing party at a Jackson venue in mid-January.
German — who with her band performs locally as Maddy and the Groove Spots — said she wrote “Baby Ask” two winters ago for her former boyfriend.
“The song was originally inspired by my then-boyfriend getting hurt skiing,” German said. “He injured his back and needed help with things. It was the first time he had ever needed help from me, so that was my inspiration.”
She said that later, when she was going through their breakup, the song evolved and she really wanted to make a video about “one’s relationship with self.”
“During the preproduction stages of this video I was on the phone with a friend asking questions about the breakup,” German said, “and she told me, ‘But you already know the answers so why are you asking?’
“She said that it’s OK to ask for help from friends, but until you are able to ask yourself for help, none can come,” she said.
“Baby Ask” is musically stylistic, German said.
“It’s a mix between the influence of my classical music background, an Elton John-like piano rock thing, and a little Western barroom lick,” she said. “That’s the main lick, and it finishes with classical piano.”
German has played the song at a couple of venues around town and at a JacksonHoleLive concert, and has gotten positive feedback on her heartfelt musical creation.
The drive to make a video is more than just her desire to bring the emotional tune to visual life, however. It is a collaborative effort with more than a dozen artists and creative people who call Jackson home.
“It’s a very collaborative project, especially for young artists — like me — in the early stages of their careers, “ German told the News&Guide.
“It’s been an interesting journey for me as an artist, and it’s about manifesting more than one person’s vision,” she said. “It’s allowing others to shine. I’ve tried to build on their skills and interests so that they can use this film to show others their skills.”
Working on a limited budget — the Center of Wonder gave her $500 to get the project started — German has enlisted the help and talents of friends, including her roommate, Kayla Arend, a valley filmmaker and director.
“Maddy had been kicking around the idea of making a music video,” Arend said, “and it wasn’t until recently that she pitched me about the song and asked me to direct.”
“She has been doing the producing aspects, getting a crew, securing a location and all the rest,” she said, “and my main job is to communicate what Maddy wants in terms of the final product, along with my personal creative input.”
Arend said they are taking what’s going on in both their brains and putting it into film.
Some of the other talent on Thursday included Jackson Hole High School senior Noelle Huser, a nine-year veteran of Dancers’ Workshop and the featured dancer in the video.
Huser’s role is that of what German called the darker side of oneself.
“The two characters in the video are the two sides of self: the lighter side and the darker side,” German said.
“When the darker side of yourself springs up, it is not something you should punish or get rid of, but rather you should embrace it and learn from it.”
German’s costume is white and flowing; Noelle’s costume is jet black, with a menacing mask topped with horns.
The 17-year-old had never met German before. She said it was Luke Zender — the film’s choreographer and one of her Dancers’ Workshop teachers — who approached her about appearing in the video.
Noelle said she had danced in another music video this past summer for her friend Otto Wieters and his band Head to Head, and was excited to perform in another one.
“Video adds a whole other element to dance,” Noelle said. “Choreographically, it’s different work with video.”
She said she wanted to be involved in the project to be inspired by a lot of different artists.
“There’s Maddy, there’s Luke, the producers, the costume people … all the different artists getting together to make this video for Maddy,” she said. “I’m being inspired by great, creative people.”
While the first day of shooting took place in German’s yard, the remaining three days were filmed last weekend at Lost Creek Ranch, 30 miles north of Jackson.
“The Halpin family who owns Lost Creek Ranch was incredibly generous in allowing us to film there,” German said.
Professional wrangler Kari Hall also donated her time teaching German how to ride a horse for a segment in which her character chases a mustang.
Everyone involved in creating German’s music video has done so gratis, but the singer-songwriter hopes to raise more money to be able to compensate the cast and crew for the time and talent.
“This song, this video is not about me anymore,” German said. “It’s about the team.”
As her lyrics tell it: “I’ll reach within to pull you out; I’ll do my best to show you how this is your day.”
Maddy is honored to be a selected member of this year's "Leadership Jackson Hole" class. LJH is "a series of sessions and workshops for emerging and established leaders who wish to increase their leadership skills, knowledge and ability to participate in community issues," as stated on their Teton County home page.
Maddy applied for this year's class in the interest of gaining a better understanding of the political, social and economic outlay of her community and how the varied people comprising different roles within those sectors function, hopefully learning through that process how she best fits within a community web.
Another factor in Maddy's desire to be a part of LHG was her interest in meeting people from different walks of life, work and personality. Sometimes it's only too easy for "creative types" to be isolated from their comunities, but Maddy seeks to engage with hers so that she is better able to create relevant and poignant work.
Beginning this October 2015, Maddy's 26-member LJH class will meet once a month every month for a full day of leadership training and panel workshops. Leadership reading material assignments are required outside of class, and students are required to attend local Board meetings and expert panels several times a month between classes. In February the class travels to Cheyenne to meet state legislators and attend legislative hearings. After completing a "class project," the class graduates in May 2016.
"Maddy and the Groove Spots are exuberant and loose, with lockstep rhythms and a singsong bass that is addicting. Add German’s lyrics that so beautifully illustrate a sense of place and you will know how much she loves the Tetons." - Jackson Hole News & Guide
Thanks to the Jackson Hole News & Guide for a great writeup leading up to last week's show opening for Karl Denson's Tiny Universe! See the full article here.
Maddy was invited again by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival to be a film score judge for their International September 2015 film festival in Jackson Hole, WY. This is Maddy's third consecutive year working as a judge for this prestigious organization, which in alternating years hosts an unparalleled gathering of 650+ of the world's most important and influential documentary filmmakers and conservation stakeholders at their wildlife film festival summit in Jackson. Maddy looks forward to attending the festival not only as a professional networking opportunity as she seeks to specialize in documentary film scoring, but also as a passionate wildlife conservationist and documentary film enthusiast.The festival runs from September 28th - October 2nd and will take place mainly at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park and the Center for the Arts in Jackson Hole, WY. Please see below video to learn more about the JHWFF.
In addition to being a musician, Maddy has always been an avid writer. She is thrilled to be covering the world-renowned Grand Teton Music Festival 2015 summer season programming with her column "Keepin' It Classical in Jackson Hole" for the Jackson Hole Planet newspaper, marking Maddy's third year as a music columnist for said publication. Please see Maddy's blog to stay up to date on the festival's lineup! Or visit "Keeping' It Classical" on the JH Planet's website.
As a recipient of a Wyoming Arts Council's 2015 prestigious Performing Musical Artist Fellowship, Maddy was featured in the organization's Summer 2015 "Artscapes" publication, a magazine that highlights WAC-recognized talent in the state of Wyoming. Maddy was one of two musical artists from the state of Wyoming to be awarded a Fellowship by the WAC, and the honor is only issued every four years. Please see below and skip to page 18 to find the full text and story.
Maddy is THRILLED to announce that Maddy and the Groove Spots will be opening for the finale Jackson Hole Live summer concert series this summer! Sharing the stage with Karl Denson and his Tiny Universe is quite the honor. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 12th @ the Snow King Ballpark, see you there! FREE concert. See the complete JH Live concert lineup here.
Last weekend Maddy was selected to attend a Creative Capitol Professional Development workshop at the Center for the Arts in Jackson Hole, WY. Creative Capital is a non-profit founded by Andy Warhol's estate and designed to offer career development services inspired by venture capital principles to artists looking to grow their careers. Since 1999, CC has committed $35 million in financial and advisory support to 465 projects representing 579 artist, and their Professional Development Program in which Maddy participated has reached nearly 10,000 artists in over 400 communities. Maddy was thrilled to have been selected from the Jackson Hole artist community to be a participant in this program and looks forward to a continued relationship with Creative Capitial.