Bethany Brown is a Los-Angeles based composer, photographer and filmmaker. She believes in art as an integral part of social change, and creating participatory art as social practice. Bethany has a passion for education, and views teaching and mentoring as a central part of her work. A graduate from Arizona State University with degrees in Film and Music Composition, Bethany has experience working on professional films in New York and California in many aspects of production. Aside from freelancing as a photographer and composer, she holds a full-time position as Production Coordinator for Mythical Entertainment in Burbank, CA. Previously, Bethany served as the Manager of Education, Youth and Community Programs for Arizona Musicfest, a music nonprofit. In this position, she enjoyed teaching bi-monthly “Music and Muffins” musicology classes and working with young composers.
I love Alaska, travel, collaboration, and my dog, Penny. I am incredibly passionate about the arts and their ability to connect and heal. After working in Alaska for a few summers, I developed a fascination with “place;” Alaska felt at once both new and familiar, and seemed to harbor a unique ability for containing and creating memories. I began to explore the theme of place: How and why do we settle in a place? What elements of a specific place bring comfort, excitement, nostalgia? How are our experiences and connections to people related to place? I used these ideas to form my thesis music composition piece, “PLACE.” A spectral composition for string orchestra that utilized Grisey’s “Partiels” as a model for orchestral synthesis, formal structure, timbre/tone color and aleatoric elements, “PLACE” used pitch material derived from field recordings as interpreted through a sonogram to connect the music to real locations. I am continuing to explore the idea of “place” in my current work through photography, music and film.
I view my work as a facilitation of connection. My work represents the nostalgia and longing for “place”- geographical, emotional and psychological. Music and photography, often tethered to location, frames the question: what is our relationship to place, and by extension, to each other? How do we create place, both as a social aspect and as an environment for encouraging community? How do people connect through shared spaces? How can that space stimulate or destroy connection? These questions extend to the examination of constructed lives in small towns, in large towns, in areas of wilderness and suburbia, busy urban cities, an individual uncomfortable in a crowd, the concept of home. Through this process, my work ultimately questions how we belong, and where we belong.
My work is collaborative, research-based, and person-centered. Whether teaching or creating, every participant is a collaborator and every interaction an opportunity for exposure to rich, diverse ideas. I seek to engage in community building, and create in collaboration with artists from various backgrounds, as well as community members who would otherwise not consider themselves “artists.”