#BigThingsThursday is a weekly series of short interviews with people who are doing big things for the community and for the world. If you know someone who's doing big things and should be featured, let me know: BigThings@LucyKalantari.com.
Meet Rodney Whittenberg: music producer, engineer, composer, sound designer and filmmaker driven to make art to build community and inspire humanitarian consciousness.
I met Rodney through his latest album, We Stood Up, “an audio anthology for children, produced by Lincoln Financial Foundation, that uses stories and songs to bring the ideals of freedom, opportunity and equality to life for a new generation.” With a powerful collection of poetry, songs, interviews and speeches this album educates and inspires our youth through a medium they can easily connect with.
Q. BIG THINGS begin with an intention, what is yours?
A. Wow that’s a big question. My intention is to create and support others in the creation of art, (ie: music, film, dance, theater, poetry, etc.,) that is socially relevant, entertaining and sometimes performed at the highest level of musicianship or just totally sloppy, loud, in-your-face music that rocks like the loudest punk band. Sometimes I get it right like with my new CD, We Stood Up; and the latest film I co-produced and scored, Portraits of ProfessionalCaregivers Their Passion Their Pain. And sometimes I miss the mark completely, like in the case of my score to the b movie horror cult film Return to Sleep Away Camp.
Q. How are you fulfilling this intention?
A. I'm the owner and founder of Melodyvision, where I use my skills as a composer, songwriter, producer, engineer, filmmaker and sound designer to allow me to work as a creative consultant and partner to my many clients. I am always looking for committed clients who have a vision, something to say, and we both feel that I can help them achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an individual singer songwriter, an independent filmmaker, a neo classical trio, a major corporation or a or a non-profit. With We Stood Up It, I was brought in as a creative consultant for Lincoln Financial Foundation. They wanted to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. They had a genuine, deep desire to inspire youths, in these difficult and challenging times. This project is exactly the kind of work I want to be doing.
Q. What barriers have you encountered, and how have you dealt with them?
A. I have been so lucky. The only barriers are my own limitations. The curse of ego. Not getting out of my own way. I can be vulnerable to overthinking, or just plain fear. Fear of not only finding the truth of the moment, but trusting and being brave enough to follow that truth through to a creative outcome. Going for it makes it happen.
Extra: Share a favorite quote that keeps you motivated.
“Great art communicates before it is understood.” –T. S. Eliot
Thank you for what you do, Rodney. We Stood Up is a powerful work of art! May you continue to be the facilitator and driver for making meaningful art come to life.
For more information on Rodney Whittenberg, visit www.melodyvision.com.