Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Benoit Glazer

Benoit Glazer and his wife opened their home, the Timucua White House, starting in September 2000, to bring free music to the Orlando community. I've sketched many of these concerts and have always been pleased to discover new talents. Benoit and his family believe and promote the following...
Art and music belong to everyone.
Art and music are the highest manifestation of our humanity.
Art and music should be enjoyed in the most intimate venue: the living room.
Every community is better when art and music are performed and nurtured within it.

After one concert, I discovered that Benoit was composing the sound track music for an independent film called "7 Lives of Chance" that was filmed right here in Orlando. This film, written and directed by Banks Helfrich, is about a woman who loves balloons and is unable to let go of the past. Her life would be so much easier and less painful if she could let go and watch her worries drift away with the breeze. The sound track features light and breezy violin music giving the story a distinct European flair. Benoit jumped at the chance to compose the music.

I sketched Benoit on the weekend as he worked in his sound studio. A collection of violins and trumpets lined one wall. A window looked out on the main stage area in his custom built acoustically designed "living room." His flat screen computer monitor was tilted vertical so he could see all the tracks. The family was watching a neighbors dog. The Benoits also have a greyhound and this dog made the tragic mistake of nipping at the greyhound while it slept. The greyhound was jolted awake, and bit down on the the other dog's head. The children took the dog to the vet at a great expense. The dog lay on the floor with a big band aid covering the bite. The dog was restless, and occasionally Benoit would have to soothe it, making sure the dog didn't scratch at the wound with it's paws.

After each concert, Benoit mixes a CD to thank the musicians for performing. He began mixing a CD for singer Ashley Lockheed. Chris Rotmeyer was on piano, Ben Cramer on Base and Allen Vache on clarinet. Benoit informed me that Allen is a very big deal, having performed with the Jim Cullen band. The music filled the tiny sound studio as Benoit adjusted the levels again and again. I was surprised when he asked my opinion on the levels of one track. I was just as surprised when he agreed with my humbly assessment. Benoit adjusted the levels using pure instinct. He doesn't consider himself a perfectionist, he just knows when it feels right.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


Susan Cross said...

Thomas, you have done it again!

Banks Helfrich said...

A balloon for the dog.