Sounds for Silence via Jazz Times

Posted by: admin on November 17, 2010 @ 8:38 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Spark Of Being

A couple of quotes from an article in JazzTimes this month titled, Sounds for Silence: Jazz & Silent Films, Jazz and silent film collide in Louis and projects by Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell and Marc Ribot, by Shaun Brady.

Morrison’s latest completed film, Spark of Being, reflects on his methods via a retelling of the Frankenstein story with a score, now on CD, by Douglas and Keystone. “Generally, our eyes and ears want to put music and images together,” Morrison says. “If you turn on the radio while you’re driving, more often than not you can feel like the music is the soundtrack to what’s going by. What I as a filmmaker am striving to do in my use of music is to create something where the two things seem like they’re melded—and that you’re not distracted by one or the other.”

Working with Morrison “is really a big step,” says Douglas. “We’ve been working with these old, old films, and suddenly there’s this living filmmaker who’s actually in the room, who came to the recording sessions and hung out and got to know everybody and almost become a seventh member of the band. I think we were able to bring a life to this film that was still changing as we were creating the music. That to me is the real living interaction between music and film.”

Read the full article ›››

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The Creature's Education: Tree Ring Circus

Posted by: admin on October 19, 2010 @ 9:21 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Updates), Events, Spark Of Being

Here’s a clip from the Spark Of Being film by Bill Morrison from his Vimeo feed.

Some great visuals there. The audio, of course, is from Dave Douglas & Keystone. The track: Tree Ring Circus, from the Spark Of Being releases.

Make sure to check out the East Coast Premiere of the film this weekend at the Highline Ballroom. Tickets and info here.

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The Creature’s Education: Tree Ring Circus

Posted by: admin on @ 9:21 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Events, Spark Of Being

Here’s a clip from the Spark Of Being film by Bill Morrison from his Vimeo feed.

Some great visuals there. The audio, of course, is from Dave Douglas & Keystone. The track: Tree Ring Circus, from the Spark Of Being releases.

Make sure to check out the East Coast Premiere of the film this weekend at the Highline Ballroom. Tickets and info here.

1 Comment

Spotlight on Stanford Lively Arts

Posted by: admin on March 5, 2010 @ 3:04 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News), Events, Music Technology, Spark Of Being

There’s a great feature on Stanford Lively Arts director Jenny Bilfield posted yesterday at the MetroActive site.

An excerpt from the story of how Reich’s Double Sextet came to be:

Upon hanging up the phone [with Bilfield], Reich thought back to his ’60s pieces like Violin Phase, written for instruments being played live against recordings of themselves. He realized that he could do the same thing for eighth blackbird if the group would agree to pre-record a piece, then play a second sextet performance live against that recording—thus, Double Sextet. He called Bilfield back the next day and proposed the idea, and she took it to the group members, who said they would love to do it.

“And the piece won the Pulitzer Prize, and it is really one of the best pieces I’ve ever written,” says Reich. “But I would never have thought in a million years to write for eighth blackbird. It was Jenny Bilfield, whose basic subtext is ‘I’m not taking no for an answer.'”

And later in the article, some words about the Dave Douglas/Bill Morrison collaboration Spark Of Being [world premiere next month].

“Jenny called me and said, ‘What would you like to do that you couldn’t do anywhere else?” remembers Douglas. “It’s not every day that you get asked that question.”

The basis of the piece is matching Morrison’s talent for shaping films made from a collage of archival footage—his similarly constructed Decasia was named by the Village Voice as one of the 10 best films of 2003—with Douglas’ composition work. It has gone by many different titles over time; for a while, it was known as Frankenstein: The First 100 Years, in reference to Thomas Edison’s 1910 film.

“Before that, it was called The History of Gadgetry,” Douglas says. “For us, it’s all been about this conversation between technology and art, humanity and invention—what our inventions mean to us and how science has affected humanity. We went to Frankenstein because that seemed like a good metaphor for the whole thing. Bill works with older films, creating something new out of them, and I work a lot with samples and various disparate elements of music.”

“The Frankenstein monster is a collage of pieces in and of itself, so we’re referencing our process,” says Morrison. Finally, though, they settled on Spark of Being.

Read the full article here.

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Spark Of Being – Trailer

Posted by: admin on January 7, 2010 @ 12:59 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (News)

Two master innovators—jazz trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas and experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison—draw on the unique resources of Stanford University to create Spark of Being, a monumental work combining the screening of film with live musical performances by Douglas’ electric band Keystone.

WORLD PREMIERE: April 24th, 2010 at Stanford University.

More details coming soon.

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