“Music creates sound (organized sound is music), creates the widest array of emotion and response by a human being.” – Bob Bernhardt
In the year 2000, I decided to try an experiment. I started recording certain musical performances in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and interviewing the musicians. Then, I edited together the interviews, the music, and the preparations for a production of the opera “Madama Butterfly,” using a narrative style I liken to “travelling up a spiral staircase.” I’d developed this style back in 1991-2 for a documentary mini-series for public television titled “Noteworthy.” The result is a set of weaved-together examples of the diversity of music, how music affects the performer and the audience, and how music itself can (and cannot) be defined.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present “Spiral Fugue: A documentary of music.“
-Philip Luckey, Producer/Director
I’m putting together a documentary on the diversity of music, using a nonlinear narrative style (look at it this way: instead of being told like a story, in a straight line, this look at music unfolds like a spiral staircase). It will probably be somewhat similar to the “Noteworthy” mini-series I created back in 1990-1991.
I’m planning on distributing this hour-long program (for free) to all the public television stations in the country, once I complete it (and here’s hoping that day will be here soon).
Somewhere along the way I’ll have a better name for this venture (which is, incidentally, in association with my workplace, Creative Resources). Thanks again to everyone who has helped with this project. Here are some ideas I’m throwing around:
Madame Butterfly (in rehearsal)
and still to come:
Shaking Ray Levis?
Sure, music’s a lot of fun. And the convergence of computers with music has certainly been interesting so far. Take MP3s, for example. I thought the connection
with Suzanne Vega was fascinating (thanks to King for the forward – link broken now, but discussed the influence of Suzanne Vega on the actual coding of the MP3 standard). Ok, ok, so I thought all along that the song was “Tom Steiner.” (The first time I heard it was when my friend puppetmaster Dianne was singing it for me and — no surprise — I misunderstood.) Kinda like how “I Lost You To Monty” turned out to be “I Want You
To Want Me.” And “I Loved You In Evita” is actually “Love In An Elevator.” Oh well.
Speaking of music, the Susan Werner interview is set for Wednesday after her sound check at Riverbend. This is part of the material I plan to use for a documentary I’m putting together concerning — surprise — music. I intend to use a similar narrative style to the Noteworthy mini-series I produced back in 1991 (eschewing a script or even a straight-line narrative, it resembles a spiral staircase in how it circles around the subject until you either get dizzily nauseous or you get to where you were going.) I thought about using the name “Noteworthy,” but perhaps that’s tied to the earlier series too much. Today I’m considering the title ”From Within” (domains already taken, though) or, just maybe, “Spiral Stair.” The footage I already have in the can includes hammer dulcimer performances (Dan Landrum), singer-songwriter acoustic set (Mark Hall), interesting band (substructure with David Bird), rehearsals from the opera Madame Butterfly, and various interviews. It occurred to me last week to include Susan (seemed like a natural idea). I’d like to hit percussion (hee hee), perhaps a drum circle or some similar event. And a dancer or dancers, interpreting music. Maybe the local group Flannery. Might grab some stuff from the Mountain Opry. (Wonder if Kevn is hanging around Atlanta?) Once I reach some critical mass of footage, I’ll edit it all together into a tidy hour-long documentary for distribution to all the public television stations in the country. Three a.m. Nebraska, here I come.
Btw, I love the Onion.
And Trailervision is entertaining, too.
This week I’ll be interviewing Bob Bernhardt (conductor); visiting a Shaking Ray Levi Society music event; and either getting some African Rock or some Mountain Opry perspectives.
The good news: I finished shooting and editing the documentary, now titled “Spiral Fugue.” The other news: I’m leaving Creative Resources to go work at Atomic Films in Chattanooga, doing video editing and post-production. I don’t know at this time what that means for the future and/or usage of this hour-long documentary. Hopefully, time will tell!
I have compressed the entire SPIRAL FUGUE documentary to QuickTime and uploaded it here on my website for your enjoyment and education. I enjoyed the process of making this piece as well as the product that is the result, and I appreciate the cooperation of the featured musicians.