Sounding Off: Portraits of Unusual Music

9/3/11 to 9/18/11

Five new documentaries about contemporary musical practice that demonstrate that music can be more about a relationship to the world than the ordering of tones or sounds. Includes sonically seductive works from Australia, France, Portugal, and the U.S.

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Past Films

  • Intangible Asset Number 82 

    • Sunday, September 18 6:30 pm

    Emma Franz (Australia, 2009). This rhythmic documentary follows jazz drummer Simon Barker to South Korea, and his meeting with ritual drummer/shaman Kim Seok-Chul. “It opened my eyes to another facet of the cross-pollination taking place in the melting pot art form known as jazz” (Aidan Levy, Village Voice). (90 mins)

  • We Don't Care About Music Anyway

    • Friday, September 16 7 pm

    Cédric Dupire, Gaspard Kuentz (France, 2009). This provocative portrait of Tokyo's new music scene features eight musicians in a seductive montage of clatter and racket, including noise guitarist Yamakawa Fuyuki, cellist Sakamoto Hiromichi, and guitarist Shimazaki Tomoko. “The Koyaanisqatsi of French documentaries about Japanese noise music” (Maryland Film Festival). (80 mins)

  • Ne change rien

    • Saturday, September 10 6:30 pm

    Pedro Costa (Portugal/France, 2009). Costa's newest film is a moody performance documentary of Jeanne Balibar, a French chanteuse of the damaged and bruised. This is no concert film, but a meditation akin to Godard's Sympathy for the Devil. (103 mins)

  • Trimpin: The Sound of Invention

    • Thursday, September 8 7 pm

    Peter Esmonde (U.S., 2009). Peter Esmonde and Ellen Fullman in person. Seattle-based Trimpin is part madcap inventor, part eccentric composer: this lively documentary provides a “lifelike ride through Trimpin's wonderful Dr. Seuss world of sound sculptures” (Kyle Gann). Preceded by 5 Variations on a Long String, documenting Ellen Fullman playing her unique instrument. (99 mins)

  • The Reach of Resonance

    • Saturday, September 3 6 pm

    Steve Elkins (U.S., 2010). Steve Elkins and Bob Ostertag in person. Four artists who pursue unusual musical investigations: koto player Miya Masaoka, who performs music for insects and plants; Bob Ostertag, who composes music for riots; violin virtuoso Jon Rose, who plies the barbed-wire fences of Australia's outback; and John Luther Adams, who seeks an “ecology of music.” (101 mins)