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The sound goes off and the amps get cranked (do harps need amps?) as a collective of Philadelphia’s finest underground musicians pay tribute to this seminal film of the new folk movement.
Spearheaded by Greg Weeks (Espers, Grass), Margie Wienk (Fern Knight) and Brooke Sietinsons (Espers, Grass), the ensemble includes harpist Mary Lattimore, cellist Helena Espvall (Espers), vocalist Tara Burke (Fursaxa), bassist/percussionist Jesse Sparhawk (Fern Knight, Timesbold), flautist/keyboardist Jessica Weeks (Woodwose, Grass), enigmatic electronicist Charles Cohen and percussionist Jim Ayre (Fern Knight, Rake).
The first chapter of The Project Series, it all started with a simple concept; that of recontextualising the filmic meaning and impact of a particular work through the substitution of a newly composed soundtrack.
Key to the concept is how reframing the film’s action with an alternate soundtrack draws new interpretations from a work of intricate depth and changeable meaning. Foremost in the musicians’ minds, however, is paying tribute to a timeless fantasy film of increasing relevance. The tone is lush, orchestral and acid-charged.
Of course, the genesis of the project came more out of a complete infatuation with Jaromil Jires’ 1970 dream poem than from any intellectual conceit. The film’s relevence to a new generation of folk musicians made it an obvious choice when early in 2006 Greg Weeks was approached by Joseph Gervasi to present a music to film event at Philadelphia’s International House.
So here we have it, the first fruits of The Project Series, honed though a handful of intimate live dates across America over the past year, including 2 sold out dates at the Anthology Film Archives in New York in conjunction with Finders Keepers, culminating in a triumphant appearance on the final night of this year’s Meltdown festival supporting Jarvis Cocker at the Royal Festival Hall.