Episode #3295

Scoring Bill Morrison

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Listen to some of the musical scores for Bill Morrison's silent films on this New Sounds program.  There’s a mix of brass ensemble & electronics in Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score to “The Miners’ Hymns,” a documentary that depicts an ill-fated mining community in England. One "can almost hear the cavernous mineshafts and their ominous heritage in the brutal electronic treatments, and hear the creaking, crumbling landscapes beneath the haunting brass." (Boomkat)

Bill Frisell’s small combo of guitar, bass, trumpet and drums scores Morrison's “The Great Flood,” a visualization of the most destructive river flood in American history, in 1927, when the Mississippi River broke out of its banks in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles to a depth of up to 30 feet.  There’s also an electro-acoustic score by trumpeter Dave Douglas and Keystone for Morrison’s "Spark of Being," a retelling of the Frankenstein myth, along with music from violinist Todd Reynolds & Bang on a Can Co-Founder Julia Wolfe.  Plus, music from fellow Bang on Can Co-Founder Michael Gordon, who has scored Bill Morrison films, “Light is Calling” and Morrison’s most well-known film, the arresting “Decasia.”

PROGRAM # 3295, Scoring Bill Morrison (First aired on 1/26/2012)                                                         





Bill Frisell Quartet

Private Recording

Bill Frisell: The Great Flood, excerpt [3:51]

Information about the collaboration here:

Jóhann Jóhannsson

The Miners’ Hymns

The Cause of Labour is the Hope of the World [7:40]

Fat Cat CD 13-13

Michael Gordon


Decasia excerpt [8:47]

Cantaloupe #21008*

Todd Reynolds


Outerborough [8:33]

Innova 741

Julia Wolfe

Cruel Sister

Fuel, excerpt [5:00]

Cantaloupe Music CA21069
or Soundcloud

Dave Douglas & Keystone

Spark of Being

Spark of Being [3:45]

Greenleaf Music  

The Bill Frisell Trio

New Sounds Live, World Financial Center's Winter Garden, Jan. 15, 2004

The Mesmerist, excerpt [7:00]

Versions of the Mesmerist pieces are on the CD Nonesuch #79624** *

Comments [1]

Jim Wearne from Chicago

A friend mentioned to me that she heard on your program a Breton group singing in the Cornish language. She also said that the Cornish language was described on the show as a "dead language," and that Cornwall was said to be in England.
Please let me assure you that neither of those is true. Cornish is a living language, spoken by many in Cornwall (or Kernow in the Cornish language.) Cornwall itself is not a county of England, but a separate country, similar in status within the UK to Wales. Having said that, I must acknowledge that many in England, and particularly in Westminster, choose to ignore that fact, but it is legally demonstrable that Cornwall is not part of England, and never has been.
Recently the Cornish people were acknowledged as a national minority within the UK. This signals, I hope, the start of progress toward recognition of the Cornish land and people as one of the great Nations of the world.
Cornwall has a wonderful story to tell. I will be gland to help if you have any questions regarding Cornwall and Cornish music and culture. Please get in touch with me if you want to know more.
Jim Wearne
Bard Canor Gwanethtyr of the Cornish Gorsedh

Jun. 15 2014 11:09 PM

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