As the year winds down in a cloud of volatilized latke grease and mistletoe smoke, I send this brief summary of my recent activities in the realm of film music.
One of the biggest projects I’ve been working on is TATANKA, a feature-length doc by Jacob Bricca. I mention TATANKA first because, in addition to being an excellent film that I’ve become rather deeply involved in, it is wrapping up an already wildly successful Kickstarter campaign.
TATANKA is an epic story of the 1960′s and its aftermath as lived by Jacob’s father Tatanka, formerly Kit Bricca, whose resumé includes working with Joan Baez’s Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, organizing for Cesar Chavez, helping to start Amnesty International in the USA, bond trading, Native American shamanism, avant-garde/new age music, solar energy, and much much more! I hope you will check out the KS video and consider pledging some money to this project. Some music from TATANKA is up on my Soundcloud Page.
Dear Mandela – Update
This year DEAR MANDELA by Christopher Nizza and Dara Kell was shown in festivals worldwide (seriously- Ethiopia, Zanzibar, New Guinea, Malaysia, Kerala, etc….) to much acclaim, winning awards at festivals in Africa, Europe, and North America. Chris and Dara, along with activists from Abahlali baseMjondolo, have also been showing the film to students and activist groups in the USA, Europe and Haiti. It should be arriving on Netflix and other streaming services soon. A PBS broadcast is also in the works for early in 2013.
Great Expectations: Raising Educational Achievement
This feature-length documentary about education reform in Connecticut and Massachusetts directed by Jonathan Robinson began life as a mini-series for Connecticut Public Television but was picked up by the Sundance Channel and aired this fall. Short snippets with my music are available here and here.
The Hill and School’s Out
Two short docs by Lisa Molomot. THE HILL is a gritty story about urban renewal in New Haven. By contrast, SCHOOL’S OUT (co-directed by Lisa M. and Rona Richter) is about a forest kindergarten in Switzerland where the kids are outside all year long in all weather. SCHOOL’S OUT is so new that it’s not online yet, but you can hear a piece from THE HILL here.
This doc by Peter Cohn is a work-in-progress. He is filming four Israelis and four Palestinians as they make their way through the rapidly developing events in the West Bank. I wrote the music in the trailer on his site.
Meanwhile, I’ve also continued my teaching work at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where I am now on faculty in the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation departments. I coach student ensembles and give individual instruction in composition, improvisation and instrumental technique.
Other music work this year included production work on two upcoming CD’s, Anthony Coleman’s “Method of Operations” (Tzadik) and Burr Van Nostrand’s “Voyage In a White Building” (New World), both featuring chamber orchestras conducted by Coleman and recorded in NEC’s beautiful Jordan Hall.
And though I have been taking a hiatus from schlepping around the world with an accordion, I have continued to write new music NOT for films which perhaps will emerge in some form, either on stage or on digital media, in 2013.