Dreams of Life

I recently came across two films worth mentioning here. Transes follows the Moroccan group Nass el Ghiwane during a tour in the early 1980s. Nass performs Moraccan chaabi music influenced by the heavily hypnotic Gnawa genre, hence the titular “trances.” They play with the frenetic energy of early Stones to their rapturous crowds. Director Ahmed El Maanouni captures spectacular live performances […]

ART/4/LIFE: #7 – Vincent Moon

I’ve followed Vincent Moon’s films since the nascent days of YouTube. It’s near impossible to overstate how important his Take Away Shows with La Blogothèque have been for filmed music in the 21st century. Today you’ll find countless imitators of his style: long, uninterrupted shots that float between brutal closeups of the performers and curious […]

The Influence of Place

Inuksuit, University of Richmond, 2013 This wonderful piece by John Luther Adams shows how twenty-five years in Alaska have shaped his music and life. Adams details his quaint studio on a plot outside of Fairbanks. The shelves inside survey his development: musical writings by Henry Cowell, John Cage, and his mentor, Lou Harrison, scores by Stravinsky and […]