Rhys Chatham made his Nonesuch debut last month with the release of A Crimson Grail, featuring the 200-guitar version recorded at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. The New York Times says: "It might justly be considered 'music to pray to.’” Now you can experience that music through a short film set to music from the album, shot on rolls of expired, unexposed Kodachrome Super 8mm film. Watch it here.
Rhys Chatham, recently described as a "'new music' god" by the New York Daily News, made his Nonesuch debut last month with the release of A Crimson Grail, featuring the outdoor version of the piece for 200 guitarists, 16 bassists, five conductors, and one percussionist, recorded at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. The BBC called it "a remarkable, engrossing work" that "achieves an immersive, exultant sense of the sublime." The New York Times says: "It might justly be considered 'music to pray to.’”
Now you can experience that music in a new way, through a short film set to music from the album. Director Steve Lippman, aka Flip, uses three excerpts from A Crimson Grail as the score to this short, experimental film, he and his DP, David Teague, shot on rolls of expired, unexposed Kodachrome Super 8mm film, adding in some new cartridges of Color & B&W Ektachrome, limited to only nine cartridges total.
"The goal was to embrace the unknown, highlight the decayed textures and grain, and collage it to the hypnotic music," Lippman explains. "To take things further, I used double-image overlays, roll-outs, telecine rewinds, transfer-gate misalignments, and anything else that felt organic to this micro-budget experiment. What emerged from the "limitations" was beauty, and a tribute to the tactile possibilities of Super 8mm film past and present."
Watch it here:
Chatham is currently in Cadiz, Spain, this weekend for Muestra Internacional de Música, and perfoms his Guitar Trio on Monday. Next weekend, he returns to New York's cutting-edge cultural space The Kitchen, of which he was the first music curator in the 1970s, for two nights of multimedia events with artist Angie Eng, drummer Kevin Shea, and electric bassist David Sims. The musicians will accompany Eng's real-time generated projected imagery of hand-manipulated objects and video footage depicting abstracted spiritual symbols and cultural rituals that recreate what Chatham describes as an "enigmatic cinema of flickers, jump cuts, and flying objects all too human too ignore." For more information, visit thekitchen.org.