|9:00PM||Film begins with live performances by the Quavers and yMUSIC throughout the documentary|
John Street and the East River
Pier 15, East River Esplanade, New York, NY 10006
2 or 3 to Wall Street
Rooftop and River to River present Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green, teaming up with two local musical outfits, the Quavers and yMusic, to create a night of outdoor music and live cinema.
Love Letter to the Fog / The Biggest-Smallest (Sam Green | USA | 60 min.)
Sam Green first showed a film with Rooftop in 2000, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2004 for his documentary The Weather Underground. In recent years, Green has explored the intersection of film and performance through “live documentary”; Green narrates a film in person and cues images onto a screen while a band plays a live soundtrack.
As part of this program, Green will screen two new pieces: Love Letter to the Fog, a meditation on fog, grief, and the sublime in San Francisco; as well as The Biggest- Smallest, a series of portraits of record-holding people, places and things — a poem about fate and the outer contours of human experience. The two pieces will be accompanied by live music from The Quavers (plus Brendan Canty from Fugazi and Matt Bauder) and yMusic. Green’s documentaries are naturally intimate, with moments of delicate comedy and thought-provoking insights.
The performance is a follow-up to Green's internationally-acclaimed live film The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, a collaboration with the band Yo La Tengo, and his film Utopia in Four Movements, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
About Utopia in Four Movements:
“A brilliantly witty, but also moving meditation on our loss of faith in the dream of progress. Completely original a new form of live story-telling. I loved it.”
— Adam Curtis (Director, “The Power Of Nightmares”)
“Every performance of Utopia in Four Movements is a collective experience, and a singular one, with the potential for human error and human connection.”
— The Sundance Channel
Both of these new works feature the same unique combination of film clips and live music, as Green's in-person cinematic narration draws inspiration equally from old travelogues, the Benshi tradition, and TED talks. This free, one-time-only event is sure to be unique and unforgettable.
The Quavers are T. Griffin, Catherine McRae and Dennis Cronin. They are based in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
In 1995 T. Griffin and Catherine McRae played one 40 minute set at Minneapolis' Uptown Bar. Afterwards Catherine went back to college and Griffin moved to New York to pursue an acting career.
In 1999 T. Griffin recorded the critically acclaimed Tortuga, on a cassette 4-track and a Power Mac 7600. On New Years day, 2000 he ran into McRae on 9th street and Avenue A. She began joining him every once in a while for his New York shows and played some violin on 2001's Light In The Aisles.
By 2002 they had begun working out an increasingly intricate live show based around guitar, violin, footpedal loopers and two cheap samplers. The Sea Won't Take Long was recorded in a basement down by Brooklyn's Gowanus canal that had served as a flophouse for Latvian sailors. It was released under the moniker T. Griffin Coraline, and Griffin and McRae toured extensively, crossing the US and playing in Europe and The UK, including shows backing Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine. This was their first recording featuring Montreal-based drummer Bruce Cawdron.
They also began playing regularly with ex-Lambchop multi-instrumentalist and Vitamin-D leader Dennis Cronin, who they met through Vic Chesnutt. Cronin adds trumpet, lap-steel, and vibraphone to the band's layered sound. 2007's Lit By Your Phone was written on tour and recorded with only the instruments they could fit in the trunk of the Saturn they traveled in. It was the first recording under the band name The Quavers.
In 2009 Griffin joined the band that Vic Chesnutt put together to support two large-canvas records he had made in Montreal for Constellation records, and which Griffin contributed to. The band included members of Fugazi and Godspeed You! Black Emperor and toured the US and Canada in late 2009 with Griffin on baritone guitar and electronics. A European tour was in the planning stages when Chesnutt died that winter.
As a sideline to songwriting and playing with The Quavers, Griffin has built a strong reputation as a sonically adventurous film composer. He won a coveted fellowship to the Sundance Composers™ lab in 2008 and has twice been nominated for Cinema Eye Honors. He has steadily turned out distinctively atomospheric scores for narrative and documentary films, many going into wide independent release. His score for A Walk Into The Sea was released in 2008. Shiny Little Records is currently planning to release more of his soundtrack music in 2013.
While McRae and Cronin regularly turn up as players on those scores, they had never collaborated on one until academy-award nominated director Sam Green (The Weather Underground) asked them if they would join him in an experimental live documentary which he was planning for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Narrated live by Green, with music composed by, and played live by The Quavers, Utopia in Four Movements was a hit, playing shows all over the world from 2010 until early 2012, concluding with a tour of rural Turkey.
With the release of Fell Asleep on a Train, The Quavers have pulled all of these strands of activity and history to the service of some of Griffin's most expansive, allusive and intimate songs.
yMusic is a sextet of young performers who overlap classical and pop music worlds. Hailed by NPR‘s Fred Child as “one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music,” the group plays a unique combination of instruments: string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet. This orchestration has inspired an expanding repertoire of works by some of today’s most important artists including indie rock luminaries Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), who have crafted instrumental works specifically for the ensemble. yMusic’s debut album, Beautiful Mechanical, was recently named Time Out New York‘s #1 Classical Record of 2011.
yMusic also serves as a ready-made collaborative unit for bands and songwriters, launching projects with Dirty Projectors, Gabriel Kahane, and Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire. These affiliations have brought yMusic to prominent stages around the world. yMusic can be heard on a forthcoming record of compositions by Richard Reed Parry.