Big Ears Festival adds film portion curated by Jim Jarmusch and Michael Gira, scores by Demdike Stare, Bill Frisell & more
photo: Michael Gira in Chicago last month (more by James Richards IV)
The upcoming Big Ears Festival happening March 27-29 in Knoxville, TN, has been expanded once again. Like in past years, the festival will include a film portion, and a selection of that has been curated by filmmaker/musician Jim Jarmusch and Michael Gira, whose respective bands SQURL and Swans were already on the lineup. Like they just did In NYC, Jarmusch’s band SQURL will perform scores to Man Ray’s silent films. Here’s more:
SQÜRL, film director Jim Jarmusch’s band with drummer Carter Logan, will perform music that they wrote for several silent films from the 1930s by the legendary surrealist Man Ray. This project was premiered in late February in New York as part of WNYC’s Silent Films, Live Scores program. SQÜRL, joined by lute virtuoso Jozef Van Wissem, also performed the score for Jarmusch’s most recent film, Only Lovers Left Alive.
The occult electronic duo Demdike Stare will perform their re-scoring of 1922 silent Swedish/Danish documentary / horror classic, HÄXAN, Witchcraft Through the Ages. Technically filmed as a documentary about how superstition and the misunderstanding of disease and mental illness could lead to witch hunts, its dramatized sequences push it into the realm of horror films. It was originally banned in the United States.
Rounding out the Big Ears film programs for 2015, indie director Jim Jarmusch and Swans founder and leader Michael Gira have collaborated with the Criterion Film Collection in curating a program of select films, which will be screened on Sunday at Regal Entertainment Group’s downtown Riviera Cineplex. Jarmusch’s program is “Three in Black and White,” an international triptych featuring Satayajit Ray’s The Music Room, Aki Kaurismäki’s La Vie de Bohéme, and Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg. Gira has selected a single film: the cult classic Eraserhead, David Lynch’s groundbreaking feature film debut.
There will be a Bill Morrison retrospective too, during which jazz guitarist Bill Frisell‘s quartet performing Frisell’s live score to Morrison’s The Great Flood (like he did at MoMA last year).
These additions join Swans, tUnE-yArDs, Silver Apples, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Ben Frost and more. Festival passes are still available.
Updated lineup below…
Big Ears Festival 2015 Lineup
Kronos Quartet presents The Music of Terry Riley, featuring The Cusp of Magic with Wu Man
Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet “Landfall”
Terry Riley with Gyan Riley & Tracy Silverman
Tyondai Braxton: HIVE
Max Richter: The Blue Notebooks and Infra featuring American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Max Richter: Vivaldi Recomposed and The Leftovers featuring The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and
American Contemporary Music Ensemble
The Bad Plus: “On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring”
Kronos Quartet: Folk Songs with Rhiannon Giddens & Sam Amidon
Bill Frisell & Bill Morrison: The Great Flood
Kronos Quartet: 40 Canons with Bryce Dessner
Kronos Quartet: Tundra Songs with Tanya Tagaq
Kronos Quartet: “Views from Here to the Heavens (for Scott Fraser)” with Nels Cline
Nels Cline & Norton Wisdom: Stained Radiance
Demdike Stare: HÄXAN: Witchcraft Through The Ages re-scored
SQÜRL: Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan, and Shane Stoneback
SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan): Live Score with Man Ray Films
Tyondai Braxton: DJ Set
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Harold Budd & Keith Lowe
William Tyler: “Corduroy Roads”
Jozef Van Wissem
Bing & Ruth