Ars Nova Workshop presents the New Paths Festival: On Film
Rising Tones Cross
dir. Ebba Jahn, 1984, DVD, English, color, 111 min.
In preparation for the New Paths Festival, Ars Nova Workshop is proud to present a day of documentary films at International House. These three films turn the lens on musicians, but keep the camera rolling after the performance ends. The result is three visually arresting views into the creation process of jazz and improvised music, exposing both the quotidian struggles of life as a working musician and the rich anecdotal histories of these musicians. These films are artistic endeavors in themselves, but also exist as historical documents of the development of the avant-garde over the last forty years.
New Paths Festival has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Ebba Jahn's 1984 study of the New York City avant-garde jazz scene combines interviews, performances, and stunning visuals of a city that has made a name for itself as a nexus of creativity for decades. Predominately featuring Charles Gayle and Peter Kowald as they play improvised music in essentially improvised spaces throughout the city and at the Sound Unity Festival, the predecessor of the Vision Festival, Jahn's direction juxtaposes the vibrant, frenetic development of avant-garde jazz with the gritty, pre-Giuliani face of New York City. Thirty years later, the film's romantic approach makes it “a nostalgia piece for some, a valuable historical document for others” (All About Jazz). Interviews and performances also include William and Patricia Parker, John Zorn, Billy Bang, Don Cherry, John Zorn, Peter Brötzmann, Irene Schweizer, Rüdiger Carl, Charles Tyler, and others.