Music and film have always had a familial relationship. They both are major forms of art and sometimes a film’s score can be just as good as the film itself. What if both mediums came together in a live presentation? The online discovery magazine, event coordinator, and artist networking platform SquarePop is striving to answer that question this Saturday (January 14) as the first annual Providence Live Film Score Festival takes place at AS220. It’ll be an evening of limitless artistic expression and improvisation as a varied assortment of bands and musicians take the stage playing to films of their choosing.
“I suppose the name ‘first annual Providence Live Film Score Festival’ is a bit off because it’s not really a new idea,” SquarePop owner and co-editor Joe Berthiaume tells Vanyaland. “It’s just something awesome that I haven’t seen in awhile. Frank Difficult was definitely a big inspiration for me putting this together. He does an awesome show around Halloween with a few scores. I also just found out that the Dirt Palace in Olneyville used to score films too, so there’s some history to a film score scene in Providence and I just wanted to add to it.”
Berthiaume’s excitement and vision extends far beyond this weekend’s event.
“I’d love to work with all of these folks,” he adds, “including the Arkham Film Society next year, to help the event grow. For this AS220 series I wanted to put together something that was open to any genre of film and music. Artists could pick almost anything they wanted but most of them took the time to either collaborate with a filmmaker or create their own video from scratch. The only requirements was that each film be under 13 minutes and performed with a minimal set up for gear to save space. I am absolutely floored with the quality of video content I have received from these artists and I’m absolutely ecstatic to see it all come together with music on Saturday.”
Jeremy Joubert, known for his work with the psych-rock act Tapestries, will be kicking the festival off while making some serious noise to a film made by Rhode Island School of Design graduate Daniel Hewson. Experimental rock act Rope Trick will be shredding to the 1962 Orson Welles film The Trial that’s based off the book of the same name written by Franz Kafka. The weird prog of Baylies Band will be taking over while performing to home movies taken from the one of World’s Fairs that took place during the 1960s. Snowbeasts and their abstract synth sounds will be scoring an original film and the same will be going for Lowell avant-grade act Egregoros as well. Electro duo Twin Goat will be doing a score to the 1977 short film One Hundred Watts 120 Volts and synth artist John Trudeau will be performing to a film that has yet to be announced.
Andrew Shoemaker from the electronic act Switzerland Kicks will be making music to the original film Scenes and Dreams while Bryan Culkin from the Fitchburg label Landline Tapes will be creating sounds to go along with the 1903 film The Great Train Robbery.
Ambient act Tarot Sync will be live scoring an original film by Marinah Janello and Dog Hospice will also be performing to an unnamed film. Berthiaume will actually be taking part in the festivities himself as he’ll be joined by Corey Farrenkopf and Gabrielle Griffis to score the 1908 film The Haunted House that’ll also be featuring custom narration. Harsh electro act This Is Not Okay will be performing to the original film Bleeding Notion and orchestral pop artist Orion Rigel Dommisse will be finishing the night off with John-Paul Sullivan while scoring the 1978 film Make Me Psychic.
The first annual Providence Live Film Score Festival promises to bring a wide array of visual and musical talents. This will also be happening in different areas of AS220’s performance space so be prepared to do a lot of moving around. Hopefully Berthiaume will achieve his goal with getting more people from Providence’s film community involved in the future. From the looks of it, the initial edition of the festival shows that he’s on the right track.
For updated information and programming, check in with the Providence Live Film Score Festival’s Facebook event page. Featured photo of Baylies Band by Jessica Pohl at Jimmy’s Saloon in Newport, Rhode Island.