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Music of the World


Directors: Dave Davidson & Amber Edwards

What does it take to keep Jazz Age music going strong in the 21st century? Two words: Vince Giordano -- a bandleader, musician, historian, scholar, collector, and NYC institution. For nearly 40 years, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks have brought the joyful syncopation of the 1920s and '30s to life with their virtuosity, vintage musical instruments, and more than 60,000 period band arrangements. This beautifully crafted documentary offers an intimate and energetic portrait of a truly devoted musician and preservationist, taking us behind the scenes of the recording of HBO's Grammy award-winning Boardwalk Empire soundtrack, and alongside Giordano as he shares his passion for hot jazz with a new generation of music and swing-dance fans. - Jacob Burns Film Center

DVD / 2016 / 90 minutes

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Director: Robert Fantinatto and Jason Amm

I Dream of Wires is a documentary about the rise, fall and rebirth of the machine that shaped electronic music: the modular synthesizer. The film explores the synthesizer's remarkable history, revealing how innovators like Robert Moog, working at Columbia University's Computer Music Center, helped built the foundation for the machine. It shows how cheap foreign imports destroyed the synthesizer's reputation. And it tracks the phenomenal resurgence of high end modular synthesizers being used by a new generation of musicians, many of them the progenitors of the electronic dance music genre.

Inventors, musicians and enthusiasts are interviewed about their relationship with the modular synthesizer - for many, it's an all-consuming passion. Established musicians such as Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Gary Numan, Morton Subotnick, Carl Craig and John Foxx show off their systems and explain why they opt to use this volatile but ultimately rewarding technology.

Meanwhile, a new generation of dance and electronica artists including Clark, James Holden and Factory Floor explain why they've embraced the sound and physicality of modular synthesizers. Innovative companies like Modcan and Doepfer, driven by a desire to revive modular synthesizers, discuss how they planted the seeds that have grown into a major cottage industry. What started out as a "vintage-revival scene" in the '90s has evolved into an underground phenomena, with users and aficionados craving ever more wild and innovative sounds and interfaces.

Today, the modular synthesizer is no longer an esoteric curiosity or even a mere music instrument - it is an essential tool for radical new sounds and a bona-fide subculture.

DVD / 2015 / 96 minutes

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A lively look at the world around us

This is the place to explore the latest groundbreaking ideas that will change the world we live in. Entertaining and thought-provoking, Dara O Briain's Science Club combines lively studio discussions featuring some of the world's most eminent scientists, with exciting experiments, studio demonstrations and film reports of cutting-edge science stories. Science Club explores the ideas that are transforming our lives and our understanding of the world.

Note: This BBC production not available in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, USA, Canada.

DVD / 2013 / 50 minutes

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Director: Allan Miller

Robert Mann has been a vital force in the world of music for more than seventy years. As founder and first violinist of the Julliard String Quartet, and as a soloist, composer, teacher, and conductor, Mann has brought a refreshing sense of adventure and discovery to chamber music performance, master classes, and orchestral performances worldwide.

In Speak the Music, the 93-year-old Mann shares personal anecdotes from his childhood and musical training, archival performance footage, candid interviews and glimpses into his private lessons with today's most promising violinists. A living legend, Robert Mann is in turn, funny, angry, tactful, persistent, and always searching for the most human expression he finds inside the music. Speak the Music pulls no punches: Mann describes the dark side of quartet life, including often intense differences with colleagues.

Featuring rare rehearsal and dazzling performance excerpts from Mann's 50 years with the Juilliard String Quartet, Speak the Music is at once an exciting insight into the art and personality of a monumental chamber musician, and the story of the growing importance of chamber music in the second half of the 20th century.

Featuring: Elliott Carter, Stephen Hough, pianist; Joel Krosnick, cellist; Maestro Seiji Ozawa; violinist, Itzhak Perlman; Nicholas Mann, Lisa Mann Matos, Lucy Rowan Mann; Dean Robert Yekovich, Rice Institute of Music; Peter Winograd, violinist; David Geber, cellist; Maria Lambros, violist.

DVD / 2013 / 56 minutes

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Director: Whitney Dow

In Haiti, there is one band that has seen it all: Septentrional. For six decades this 20 piece band has been making passionate, beautiful music - a fusion of Cuban big band and Haitian voodoo beats - through dictatorships, natural disasters, coup d'etats, and chaos, navigating the ups and downs, the glory and the tragedy that is Haiti's history.

When the Drum Is Beating interweaves the extraordinary story of Septentrional with that of Haiti: from the brutality of French colonialism and the bloody revolution that brought Haitians their freedom, to the crushing foreign debt and the 15 year American occupation that ushered in the brutal dictatorship of Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. We see the hope that was created by Jean Bertrand Aristide, and the despair that followed after he was driven from power. And we are there as Haiti endures an earthquake that kills almost 300,000 people and tears apart the social fabric of the country.

Through its sweeping narrative, infectious music and tension-filled encounters, the film allows the viewer to see, feel and hear the passion, commitment and joy of Septentrional's musicians, and through them, the unique Haitian spirit.

DVD (English, Creole, With English subtitles) / 2011 / 84 minutes

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Recorded live on stage on the eve of one of the world's greatest sporting events, The 3 Tenors in Concert 1994 re-unites four of classical music's premiere and most popular talents. The legendary tenors Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, together with conductor Zubin Mehta, celebrated the finale to soccer's 1994 World Cup with a concert described as "probably the biggest single musical event in history".

Brought together for the 1990 World Cup in Italy, The 3 Tenors and Mehta joined forces again, this time in Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium on July 16th 1994 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus, to perform a selection of operatic arias and international favorites specially orchestrated by composer/arranger Lalo Schifrin. The result is an outstanding program, reflecting a unique event, featuring three legendary performers who share a united passion for opera and soccer.

DVD (Region 1, Color) / 2010 / 112 minutes

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'Singer of the World' began in 1983 to celebrate the opening of St David's Hall in Cardiff. Watched by eight million viewers worldwide, it is generally regarded as the world's leading vocal competition, having launched a host of stars in their opera career.

In 1989 a Lieder Prize (now called the Song Prize) was introduced, the same year that featured the legendary 'Battle of the Baritones', with Bryn Terfel winning the Lieder Prize and Dmitri Hvorostovsky taking the overall title.

This DVD celebrates the rich harvest of talent in the first 20 years of the BBC 'Singer of the World' competition in Cardiff, from the first winner, Karita Mattila, to 2001 winner of both prizes, Marius Brenciu. Featured in this 2-DVD set are finale performances of all the competition winners, the complete final recitals of the Song Prize winners, The Battle of the Baritones Bryn Terfel and Dmitri Hvorostovsky 'stand-off' in 1989 and the history of 'Singer of the World' which includes historic material, unique highlights and interviews with participants, producers and accompanists.

DVD 1 (170 minutes)
Performances of all ten competition winners Karita Mattila, David Malis, Valeria Esposito, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Lisa Gasteen, Inger Dam-Jensen, Katarina Karneus, Guang Yang, Anja Harteros and Marius Brenciu.

DVD 2 (90 minutes)
  • "20 years BBC 'Singer of the Worldi' in Cardiff" - A lively documentary celebrating the origins, joys and woes, anecdotes and background of this famous event, including historic material, unique highlights and interviews with winners, participants,producers, opera houses and accompanists.
  • "Lieder Prize Winners" - Presents winning recitals of all Lieder (Song) Prize-winners, including Bryn Terfel, the first recipient and Marius Brenciu, the first to win both prizes!
  • "The Battle of the Baritones" - Looks back at the competition in 1989 and the 'dramatic stand-off' between Bryn Terfel and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

  • 2 DVDs (Color) / 2009 / 295 minutes

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    Filmed on the River Thames WITH the English Concert DIRECTED BY Andrew Manze

    The renowned London biographer Peter Ackroyd narrates the ambitious attempt of a team of historical experts to discover the remarkable story behind the 1717 premiere of Handel's Water Music on the Thames. The result is the second-ever performance on the river, filmed in costume on a regal-style period barge against the backdrop of the present-day Thames from Whitehall to Chelsea. Includes performances by The English Concert of favourite movements from the F major and D major Suites.

    DVD (Color, With French, Spanish Subtitles) / 2009 / 78 minutes

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    Ordo Virtutum
    The Ritual of the Virtuesis the oldest surviving European music-drama, and the greatest musical work by the visionary mystic, Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179).

    Hildegard left a treasury of writings and music expressing the passionate intensity of her mystical experiences. Her profound knowledge seemed to come directly from a source of wisdom deeper than learning and tradition, finding its expression through the symbolism of medieval Christendom. She tells us that the spirit and the world are not separate but intertwined, and that spirituality and worldliness do not have to be separate either.

    Although she lived almost her entire life as a cloistered nun, she was deeply involved with the world on many levels - observing, writing, preaching and organizing a community. Through her many writings, she tells us that help is always at hand, both from the world we know with our senses, and from the world we discover through our hearts and intuition.

    2 DVDs (Color) / 2008 / 250 minutes

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    Director: Rick Minnich

    In the 1800s a scrappy group of Scotch-Irish immigrants settled in the Ozark Mountains of Southwestern Missouri. Stereotyped as poor, lawless degenerates, these isolated hill folk over time became the butt of countless jokes and earned themselves the name "hillbillies."

    This enjoyable documentary captures the rich and wonderful sounds of "hillbilly" music by following three families of modern-day hillbillies back to the roots of their music-making heritage. Leading the pack is singer/songwriter Mark Bilyeu from the band Big Smith, who have been delighting audiences around the world with their foot-stompin' repertoire of songs, including some passed down through generations- twisted tales of moonshining and adultery alongside heartfelt stories of faith and life.

    Sumptuously shot on Super 16 film and embellished by old photos and archival footage, HOMEMADE HILLBILLY JAM is both a celebration of modern-day hill folk and a vivid reminder of their hellraising, bootlegging ancestors - all in all a salute to the hillbilly spirit, which refuses to die.

    DVD / 2007 / 80 minutes

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    By Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

    This narrated DVD explores the sacred music, dance and rituals of devidasis and devidasas, women and men dedicated to the goddess Renuka/Yellamma. Worshipped by millions of devotees in the border regions of southern Maharashtra, northern Karnataka, and adjacent areas of India, this fertility goddess is best known through media representations and social activism protesting practices linked to sexuality and prostitution. Her musical and social traditions have parallels in the devadasi (women dedicated to male deities) system in Tamilnadu before its reform and classicization in the early twentieth century.

    The DVD attempts to balance the typically negative representations of the tradition, which tend to focus on controversial practices and to exclude the unique musical forms essential to the worship of the goddess Renuka/Yellamma. "Fictive documentary" techniques employed include the autobiographical voice of the Goddess, who reflects on elements of her own varied histories and some of the practices of her followers, and the voice of her son Parasuram. Virtuosic performances by women and men practitioners (jogtas and jogappas, including transgenders) are featured in ensembles including the chaundke, a one-stringed variable-tension 'plucked drum' believed to have first been fashioned by Parasuram from a demon's skull. These musical ritualists are necessary for calendrical festivals shown in the video such as pilgrimage during Rande Purnima ("Widows' Full Moon"), when the goddess and her devidasis are temporarily widowed, processions in the "Baby-Dropping Ritual", and for biweekly mendicancy rounds and oracle rituals. Police threats to confiscate musical instruments, and protest songs sung within the tradition against the dedication of children, attest to contemporary conflicts surrounding the goddess and her music, the endangerment of her chaundke, and the human rights issues at stake.

    DVD / 2007 /

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    Director: Dean Budnick

    Wetlands was one of the hottest venues for underground music in New York City. This former Chinese food warehouse just south of the Holland Tunnel hosted the latest upand- coming artists in every musical genre. But it was more than just a rock and roll joint - it was also the first 'activist nightclub', a place as devoted to environmental and political issues as it was to partying and great music. This entertaining and insightful documentary tracks the history of Wetlands, featuring interviews and concert footage with artists like Dave Matthews, Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band), Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Phish, and Blues Traveler.

    DVD / 2007 / 96 minutes

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    Trace the history of popular music through its various stages and learn what influence it had upon American culture.

    Learning Objectives
    1) American pop music will be understood as a legitimate medium for expression.
    2) The student will be able to identify ethnic dance, folk, blues, swing, R&B, country, rockabilly, Motown, British Invasion, and rap music styles.
    3) Pop music will be portrayed as being more than a symptom of 'youthful rebellion.'

    DVD / 2005 / 60 minutes

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    Starring: Christine Schafer, Anna Korondi

    Conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. A fantastic concert celebrating the coming of Christmas, recorded live at the Kloster Melk Benedictine Monastery in Austria. The musical selections are: Cantata BWV 61, "Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland" ("Come Redeemer of the Gentiles"), Cantata BWV 147, "Herz und Mund" ("Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life"), and Magnificat in D Major BWV 243. Soloists are Christine Schafer, Anna Korondi, Bernarda Fink, Ian Bostridge, Christopher Maltman. With the Concentus Musicus Vienna and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir.

    DVD (Region 1, Color) / 2003 / 81 minutes

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    This wonderful video features performances by British and Irish choirs and soloists taped in the majestic cathedrals of Westminster in London, St. Patrick's in Dublin, Wells in Somerset, and St. Nicholas in Galway. It is a visual delight featuring the most ancient, traditional, and contemporary carols.

    DVD (Color) / 2003 / 90 minutes

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    Artist: Modern Jazz Quartet

    The Modern Jazz Quartet traces its origins to Dizzy Gillespie and his bebop big band. Filmed live in Germany, pianist and composer John Lewis, bassist Percy Heath, vibraphonist extraordinaire Milt Jackson and drummer Micky Roker (subbing for Connie Kay) perform in this unforgettable performance that defines the dignity of jazz.

    Songs include:
  • Sketch
  • Alexander's Fugue
  • A Day in Dubrovnik
  • Adagio from Concierto de Aranjues and more.

  • DVD / 58 minutes

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    Artist: Adrian Legg

    Adrian Legg takes an in-depth look at some of the more intriguing open tunings for acoustic guitar plus a variety of trailblazing effects. "Frailing" for guitar, Celtic-style playing, DADGAD tuning, open G tuning, dynamics, attack, advanced hammer and pull techniques, and even Scottish bagpipe effects, make this DVD an exceptionally rewarding lesson from a British guitar master.


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    Helmuth Rilling conducts, and also plays the organ, as he examines J.S. Bach's greatest sacred music, with excerpts from Bach's organ chorales, oratorios, passions and cantatas on the life of Jesus Christ.

    DVD (Region 1, Color) / 58 minutes

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    This South Bank Show presentation profiles David Helfgott, the Australian classical pianist whose extraordinary life-story inspired the Oscar-winning film Shine. Following the huge success of Shine, David Helfgott has returned to the concert platform where his performances have thrilled audiences. This program captures the energy and enthusiasm generated by this warm, humorous man and contains over 40 minutes of extra concert footage from David Helfgott in Concert, Nottingham, that was not broadcast as part of the original London Weekend Television South Bank Show.

    DVD (Region 1, Color) / 95 minutes

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