Our Chicago premiere and a jazzy new 78 from Adam Levy & Gaby Moreno

Our excitement is growing as August gets closer. Especially now that it will bring our Chicago premiere! The 78 Project Movie will screen on August 16th and 17th at Chicago’s Music Box Theater as part of its Summer Music Film Festival.

Tickets are available now. And we’ll be there for a Q&A at both screenings, if you’d like to say hello. Or sit next to us. We’d love that.

Music Box Theater
Summer Music Film Festival
August 16 & 17, 2014
Chicago, IL
Purchase tickets

On a day when the road was at its most challenging, when long drives, short batteries, fried tubes and a weary Presto threatened to dampen the spirit of our California adventure, Adam Levy and Gaby Moreno righted everything immediately with their unmitigated joy. Their happy collaboration on “After You’ve Gone” turned the trials of the day into the perfect evening to create a perfectly beautiful record.

Sounds of Summer: A screening at the Jacob Burns Film Center and a new 78 from Sea of Bees

Exciting news seems to come with each new day at The 78 Project this summer. We’re overflowing with updates and music to share with you.

This week we’re happy to announce that The 78 Project Movie will screen on August 18 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY as part of their Sounds of Summer series. And we’ll be there to answer questions and swap stories! Tickets are available now through the Jacob Burns Film Center website:

Jacob Burns Film Center
Sounds of Summer
August 18, 2014 7:30 pm
Pleasantville, NY
Purchase tickets

Though her song explores a weighty subject, Sea of Bees is a person of celebratory spirit. Which makes her 78, “In My Time of Dying” – recorded for The 78 Project Movie at her home in Sacramento – feel like the perfect acetate to accompany this happy news.

 

Hear Victoria Williams’ 78 recording of “Take This Hammer” – An exclusive from The 78 Project Movie

As we’ve traveled and shot, edited, finished and started to screen, lived and breathed The 78 Project Movie, just about every day of the process has felt momentous.

The record we cut with Victoria Williams, on the last night of our West Coast road trip, gives a perfect glimpse of one such unforgettable day. Luck and symmetry had helped us find her, and her enthusiasm imbued the evening, and the record, with a magical energy.

Victoria’s 78 recording of “Take This Hammer” is one of the many one-of-a-kind performances that you’ll be able to see when The 78 Project Movie screens this Fall at a theater near you. More on that soon. Until then, listen to the brand new 78 below.

Premiere Night at 78rpm: Listen to Kevin Russell’s “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral” 78, recorded live at SXSW Film

Three weeks and 1,836 miles ago, The 78 Project Movie played for the first time on the big screen. It was the night we would have dreamed of, if we’d dared to, when we first began to edit together the hundreds of hours of footage we shot over the course of that life-changing year. The programmers and staff of SXSW were inspiring, and the hundreds of friends, family and festivalgoers who came to our four screenings showed us, our artists and our film incredible support. We’re so grateful to them.

Today we wanted to bring a piece of the evening to you, in the form of an acetate we cut right there on the SXSW stage at our movie premiere. Kevin Russell is a favorite son of Austin, TX, and we were honored to record him singing the lullaby that he has made a tradition in his family by singing it to each of his three children right after they were born.

Recorded live at the Vimeo Theater during SXSW Film Festival

We’re honored to be invited to show the film at more great festivals, starting in April in a city that has been integral to the film’s very existence, at the Nashville Film Festival. The 78 Project Movie will be showing in the Music Films / Music City Competition. Also in April, The 78 Project Movie will screen at Independent Film Fest Boston. Keep an eye on the festival websites for tickets, and let us know if you’ll be there!

Sign up for our email list in the homepage sidebar to get the latest news on upcoming screenings.  We’ll keep you in the loop.

Pause in Life’s Pleasures: Watch and hear Jubal’s Kin’s “Hard Times” – Recorded Live for One Million Square Feet of Culture in Miami

It was exciting to find Miami pulsing with one big musical heartbeat. It was rapid and strong and kept you moving through the long, warm days and nights of Art Week.The world was in town for Art Basel, and we were invited by IFP to cut a record as part of One Million Square Feet of Culture.

Having driven down from the snowy December of New York, we had a slower, more wintery feeling still pulling at us. And Jubal’s Kin, though they came from only as far north as Orlando, seemed to be feeling that pull, too. Three siblings, singing together, brought the tempo of the air outside down to a gentle, breathless thrum.

We left the Presto on to capture the audience’s applause at the end, the first sound they had dared to make in almost four minutes. They weren’t the only ones, all of Wynwood seemed enraptured for that moment. The planes that had been flying overhead constantly, the car horns that had blared all day, the hard drive of the dozen nearby DJ’s, were quiet for a spell.


Thank you to the tireless, amazing folks at IFP for curating such a beautiful event.

Fairer Than Day: Hear The Secret Sisters’ 78s “In the Sweet By and By” and “Little Again”

The Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ on a warm August day was ethereal, filled with morning light and the excitement of a new record about to be made. The Secret Sisters had a glowing loveliness brighter even than the stained glass as they warmed up to make their 78. While we set up, the girls took out the hymnal and sang their way through it.  They knew every song, and their voices from so many years of praise and practice, were like perfectly tuned church bells ringing from their happiness.

Lydia and Laura were raised in the church at home in Alabama.  So singing a hymn brought back memories of their childhood. But their flipside, “Little Again” is an even more personal tune, sung by the two little girls who grew up together, running in rivers, scraping their knees, and building a sweet sisterly closeness into a lifelong musical bond.

Thank you to the Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ in Nashville for generously letting us in and lending us their beautiful space.

Mary Chapin Carpenter’s 78, A Happy Anniversary, and our Road Trip’s Sweet Nashville Ending

This week is the anniversary of our first road trip to make The 78 Project Movie. Thinking about the year as a whole, there has been such a wonderful symmetry to our experiences. The first and last trips both finished in Tennessee, and each trip has been filled with bright, unexpected moments. It felt this week as if we had truly come full circle, and we wanted to celebrate the first recording from our very first road trip made with the perfect person to set the tone for what would come during the year that followed.

Mary Chapin Carpenter was a headliner at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and she offered to spend the afternoon before her set making a record with us in her tour bus.  The most gracious host that she is, she not only invited us with all of our gear aboard her home away from home, she also let us turn off her air conditioning so that it wouldn’t interfere with the recording and serenely braved the August heat. Mary Chapin’s nature is graceful, and her performance was powerful, a combination that mesmerized and awed us.  She sang “The Water is Wide” with the sure, patient voice and agile finger-picking of a person who has always known a song.

For our last two days recording this week in Nashville, we were thinking so much about how far we’ve traveled and of all the wonderful people we’ve gotten to know.  In part because our last two musicians were so kind and generous, and in part because they all have been.

In Nashville, as in Memphis, we felt cozy and at home.  Infinitely welcoming person that he is, Jim Lauderdale made us feel even more so.  He gave us the run of a beautiful house from the 1890s, and a heartbreakingly gorgeous a capella performance of “Before This Time Another Year”.  It’s no wonder that Jim is a constant collaborator. His musicality is superb, and he himself is the kindest of souls.

We always say that our last day of each trip always brings a wonderful surprise, and it remains true. Each trip as we’ve spent our last afternoon making a record, something magical has occurred, and this last day in Nashville was no different.  The Secret Sisters had arranged for us to meet in the Lindsley Street Church of Christ, and everything about the moment was beautiful. Lovely, real life sisters Laura and Lydia, their fluttery, haunting voices in tight sibling harmony, the light through the stained glass, the sounds dispersing through the air all the way up to the ceiling.  When they sang “In the Sweet By and By” and an original called “Little Again,” they invoked the timeless closeness of family.  And during the giddy playback, they overflowed with the fresh energy of new experiences.

We drove out of Nashville as happy as we could ever be. The end of our last road trip is the beginning of everything that comes next for The 78 Project.  We will edit our movie, continue making our web series, and feel fortunate every day that our work helps to bring many, many more singular one-take recordings to life.

 

Louisiana Bound: Our last road trip to make The 78 Project movie

A Sunday in the Bayou is as perfect as it sounds. Bright sun, fresh eggs from the chickens outside, and music all through the house. We made it to Louisiana!

It’s been an eventful first couple of days on the road, and this trip feels filled with excitement and promise.  We started out with a visit to the Library of Congress Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, VA.  Built into the side of a mountain, the building is a beautiful sight coming up the road.  And inside, it’s filled with treasures. Matt Barton, Brad McCoy, and Bryan Hoffa were kind enough to show us around and demonstrate some of their process. They played us a 7″ shellac disc from 1905 to show us how they capture the sound, and taught us their tried and true trick for centering a disc punched with an off-center hole. It involves a pencil.

Rare recordings and recording gear, and expert archivists working hard to make the material available to the public.  The history of our nation’s recordings are being preserved in Culpeper, and it was inspiring to see the wonderful work that they’re doing. And in fact, about 10,000 of the historical recordings they’ve transferred are available to stream on their National Jukebox.

A quick stop in Lynchburg, VA and the lovely hospitality of some new friends Joan and George recharged our batteries for the long drive to Nashville.  We crossed state lines at the Birthplace of Country Music: Bristol, TN/VA and we took in the sites for a few.  It’s not every town that can lay claim to the first recordings of Jimmie Rogers and The Carter Family as well as count Clarence Ashley, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Uncle Charlie Osborne as one-time residents.  If you find yourself there, might we suggest you eat at Eatz?

 

Nashville was as warm and welcoming as always, and it was wonderful to be there exactly one year to the week since we last came this way. But we couldn’t stay long, we were Louisiana bound!

Since this is our last movie trip, it’s a great opportunity to support The 78 Project. We have vintage Louisiana postcards in hand, ready to mail out to thank you for your generosity. And it won’t be a long journey now from road to screen for the film.  We’d love to see your name in the credits, and to see you in person at a screening. And if you donate to The 78 Project through our fiscal sponsorship with IFP your donation is tax-deductible. Donations we receive now will go to our post-production fund and will be essential in giving the film a beautiful finish!

Donate to The 78 Project

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