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"it sounds like that" she replies pointing to the steel guitarist, "that is the sound of Hawaii.". The story is masterfully told by director Bernard MacMahon, who artfully combines amazing archival footage, still photographs, vintage recordings, old and new interviews. 4. Some of those still exist – Sony had some of them in their vaults"[65] The same care was taken in transferring and restoring the audio pulled from archival film clips, again using techniques and proprietary equipment devised by sound engineer Nicholas Bergh, who specializes in the restoration of audio tracks for the major Hollywood studios. In 1934 Manuel J. Cortez, a radio presenter sees Lydia performing in the Plaza de Zacate and invites her to participate in a talent contest on his radio program. By ordering or viewing, you agree to our Terms. Series of documentaries telling the stories of the pioneers of American roots music. [53] One compilation, American Epic: The Soundtrack, selected musical highlights from the American Epic films and five other compilations collected the best performances by some of the musicians profiled in the films. Marc Lee 14 August 2004 • 00:01 am . This American Dad! I'd get the guitar and I'd [plays softly]. Feedback. Alone with Chrissie Hynde. Kekuku was thought to have never been commercially recorded, but the filmmakers discovered a recording he made in London in 1926 and play it for the gathering who are amazed to hear his steel guitar playing for the first time. "[59] MacMahon was dissatisfied with the contemporary methods of presenting archival film footage in documentaries and innovated a new technique to blend the 4:3 aspect ratio of the 1920s film footage[60] with the 16:9 aspect ratio of his contemporary footage. It's an exquisite representation of the primitive power of American roots music and its enduring charm - music that stirs the soul. S01 E03 Out of the Many, the One ... (TV Episodes, Movies). Find TV episodes, reviews, ratings, lists, and links to watch The American Epic Sessions online on SideReel - The filmmakers, working with engineer Nick Bergh, have meticulously re-assembled the machine that allowed America to first hear itself. Finally, we tracked him down late at night. 8. I grew up in suburban South London, and I remember looking up at the sky at the planes flying over from Heathrow and wondering if they were going to America and wanting to be on one of those planes. All episodes of American Epic. Arena. 3-5, American Epic (documentary) Wald, McGourty, MacMahon 2017, p. 119, American Epic (documentary) Wald, McGourty, MacMahon 2017, p. 1, American Epic (documentary) Wald, McGourty, MacMahon 2017, p. 3, American Epic (documentary) Wald, McGourty, MacMahon 2017, pp. Rate. "[35] Intense research went into ensuring all the archival film clips and stills were from the correct location and time period of each story. The music of the Hopi sounded otherworldly when I first heard it, but after traveling to the Hopi reservation and having the honor of being allowed to film there, I started humming their songs. Travel the country in search of unknown 1920s artists, when the music of ordinary Americans was recorded for the first time, transforming music forever, in a three-part film narrated by Robert Redford, featuring Jack White, Nas, Taj Mahal and others. When they arrived, they did not find anyone who remembered the preacher until they were introduced to Ted Bradley, a town elder who attended Burch's church as a boy in the 1930s. She scratches all of EPIC’s itches: she’s a dietitian, a regenerative ag farmer and she runs the Sustainable Dish podcast and website. MacMahon explained, "As a filmmaker, I'm fascinated by how the eye informs the heart. 1. [35][44] MacMahon summarized the research, stating the "process wasn't all sunshine and smiles—we traveled to beautiful places and met some of the most wonderful people we have ever known, but we also heard stories of poverty and discrimination, of hard times and troubled lives. Miss it at your peril. Catch the final two episodes in the US on May 30th and June 6th at 9pm on PBS (check your local listings). The auditions were open to all the ethnic groups of the United States and the recordings they made gave a voice to everyone and democratized the nation. Blind Willie Johnson My big love is American cinema, especially early American cinema, and I've always been fascinated by that period in the 20s when the technology and artistic language of the film were being invented. At the height of the Roaring Twenties, music scouts set out across America to capture the breadth of American music and discovered the artists that would shape our world. "[24] MacMahon decided to showcase most of the archival music performances in their entirety. With Joe van Riper, Richard Guy Wilson, Kathryn A. Jacob, John Tschirch. [31] This technique was used to match the music with the landscapes that had inspired it. American Epic. Filmmakers Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty have focused on key individuals and archetypal stories, bringing the characters and times to life with great sensitivity and thoroughness. The US border guards would make young Lydia wash her hair in gasoline and, as the family explains, "viewed the Mexicans as a sub-culture and treated them like that." Exploring Hawaiian steel guitar music, Cajun music and Mississippi John Hurt's blues. A choir from the Triumph churches across America descends on the humble South Carolina church where the current pastor, Donnie Chapman, leads the townsfolk, and the choir, in a rafter-raising performance of Elder Burch's hymn "My Heart Keeps Singing". Back then, it was a revolutionary idea. In 1926 the United States Congress propose a bill to ban the snake dance. The trouble we had! This is illustrated by performances by delta blues guitarist Son House, country musician Hank Williams, Nigerian Jùjú musician King Sunny Adé and rock group Pink Floyd, all performing with the steel guitar. His niece Ka'iwa Meyer explains that soon the whole island is swept up by his invention and steel guitars are being played all over the islands. After the performance, the host Pete Seeger, introduces him as Mississippi John Hurt. Episodes 1 & 2 of American Epic are available to watch in full in the US on PBS.org now. He says, "It's been quite a while since I did any of this, and I'm, I'm real happy to be with Y'all. Meatcasters! He explains that when it flies past Jupiter, the spacecraft is accelerated to a speed such that it will never return to the Solar System and will "drift among the stars of the Milky Way galaxy forever. [15] On April 23, 2018, the Focal International Awards nominated American Epic for Best Use of Footage in a History Feature and Best Use of Footage in a Music Production. "[81] Ellie Porter in TVTimes awarded the show 5 stars, calling the series "an absolute treat. [7][36] These had to be found by carefully studying census records and recording ledgers, and by placing adverts in local papers to help locate living family members. The advert resulted in a response from Bill Williamson who knew Justice's daughter, Ernestine Smith. The filmmakers show Kuwanwisiwma never-before-seen footage of the 1926 event at the Capitol and he is visibly distraught to see the Hopi priests performed "the actual private ceremony" of the snake dance in front of thousands of people at the Capitol. It's an approach that really brings the history to life. "[20] Jonathan Webster in Long Live Vinyl wrote, "An Anglo-American team of documentary filmmakers, led by producer Allison McGourty and director Bernard MacMahon, set out on an epic journey to explore the huge variety of folk, rural and rregional music recorded in the United States during the late 1920s, culminating in a magnificent BBC TV series called American Epic"[21] adding "with wins and nominations already earned at various film festivals, including Calgary and Sydney, it's a safe bet American Epic is going to carve a niche in the pantheon of TV's great documentaries. ... Burnett produce a series of recording sessions in tribute to the mostly unknown artists celebrated in the three prior episodes of this PBS documentary series. Get current episodes now and future ones when available. Hopi Indian Chanters ", Overview We had to put the headlights on the door of his shack before we knocked. Check if it is available to stream online via "Where to Watch". American Epic: The First Time America Heard Itself was published on May 2, 2017, by Simon & Schuster. ", "The first time America heard itself sing", "How the record industry crisis of 1925 shaped our musical world", "American Epic - Reviving Record Production's Past", "A Love Letter to America: 'American Epic, "English director, writer, producer and music fan Bernard MacMahon retraces the roots of American music in documentary series American Epic", "PBS Series 'American Epic' Explores Our Musical Roots, With Help From Jack White & T Bone Burnett", "University of Chicago Laboratory Schools announce 9-month educational program based on the "American Epic" films, music and book", "What is American Epic and why was it made? Tour North America determined a comprehensive anthology of the artists he was kind and he kind. Stream the best of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more for $.! 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