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Exclusive premiere: Hilary Hahn & Hauschka “Bounce Bounce”

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Grammy winning American violinist, Hilary Hahn, and German modernist composer, Hauschka (a.k.a. Volker Bertelmann) met in Iceland to  combine their genius at a place where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates collide. The result is the collaborative album “Silfra,” which features Hahn’s acclaimed talents (she’s been hailed as one the greatest violinists in the world) and Hauschka’s prepared piano — internally transformed by gaffers tape, bottle tops, bells and all manner of found odds and ends — which create mini rhythm sections within the classic instrument as he plays it.

It’s music to be inspired by, and stop-motion animator and director Hayley Morris‘ video certainly was. It’s her creations and this handmade underwater wonderland with “Bounce Bounce” as it’s score that I most fell in love with. “I really wanted to capture the energetic and spontaneous feeling of the song itself, and honor the collaboration between Hilary Hahn and Hauschka,” Morris told us. “When Hauschka performs he takes different recognizable objects and places them into his piano to alter the sound. I wanted to take the same approach as the music’s creation and have the materials themselves create a narrative and look.”

 

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Morris found her materials hidden in drawers at antique stores and pining for her life giving touch in bins at flea markets around her Brooklyn neighborhood. Crocheted doilies turned into coral creatures. Scraps of fabric formed into two crabs fighting over a wayward snail, and flamboyant starfish dancing with/dueling over a found morsel. The rest of the world was rendered in paper mache, knitting and other hand made brilliance. A wooden bird was born of driftwood she collected over the years.

“For each scene I animated about 10 objects at once frame by frame including the shadows that move across the shot,” Morris emphasized. “I like my work to be tactile and textured and for my art work to pick up the light in interesting ways.” She used no computer effects whatsoever, but created her own. She added atmosphere by shooting glitter floating in water which when applied to the final cut, create depth and little twinkly floaties that occasionally catch the eye.

Morris thought there was a tidal feeling to the song and gave her own adorable take on it. “When I first heard the song I immediately thought of tide pools. Every summer I would go to the coast of Maine and I was always fascinated by the miniature worlds I could find,” she said. “There are so many different creatures and plants compacted into such a small space and I thought it would be an interesting environment to focus on… . It’s timing and feeling is constantly changing and I felt I could choreograph the underwater world beautifully to the song.”

Hahn & Hauschka’s “Silfra,” which is also the name of the rift near Reykjavik (a diver’s paradise) where those two tectonic plates meet, will be released May 22nd on Deutsche Grammophone.

Feel like dancing with starfish now? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

Exclusive premiere: Imaginary Cities “Calm Before The Storm”

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Imaginary Cities’ gloriously soulful pop comes a bit surprisingly from Winnipeg, Canada. From the meeting of Marti Sarbit (the girl) and Rusty Matyas (the boy), their debut album, “Temporary Resident” dropped in just last month and seems to have a long lease. This simple, yet dark and stormy torrent of mood lighting and reflections, “Calm Before The Storm,” was shot by the same director, Chris Mills, who did the video for the title track.

“One thing I love about living in the prairies is the extreme weather. Particularly the intense summer thunderstorms we can get,” Matyas told us. “Chris Mills arrived in Winnipeg on the eve of the shoot [for “Temporary Resident”] and there happened to be one of said storms passing through. He drove around the city testing out a new camera he recently acquired. The next day when the video shoot for ‘Temporary Resident’ was done, he asked Marti and myself to simply and quickly sing ‘Calm Before the Storm’ while looking directly into the camera. A few months later he handed us this video.”

Who knew Winnipeg was so dramatic? “I feel it’s mood captures the mysterious essence of the song and our beloved city perfectly,” Matyas added. “The result is somehow soothing and unnerving all at once.”

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Exclusive: Death Cab for Cutie & The Magik*Magik Orchestra Tour Trailer #4

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Last week we stepped into Ben Gibbard’s shoes for a moment with a peek behind the scenes of the Death Cab/Magik*Magik tour, as clips leaked out to us from director Justin Mitchell.

This is the final clip we have from the ongoing tour, which takes you right into a climactic moment of the show — some moment of ecstasy conjured by the harmony between these two west coast forces.

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There are a few open dates left on the last leg of the tour for you to experience it all for yourself. Remaining tour dates:

5/1 – Knoxville, TN @ Tennessee Theatre *
5/3 – Dallas, TX @ McFarlin Memorial Auditorium *
5/4 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater * – SOLD OUT
5/6 – Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Arts Center – Ikeda Theater *
5/7 – Los Angeles, CA @ Walt Disney Concert Hall * – SOLD OUT
5/8 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater * – SOLD OUT
5/9 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater * – SOLD OUT
5/10 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater *
5/11 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall *
5/13 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount Theatre *

*with Youth Lagoon

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