Music documentary

Patti Smith and Ben Folds featured in musical documentary “The Sound of Us”

The sound of us, a new music documentary from Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated director and producer Chris Gero, received its first official trailer on Thursday.

The film, which features interviews with Patti Smith, Ben Folds, Jason Mraz, Sarah McLachlan and many more, is set to receive the Movie That Matters Award at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival later this week.

Shot for two months in five countries during the Covid-19 pandemic last year, The sound of us celebrates the power of songwriting and musical performance in times of crisis.

“Like many of us, I’ve struggled to make sense of the division and the division that has started to accelerate insanely over the past year and a half,” said Gero. Rolling stone. “The Covid pandemic, political tensions and social injustice have catapulted me into a continual state of tumbling in the hope that I could somehow take control of it all and get rid of decency and dignity commons that we have lost in one way or another along the way. “

Gero describes a night out last summer when his 11 year old son “brought me up to speed with what’s going on and going on in the world and suggested that I make a film about the kindness of people through. the eyes of music ”.

“It was then that I realized that I had an obligation to him, and to everyone who watches the film, to show that through music, we are all the things we can hope to aspire to as ‘human beings,’ the director said.

Filming an international documentary during a pandemic was not without its challenges: According to Gero, the film was originally intended to feature more prominent musicians and celebrities, but as interviews were repeatedly canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, production has changed Focus on ordinary people who have dedicated their lives to music. George Floyd’s ongoing protests around the world have also affected the film’s perspective on music as a tool for activism and recovery.

“The entire ‘Strange Fruit’ segment with Avery * Sunshine was my direct response to the protests and George Floyd’s murder,” Gero said. “By reintroducing a song that is so poignant and historically part of the foundation of black culture, we remind new generations of the sad journey for equality that blacks and other people of color continue to seek. It represents how far we have come to fall back. In my eyes, and in the eyes of many others, the rope is just replaced by a knee on a neck.

Another poignant scene in The sound of us presents Sekou Andrews’ “re-evaluation” of the “Amazing Grace” anthem and was the last segment that was filmed due to the complexity of its production. Gero observes: “’Amazing Grace’ is a piece of music that I personally find so beautiful and inspiring, but I also marvel at how it connects us all through its own history and its own journey. Many people are unaware of his very dark past and have no idea that John Newton – the man who wrote the original hymn (not the music) – was himself a slave trader and his journey to finally denouncing slavery took almost 40 years.

Even after Newton’s homeland of England abolished slavery in 1807, the hymn found popularity among revival singers during the Second Great Revival in the United States and was then passed down from homeowners. white and Christian slaves in the southern United States to their slave laborers. “Sekou’s brilliant performance prompts us to recognize the song’s past and reinterpret its meaning equally,” Gero says.

Above all, Gero hopes the film will lead to a greater appreciation of music education and its importance in various circumstances.

The sound of us reminds us all that we are better together and that making music makes us all human and breaks down the walls we all create in life, ”he says. “This film demonstrates the simply remarkable kindness of people through music and I am honored to bring these stories to the world.”