Friday, May 20, 2011

"You have suffered enough, And warred with yourself, It's time that you won"

I tend to have very eclectic taste in music. I pretty much enjoy everything, but there are of course exceptions to the rule. Growing up, my dad listened to oldies and my mom listened to classical music and show tunes. As a matter of principle, I disliked everything to which my older brother listened. I did not really start paying attention to popular music until middle school and even then it was only because I had to in order to be part of the conversation among my friends. Even now, I do not often listen to the radio and actually get most of my music from TV shows. (I know, you are shocked!) Every once in a while, but not nearly as often, I discover new music in movies.

Although, music can sometimes make or break a movie. Pirates of the Caribbean is my favorite scored soundtrack. I love the movie, but I do not know if I would love it as much if the music had been poor. On the other side of that, I did not like the music in Witness and wonder if, had the music been better, would I have enjoyed the movie more? In the case of Once, the movie is centered around the music, so it is hard to like the movie if you do not like the music.

If you missed my review last week, here it is for you again: Once was a really cute movie. It is about a guy who lives at home and works in his father's vacuum cleaner repair shop during the day and plays his guitar on the street at night. One day, he meets a girl and they form a friendship based around their mutual love of music. The script is not anything spectacular but, it was a very sweet story. I also really liked that instead of using actors that could sing they used musicians and got them to act. It also had a more documentary feel to the cinematography. The director wanted it to look like something you made on your own over the weekend, which they definitely accomplished. If you are someone who enjoys different types of music, then I would definitely check out this movie. I am now officially a fan of Glen Hansard.

Since I often tell you about actors whose work I have explored and enjoy, I decided I would do the same with one of my new favorite musicians.

Glen Hansard started out as the lead singer for the Irish band The Frames and is now half of the folk-rock duo The Swell Season with his Once co-star, Margeta Irglova. Hansard and Irglova and their song "Falling Slowly" won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song. His only other movie role was in The Commitments in 1991. He also voiced his Once character in an episode of The Simpsons. However, his music has been featured in several other projects including the movies Ella Enchanted and Dear John and an episode of Parenthood.

Next Thursday, May 26, I have the privilege of seeing Hansard in an acoustic solo performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He is playing as a celebration of the exhibit "Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York." The event is presented by Spectrum, which is an initiative organized by the Met to provide fresh perspectives on the Museum's collections and special exhibitions. In addition to the performance, Hero Design, a design team out of Buffalo, have been commissioned by Spectrum to make an original print for this event. Twenty-five copies of their specially designed print will be raffled off to attendees.

I am very excited to attend this awesome event and I will make sure to tell you all about it afterward. In the meantime, I recommend you watch the movie and check out the soundtrack on iTunes.