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“In My Mind” Film

In My Mind
Director: Gary Hawkins, Producer: Emily LaDue, Executive Producer: Tom Rankin

In My Mind, a new film from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, traces the creation and performance of jazz pianist Jason Moran’s original interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s legendary performance at New York City’s Town Hall in 1959. Deeply inspired by Monk’s performance, Moran created IN MY MIND, a vivid visual and acoustic tribute to the infamous jazz icon. IN MY MIND brings together an eight-piece band, The Big Bandwagon, for a full-length, multimedia performance incorporating audio recordings and images made by noted photographer W. Eugene Smith. Smith’s involvement is especially noteworthy because he lived and worked in the loft building where Monk, his collaborator Hall Overton, and the entire band, toiled away arranging music and endlessly rehearsing.

IN MY MIND grew out of Moran’s artist’s residency with Duke Performances and the Jazz Loft Project at the Center for Documentary Studies, a ten-year initiative researching the stories from the loft building where Smith captured the late-night jazz scene. A February 2009 performance of IN MY MIND was documented by Center for Documentary Studies instructors Gary Hawkins and Emily LaDue, with students from their Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking course. The film contains concert footage, as well as behind the scenes action and interviews. Staying true to Monk’s ingenuity, Moran makes his own rules combining improvisation, collaboration, performance art, multimedia, and history to reinvent a legendary show, while retaining the integrity of the original music. The film mirrors similar intentions, and reinforces Moran’s intimate aesthetic by bringing viewers on stage and into the spaces and minds of the musicians.  In doing so, Moran’s composition becomes an ever present base line for a jazz story spanning fifty years.

In April, In My Mind premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and also screened at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in conjunction with The Jazz Loft Project exhibition.

2 Responses to ““In My Mind” Film”

  1. Mike Booth says:

    I was lucky enough to see the performance in DC, at Lisner. I’d sure like to know if this film will be shown in the DC area, and when it will be possible to purchase a DVD. It was a wonderful performance.

  2. How can I get a copy of this film?

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