NBC’s The Voice finalist John Holiday and poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph lead us through a sensual, modern retelling of Schumann’s iconic song cycle Dichterliebe.
Collaboration is one of my favorite things in art. I love the strange and wonderful alchemy of putting artists from different corners of the universe together and letting them do their thing. After/Glow was born out of this love of collaboration. When John Holiday mentioned to me he was looking at the ridiculously difficult task of both singing and playing Schumann’s Dichterliebe at the same time, I immediately knew we had to make it into a film. But not wanting to leave poor Heinrich Heine and Robert Schumann to do all the heavy lifting by themselves, I asked Marc Bamuthi Joseph to write new poems, inspired by the originals. We didn’t want translations, but an entirely new piece, spiritually connected to Dichterliebe. When he sent his first drafts I knew I was in for a wild ride as a director. A story of love and sex, despair and death started to form, and the end result result takes Schumann’s beauty, Heine’s romanticism, Bamuthi’s visceral sensuality, Eboni Adams and DeMario Adams’ stunning screen presence along with John’s herculean musical performance and rolls them together into something truly special. Like life itself, it is full of pleasure and pain, and the inevitable truth of impermanence that we must all someday face. I am so very proud of what we created together. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen or heard.
“We were very impressed by Ryan McKinny’s artistic vision and entrepreneurial determination to create cinematic experiences that combine multiple artforms and showcase talented artists of various disciplines in unexpected and genre-bending combinations.
Ryan’s idea of adapting a classical German song cycle for voice and piano, often heard in exclusive concert halls, and opening it up to a broader audience be mixing in newly written American poetry, fresh dramatic storytelling, and intricate videography, thereby very much creating the feeling of an extended music video, epitomizes our desire to share the performing arts with as wide a community as possible. Combined with the vocal, pianistic, and expressive talents of John Holiday, his far-reaching audience appeal, Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s word prowess, wonderful added personalities of Eboni Adams and DeMario Adams, and exquisite natural beauty of the North Carolina mountains, After/Glow became a boundary pushing experience for all involved including us, a growth process among artists and fans which Drax Productions applauds.
We are thrilled to partner with Helio Arts and congratulate the whole Helio team and all artists, creatives, and crew involved in After/Glow for a spellbinding first cinematic album together.”
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