It’s that time of year again. Even if you were one of the people protesting, signing online petitions and making jokes when Kanye West scooped the Glastonbury headline slot, you were still gutted as you sat stubbornly watching the whole thing on iPlayer. The good news is FACT is here to relieve those festival blues, with a season of music documentaries and tuneful workshops to enjoy!
If you’re into your music (and let’s face it, this is Liverpool) we have some treats in store for you. Recently, music documentaries at the cinema have been on the increase, and we’ve got the latest and greatest for you to see this month.
Now showing, Amy paints a tragic portrait of the all-too-fast rise to fame for Miss Winehouse, and the horrific consequences the paparazzi and pressure had on her personal life. Award-winning documentarian Asif Kapadia has collected scraps of archival footage and snippets of home videos, woven together with Amy’s achingly personal lyrics to create the film her fans prayed we’d never have to see.
On 6 July, we transform Screen 2 into a concert venue, with Fare Thee Well: 50 Years Of Grateful Dead showing on the big screen. For one night only, and broadcast via satellite worldwide, this is the last time the band will ever play together, and is not to be missed!
Meanwhile, the ‘grandfather of rap’, aka Lightnin’ Rod, aka Jalal Nuriddin from The Last Poets takes centre stage in Hustlers Convention, a tribute by director Mike Todd to the seminal album that’s previously been denied the success it deserves. Using animation, collaged with interviews and live performance footage, stars including Ice-T and Chuck D are on hand to explain what the album means to them.
Later in the summer, we’ll also be showing Eden, a dramatic account of the underground electronic music scene in early nineties Paris, featuring music from Daft Punk. Then, biopic Love and Mercy tells the story of Beach Boys leader and co-founder Brian Wilson, whose battle with auditory hallucinations had a massive impact on his personal life and the career of the band.
If you’d rather get stuck in, than sit back and watch it all happen, there’s three exciting music-inspired workshops coming up. Every fortnight, on Saturday afternoons, FACTLab in Gallery 2 opens it’s doors to Owl Project’s Make Your Own Noise. In each session, experiment with electronics to create your own unique sounds, and get advice and inspiration from the Manchester-based maker collective. Find out more about blogger Hollie’s experience here.
Then, as part of The Performing Data Project, on 14 July we have a double bill of experimental music workshops lined up. In the morning in FACTLab, explore the history and evolution of musical instruments and help shape the identity of a new instrument using hacking. In this workshop you will gain hands-on experience in digital music performance and be introduced to the D-Box, a imple instrument which can be completely rewired to produce new sonic effects.
Then after lunch in the FACT Bar, uncover the secrets of Steven Benford’s Carolan Guitar. This unique instrument is covered in beautiful designs – each of which is really a QR code. Scan the patterns to see the history of the guitar – how was it made, who played it and where has it been?
See the full workshop programme.