7 Sounds
7 Sounds
IDFA 2020

7 Sounds

Sam Green
United States
21 min
International Premiere
Festival history

How can a sound make you cry, or make your hair stand on end? Can sound be political? In collaboration with musician JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN), filmmaker Sam Green creates a live audio performance about the universal influence of sound. This performance, part of the larger live cinema project 32 Sounds, is best experienced from your mobile phone with headphones.

Initially, the two makers appear on screen and lead us in a collective moment of playful unity. After an introduction, the screen turns black (“This is cinema for the ears”) and listeners are encouraged to go outside. Sound is about the here and now, says Green, and being outside will give the performance a sense of intimacy and being in the moment.

In his distinctive, warm storytelling style, Green talks the listener through seven specific sounds, while Samson creates a live score. Among the people we meet are Tiffany Ng, who performs in bell towers around the world, and legendary composer John Cage. We find ourselves on a rooftop in Kolkata, spend a few moments at Louis Armstrong’s kitchen table, and eat a cheeseburger with Andy Warhol in this far-reaching ode to the invisible forces that surround us.

Key collaborator
    Josh Penn,
    Evan Neff for The Free History Project