7:00pm Wed TBA
a documentary film on modern, contemporary
classical music in America
Beautifully Scary explores the landscape of modern, contemporary classical music in America in the 20th century and beyond. The film highlights the founding and successive generations of composers representative of trends in modern classical music. Interviews with some of the most influential American composers will give the viewer a better sense of both the circumstances that shaped this tradition, and the creative visions that have emerged from it. The overall purpose is to bring greater attention to the innovative work being done, and it's importance to the fabric of modern American culture.
The film contains a short history of modern music in America, highlighting some of the great American composers (Ives, Copeland, Cage, Bernstein) through archival photos and film footage combined with short musical excerpts. This section also includes brief references to the earlier European influences (Wagner, Debussy, Schoenberg, Stravinsky).
Using personal interviews, the composers talk about their lives and work that has helped contribute to the form. They also discuss their music, and the effect of their approaches to composition upon the contemporary music scene.
The program includes several short excerpts from performances of works by several of the featured composers. The instrumental forces range from solo and small instrumental combinations, to full orchestra, showing the broad expressive range of this unique music.
Beautifully Scary: Contemporary Music in America is a documentary film project developed in partnership between Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS), Beyond Definition Films, and director Russ Wiltse.