Steven Feld: Voices of the Rainforest
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 6:00pm
"Voices of the Rainforest" is a seventy-minute, 4K image and 7.1 surround sound documentary about the ecological and aesthetic coevolution of Papua New Guinea's Bosavi rainforest region and its inhabitants. It is produced and directed by Steven Feld, who first began regular research visits to Bosavi in 1976 and is the author of "Sound and Sentiment." *There will be a Q&A with Feld following the screening.* "Voices" was originally a 1991 CD release produced by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart for his Rykodisc series "The World." The recording condenses twenty-four hours of sounds of the rainforest and the Bosavi people into an hour. It makes audible myriad connections between the everyday sounds of the rainforest biosphere and the creative practices of singing to, with, and about it by the Bosavi people. In 2016 Feld digitized the original analog audio tapes long held in Mickey Hart's archive, and recomposed an expanded "Voices" as a 7.1 cinema surround sound concert for the recording's 25th anniversary. The success of the immersive soundtrack led to funding efforts to digitize Feld's archive of Bosavi images, and to send Feld and filmmaker Jeremiah Richards to Bosavi for two months with high-resolution cameras and drones to renew the project locally. This screening at Duke is sponsored by the Department of Music, the Ethnography Workshop, and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute's World Arts Series.