Local filmmaker Michael Lawrence embarked on a labor of love two years ago, filming contemporary musicians playing their favorite Bach pieces and talking about them. Like any magical undertaking, the Bach Project took on a life of its own, and Lawrence found himself shooting the likes of Philip Glass, Joshua Bell, Bobby McFerrin, Hilary Hahn, Emerson String Quartet, Bela Fleck, Chris Thile, Manuel Barrueco, and others. He recently wrapped filming and started post-production, which will require raising money to complete the project.
If you haven't yet seen clips from the shoots, check them out at Lawrence's website and on You Tube. And if you know any Bach fans with deep pockets and/or an interest in film, send them Lawrence's way.
Here's an update Lawrence sent out earlier this week...
Over the last year or so, we have completed 36 shoots in 30 days of
production.... The crew and I have traveled to Nashville, Raleigh and on many
occasions up to New York. All this has been accomplished with the
$100,000 that has been generously donated to the Bach Project. The
quantity and quality of the footage is quite extraordinary for this
size budget. And the spectacular array of outstanding Bach players is
well beyond my wildest dreams.
The production phase is now completed and the job of editing this
wondrous and massive amount of material into a moving and meaningful
narrative has begun. Though I work alone on my home editing system, I
have many co-contributors and advisers to this enormous effort.
Loren Carpenter, the computer genius behind Pixar, is creating an
animation section specifically for the Bach Project. Philip Johnson
is contributing his dazzling morphing animation technique to the faces
of Bach from Teri Towe's historical portraits as well as to the faces
of the film's many participants. Here is a link to Philip Johnson's
I am also fortunate to have many very talented advisers who have and
will continue to offer ideas and suggestions as the editing
progresses. I hope to have the feature length documentary completed
this summer. The final DVD will also include a bonus video section
with complete uninterrupted performances. In many instances this will
be the first time the artist has recorded the piece. One example is
Josh Bell's performance of Bach's greatest masterpiece, the Chaconne,
which he has never before recorded. Also, Hilary Hahn has never
recorded the Grave and Fugue that she played for the film.
Each day I receive emails from people around the world who have
visited the Bach web pages and are moved and reinvigorated in their
love for Bach.... Bach web cuts have been viewed on YouTube more than 165,000 times.
I am convinced that when this film is released, the power of the Bach
playing in the documentary will uplift and touch the lives of many
millions of people around the world.
As I now face the final stages of this effort, I must once again seek
funding. I will need $40,000 to cover the cost of completing the
Bach film.... Any suggestions or ideas for support in helping to complete the Bach
Project would very much appreciated. I realize we are in a very
difficult period and even small gifts would be a lifeline.
Thanks again for your enormous contribution to making this dream a