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Gary Lucas - Cinefantastique (Northern Spy)

Gary Lucas Cinefantastique Northern Spy
9 January 2014

Gary Lucas has collaborated with Captain Beefheart, Lou Reed, Nick Cave and David Johansen, to name a few, though his true passion has always been film soundtracks, an obsession that eventually allowed him to compose some of his own scores. Here, Lucas has paired some of those pieces together with solo guitar rearrangements of classic movie themes for a uniquely personal take on the film soundtrack.

Famous themes from the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Jacques Tati, Federico Fellini and Werner Herzog all receive Gary Lucas’ profound treatment, but the true star is the guitarist’s passion for what he is playing. Whether it’s one of his compositions for a rare French silent film or a popular tune from South Pacific, he performs with an authentic exuberance that is, quite frankly, lacking in most music of this sort. Many solo guitarists come across as technique-obsessed robots or soulless rehashers, but Lucas loves every single note he plays, and that joy comes across in the ringing sustain of his strings. It may have been composed fifty years ago, but he plays like he wrote it yesterday and wants us to hear it for the first time.

Having seen any of the films showcased here is inconsequential, but making a point to see each of them could be fun. Cinefantastique is about music, though. Come celebrate it with the joyful plucking and strumming of Gary Lucas and enrich your life for 77 minutes. (Just about film length, isn’t it?)