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SXSW 2014: Alex Steyermark's road trip documentary 'The 78 Project Movie'

The 78 Project Movie
The 78 Project Movie

Director Alex Steyermark’s "The 78 Project Movie" is a road trip across America to make one-of-a-kind 78rpm records with musicians in their hometowns using a 1930s Presto direct-to-disc recorder. With one microphone. One blank disc. In one 3-minute take.

Along the way, Steyermark documents a kaleidoscope of technologists, historians and craftsmen from every facet of field recording - Grammy-winning producers, 78 collectors, curators from the Library of Congress and Smithsonian - provide insights and history.

In Tennessee, Mississippi, California, Louisiana, the folk singers, punk rockers, Gospel and Cajun singers in the film share their lives through intimate performances, and find in that adventure a new connection to our cultural legacy.

The Presto machine used in the film is the same model of device on which American folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax recorded his legendary field recordings between 1933 and 1942.

Artists who participated in "The 78 Project Movie" performed their song in one take, recording directly onto 78rpm acetate disc, in exactly the manner that America’s authentic musical forms were originally captured.

"The 78 Project Movie" screens at SXSatellite: Marchesa, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road tonight at 7pm.

An additional screening will take place on March 15.

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