Conceived by award-winning composer, singer and violinist Jenny Scheinman, Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait is a music and film project that features a live score and sound design with re-edited footage from the archives of filmmaker Herbert Lee Waters.
In the latter half of the Great Depression, Waters documented over 180 towns in the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee, compiling hundreds of shots of people on the streets, at school, in factories and in almost every non-domestic part of their lives. In this re-edited treatment of Kannapolis, filmed in 1941 in the North Carolina town of the same name, shots are slowed down, allowing the audience to meditate on faces and revisit sequences. Scheinman, who returns to Savannah on the heels of her appearance at SMF 2018 with Mischief & Mayhem, provides a live score that draws from folk music sources of the region and integrates a series of narrative songs that imagine the lives of several chosen protagonists, adding modern dimension to one of Waters’ final films. She is joined by multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Robbie Fulks and Robbie Gjersoe. This season, Scheinman is also a clinician in SMF’s Acoustic Music Seminar.
Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait was commissioned by Duke Performances at Duke University. The piece premiered at Duke’s Reynolds Industries Theater on Friday, March 20, 2015.
“Scheinman [has] a distinctive vision of American music, suffused with plainspoken beauty and fortified all at once by country, gospel, and melting-pot folk, along with jazz and the blues.”