The line between music and film festivals, which began blurring a decade or so back, is now all but obliterated, as borne out by the significant presence both major performing rights societies have had at the past several Sundance conclaves — both in the clubs and in the classrooms.
ASCAP, now in its 15th year of presenting programs in Park City, has lined up a diverse array of talent for this season’s Music Cafe, which will take over the Rich Haines Gallery from Jan. 18-25. Performers this year include Andrew Bird, Nataly Dawn (one half of YouTube staple Pomplamoose), Blue Sky Riders (a trio led by soft-rock mainstay Kenny Loggins), R&B singer Melanie Fiona and hipster jazz thrush Kat Edmonson, who says Sundance is “a perfect showcase for an artist who doesn’t necessarily have a place (in) radio or other media.” Those events are open to the public, but this year, ASCAP will also host the invitation-only ASCAP Composer-Filmmaker Cocktail Party on Jan. 22 — a schmooze-fest designed to facilitate artistic hookups in a non-meeting setting.
BMI is offering a similarly hands-on experience at this year’s festival at the Wednesday-morning roundtable Music and Film: The Creative Process, which will spotlight such composers as Mark Isham, Lili Haydn and Craig Wedren, along with directors Randy Moore, Michele Stephenson and George Tillman Jr.
“As a composer, it’s inspiring to hear about other composers’ creative processes, and how they collaborate with a director,” says Wedren, a one-time member of avant-rock ensemble Shudder to Think, who’s gone on to score such films as “Laurel Canyon,” “School of Rock” and the upcoming “Afternoon Delight.”
“Composing can be hermetic,” he adds, “and so we don’t often get to share war stories or trade secrets with each other. The BMI roundtable is a rare opportunity to do so. I always find it heartening to listen to other folks’ experiences. Hopefully fellow audience and panel members will, too.”
On the performance front, BMI also has its annual Snowball on tap for the evening of Jan. 23, with a lineup yet to be announced.