Thurston Moore Plays Maya Deren
Iconic musician and former Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore joins us in Melbourne at The Astor Theatre for a special live performance, playing the original music he wrote to accompany four seminal works from pioneering experimental filmmaker Maya Deren.
Born in Kiev in 1917, Deren was a Ukrainian-American director, dancer, poet and photographer, considered one of the most important and influential avant-garde filmmakers in the US. Her debut work, the 14-minute Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), is a surreal, unsettling and dreamlike experience that is often credited with kickstarting the American avant-garde movement. Deren’s films have been called ‘choreocinema’ for their frequent incorporation of dance and ritual; they are also heavily informed by voodoo.
With Sonic Youth and beyond, Moore is regarded as a leading light of post-punk and no wave noise rock, as well as having collaborated on film scores and soundtracks for directors such as Fabrice Gobert, Olivier Assayas and Richard Linklater. He is known for his dynamic and often-experimental approach to sound, so it’s hardly surprising that he’s also found inspiration in Deren’s work. For this unique MIFF experience, he will perform live the original scores he has composed for Meshes of the Afternoon as well 1944’s At Land and 1946’s Ritual in Transfigured Time – together, three of her most celebrated works. Additionally, he has composed a new score for Deren’s unfinished short Witch’s Cradle, which was filmed in Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery and features Marcel Duchamp (scenes from Witch’s Cradle appeared in the MIFF 2015 documentary Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict).
“Maya Deren is an avant-garde godmother. Her mysterious images have burned into my consciousness like fiery, exotic dreams we are not supposed to talk about; each one a secret location of a symbolic prediction made with deep, dark magic in her sibyl cave.” – Thurston Moore