Andy Schocken and Wynton Marsalis during filming
photo credit: Wasif Arshad
Filmmaker and cinematographer Andy Schocken in Carroll Gardens
This week-end, Carroll Gardens filmmaker and cinematographer Andy Schocken will be celebrating the theatrical release of his documentary Song of Lahore, which he co-directed with Pakistani journalist, filmmaker and activist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
In an increasingly conservative culture where music is deemed sinful and where there are few opportunities for musicians to perform, Majeed encourages a group of classically-trained musicians to once again pick up their instruments and to form an orchestra.
The musicians recorded several classical and traditional folk albums before Majeed, who had heard Dave Brubeck perform in Pakistan in 1958 as part of a Jazz Diplomacy Tour sponsored by the US State Department, convinced the Sachel Studio Orchestra to record a version of "Take Five".
A video of the orchestra playing this jazz classic on their traditional instruments spread quickly and garnered international attention when it was shown on BBC One. This led to an invitation by Wynton Marsalis to come to New York, and after a week of rehearsal the Sachel Studio Orchestra found themselves performing with Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The film follows the musicians on this remarkable journey from Lahore to the international stage.
'Song Of Lahore' has been shown to critical acclaim at film festivals around the world. It will be released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles today.
Schocken and Obaid-Chinoy will both be attending a question and answer session tonight following the 7:25 pm show.
Universal Music will also be releasing a companion album to Song of Lahore, featuring Sachal Studios collaborating with Western recording artists like Wynton Marsalis, Sean Lennon, Nels Cline (Wilco) and Jim James (My Morning Jacket). The album is available for presale on Amazon.
I would like to thank Andy Schocken for taking time to meet with PMFA to talk about his remarkable film. I hope everyone will go see it this week-end.