Detroit-based Filmmakers Nick George [AKA Dr. Sushi] and Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman just launched their new music documentary series, Far Off Sounds with the online premiere of the first episode “Songs of the Snake Handlers,” which dives into the world of Appalachian snake charmers and the hypnotic, rock’n’roll gospel sounds that fuel the Holy Spirit.
Two more episodes are being released online September 10th & 12th, which will culminate in a benefit concert on September 14th at the Jam Handy building in New Center. As part of the fundraiser drive to continue the series, an online auction is now live, ending at 11:59 p.m on the night of the benefit. Rather than seeking production funds by way of the overcrowded Kickstarter website, the filmmakers asked Detroiters and friends to donate works of art, goods, services, and off-the-wall activities of value for an online auction. The eclectic mix of auction items includes an original copy of Dave Bixby’s “Ode To Quetzalcoatl”, cooking classes, custom-woodworking, works by Nate Young and John Olson of local noise legends Wolf Eyes, and more. Performers at the benefit event include local avant-techno unit Traag, Lenny Stoofy and the Ice Cream Gang, Dakota Bones, and Horatio Clam.
“Far Off Sounds” is a new kind of music series; a hybrid of ethnographic documentary, music video, and travelogue. After years enmeshed in Detroit music scenes, George and Hurwitz-Goodman turned their lenses outward and into distant lands and hidden pockets close to home. The “Far Off Sounds” web series, that serves as a platform to connect the dots between the drumbeat of an African village and the pounding rhythm of Detroit techno; between the amplified songs of Orca whales and the electric guitar solos of psychedelic rock. The show tells discreet, intimate stories in the service of the larger, infinitely complex story of music on earth. In each of the short episodes, the filmmakers guide viewers on an exploration of the beautiful, strange and varied ways that people use, play, and connect with music around the country, from a heavy-metal festival aboard a luxury cruise-ship, to renegade noise shows on Tampa’s streets. Hurwitz-Goodman on the series,
Growing up in this city and being a filmmaker, I’ve always been kind of jealous of my friends in bands. It seems like music provides this outlet, this sort of stream of consciousness emotional expression that’s not as easily accomplished through film. So I often find myself looking for ways of trying to combine the two forms. This series gives us an exciting forum for that combination.”
Through playing music and organizing events over the years I’ve become increasingly more connected and involved with not only Detroit-based music but national and global musical communities as well,” George said. “I’ve been exploring unique music experiences as long as I can remember, this show just feels right. It makes sense to me.”
Nick George and Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman are two Detroit filmmakers who share an affinity for raw soulful experiences from around the world. They share the duties of hosting, editing, interviewing, and filming, offering a refreshing dynamism not usually found in documentary. Hurwitz-Goodman’s past works include the feature length Detroit Threat Management, and shorts Tamale Tapes, Sitting Shiva, and Incinerator, which aired on PBS in 2011. George’s work includes an ongoing exploration into modern Indonesian music. He is also a co-organizer of Noise Brunch and Scrummage Fest.