The ‘Seven Tones Project’ for quarantined musicians, filmmakers highlights the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.
Great music and great movies can still be made — even if you’re sheltered in place. Paul Glenshaw offers that chance with his YouTube channel “The Seven Tones Project.” Paul is an artist, film maker, author and educator with more than 25 years experience working across disciplines in the arts, history and sciences. He hopes to provide artists a creative outlet to escape the confines of Covid 19 quarantine.
“Anybody who needs a live audience for their work to be fulfilled, doesn’t have it,” Glenshaw said. “Let’s use what we’ve got. Here we are now. Musicians can still record at home. Filmmakers can make films at home, even if you’re just using your phone. So that’s the idea. Let’s see what beautiful things we can make with the tools that we have at hand.”
“We’re limiting the musicians to Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn songs, which is to say they have at their disposal an incredibly rich and broad repertoire” Glenshaw said. Beyond the Ellington and Strayhorn stipulation, are there any technical requirements?
“You can record with whatever you have at home, even if it’s just solo bass or just accompanying yourself,” Glenshaw said. Anyone can participate, no matter your experience level.
“It’s an open call,” Glenshaw said. “Student filmmakers, student musicians, professionals. It’s really open. We want to give you something that is fun, something that is a creative outlet and something that might even be a bit of a challenge, but a fun challenge.” What can audiences take away from watching the videos?
“We can’t go to the movie theater [or] the art gallery … to have that intimate experience where you really feel like you’re communicating one-on-one with an artist,” Glenshaw said. “These small films, these little pieces of poetry do that in a way that a huge, multi-hour binge can’t. There’s an intimacy where the artist is expressing themselves directly to you.”
Along the way, he hopes folks will rediscover the music of Ellington and Strayhorn.