Previously at the ICA - Films
7 May 2016 – 13 May 2016
A documentary on the extraordinary life and visionary music of the American guitarist and singer Robbie Basho.
Before his bizarre death at the hands of a chiropractor, Robbie Basho was sure that his compositions would not outlast him. Orphaned during infancy, diagnosed with synaesthesia (a union of the senses that caused him to interpret sound as colour) and claiming to be the reincarnation of a 17th century poet - the Baltimore-born guitarist and singer's musical output was equally as outlandish as his persona.
In his brief and troubled life he laid the foundations for radical changes to the musical landscape of America during the 1960s and 70s but reaped little more than a sparse (if fervent) following during his lifetime.
Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho is a journey into the heart of an artist's lifelong struggle - designed to illuminate and satiate existing fans while serving as a perfect starting point for the uninitiated.
Featuring interviews with Basho's former students, contemporaries and few close friends (including Pete Townshend, William Ackerman, Henry Kaiser and Country Joe McDonald); the documentary integrates new information and anecdotes on Basho with previously uncovered archive material and photography of the natural phenomena and landscapes that informed his work.
With the resurgence of interest in Basho growing and a more widespread revival a tangible possibility, it is surely an auspicious time for his unique music and life story to be evoked through documentary.
Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho, dir. Liam Barker, UK 2015, 87 mins
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