Saturday, May 24, 2014

An American Cellist, a Spanish Trail and Three Dozen Very Special Concerts

In terms of follow-the-production websites, the one for documentary Walk to Fisterra: A Cellist's Journey is one of the best I've recently seen.

There's a clean, crisp Calendar, noting that today is a day rest in LogroƱo, followed by travel tomorrow to Najera. There's a Map. There's a photo Blog, offering at this point a fun series of snaps about the first week of on-the-road filming. And much more.

Following the same France-Spain trail that was featured in the Martin Sheen-Emilio Estevez collaboration The Way are Patrick Terry, a New York-based filmmaker, and his home-state Alaska pal Dane Johansen, now a world renowned cellist. Together with director Tristan Cook and a small crew (producer Chad Peterson, cinematographer Iskra Valtcheva and sound engineers Kyle Pyke, Beth Schofield and Jesse Lewis), they are documenting a 600-mile walk and concert tour that taps into ancient inspiration. Here's how Johansen describes the challenge:

"Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello represent the beginning and end of my relationship with music. They were among the first pieces I played as a child and the rest of my life will be spent working toward their mastery. Generations of cellists have considered mastery of the Suites a pinnacle of artistic achievement and a rite of passage. A life spent in pursuit of such a singular goal is like a pilgrimage; it is endless and requires extreme effort, daily commitment, and absolute resolve."
"I have decided to combine my musical pilgrimage with a physical one. In May I will walk nearly 600 miles on the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route beginning in France and crossing Spain to the Atlantic Ocean. I will carry my cello, performing and recording Bach’s Suites in ancient churches along the way."

The trek-project will culminate in late June when Johansen and local cellist-teacher Carolina Landriscini will host a "Summer Cello Meeting" in Soncello. The event is one of a number of master classes that have been embedded into the journey.

[Walk to Fisterra: A Cellist's Journey]

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