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CJSW Music Docs project aims for diversity both in front of and behind the lens

Thursday 17th, November 2016 / 12:11
By Colin Gallant
Still: Courtesy of Guillaume Carlier

Aleem Khan (pictured) will perform unheard material at a screening of CJSW’s music docs later this month.
Still: Courtesy of Guillaume Carlier

CALGARY — If you’re a regular BeatRoute reader, it’s likely you’re familiar with Calgary acts Feel Alright, Empty Heads and Aleem Khan. The aim of a new batch of music documentaries directed by Guillaume Carlier for CJSW is to reach those who have not.

“We wanted it to be visible for people who don’t know Calgary’s music at all,” says Carlier, adding he thinks of it as “a look behind the curtain” and an “inclusive” endeavour. Carlier is the first director in what the station intends to be an ongoing series, with a new set of eyes behind the lens at each turn.

Carlier curated the musicians (with assistance from CJSW’s Whitney Ota) in an effort to represent musical diversity, also noting he believes the three to be among the best bands in the city.

The docs all have two components: live performances (including new, previously unrecorded exclusives) at the station’s studio, hand-tailored by Ota to the band’s specifications, and not-so-standard interviews also developed in collaboration with the artists. Without giving too much away, none of the three interviews or performances are alike.

Some of the filmic techniques employed will be recognizable to those who’ve seen Carlier’s video for Aleem Khan’s song “Marzipan” or the original short Moses he released last year; semi-improvised filming and disrupted chronology are some of his staples. Carlier isn’t resting on the tried and true, however. He adventurously dabbled with around seven different cameras, including a cell phone and GoPro.

Khan and Carlier’s working relationship will continue at the November 26th screening of the docs, with Khan performing unreleased music for the first time in front of an audience. The event will be a licensed one taking place at The Plaza Theatre.

Those unable to attend can look forward to streaming the docs on CJSW’s new platform for video: cjsw.com/video (release date TBA as of posting time).

Ota says, “Here, Guillaume Carlier’s video documentaries will be showcased alongside some of our other video content such as the newly revealed ‘CJSW 360’ series which will allow users to pan around the room, viewing what they like, and the ‘Sing, Talk, Play’ series done by Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi.” Continuing, “We’re hoping to provide our listeners with a new way of experiencing our live sessions and Guillaume’s films will provide a unique glimpse into backstage life with the bands and showcase what CJSW is capable of in the studios.”

CJSW’s music docs by Guillaume Carlier will feature Empty Heads, Feel Alright and Aleem Khan and premiere on November 26th at The Plaza Theatre, co-presented by The Fifth Reel. Soon, they’ll also be available at cjsw.com/video.

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