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Jack Hertz

People Who Do Noise - Experimental Music of Portland, Oregon

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Jack Hertz    923
'People Who Do Noise’ is a film about the experimental music of Portland, Oregon. Extensive interviews and intimate performance footage provide an intense portrait of the motivations, emotions, and ideas that go into this uncompromising, sometimes brutal musical form. Unwavering in its focus, the film brings to light an art form unfathomable to many, with only the words of the musicians themselves providing any explanation for the pulsating sonic chaos they create.

The film takes a very personal approach, capturing the musicians working alone with no interference from a live audience. What often took place in crowded basements or dark smoky venues was stripped bare for the cameras, providing an unprecedented glimpse of the many different instruments and methods used.

Covering a wide range of artists and styles, the film features everything from the absurdist free-improvisations of genre-pioneers Smegma, to the harsh-noise assaults of Oscillating Innards and everything in between. Many of the artists in the film, such as Yellow Swans and Daniel Menche, have performed and sold records all over the world. In spite of such successes, noise music remains one of the least understood and most inaccessible of genres.

With an unflinching cinematic style, the film defies any trend-setting or commercial representation, opting instead for a stark portrayal of a musical underground at its most genuine and vital. For the subjects of the film, noise music is a way of life; a life in opposition to the tidy, orderly, and vacuous pop-culture experience.

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