Depression-Era North Carolina Films Get Live Score From Jenny Scheinman

Depression-Era North Carolina Films Get Live Score From Jenny Scheinman

6:00am Jan 22, 2019
Composer, singer, and violinist Jenny Scheinman. CREDIT: Monica Frisell

A late North Carolina filmmaker’s work is being presented to modern audiences, but with some musical help. That comes from composer, singer, and violinist Jenny Scheinman. The film and concert event will feature footage from the Piedmont from the 1930s and 40s.

The program is called Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait. It was culled from over 200 films that were made by H. Lee Waters of Lexington.

His work focused on the lives of Southerners during the Depression. He called them Movies of Local People, and they were shown in theatres, giving citizens a chance to see themselves on the big screen.

Musician Jenny Scheinman has set the films to music using old-time fiddle and folk music. She says she was inspired by the lives of the people in them, which she says offer more than a glimpse into the past.

“So there’s all these different perspectives on these communities," says Scheinman. "And you could say a lot of different perspectives on communities in general. It's definitely not a historical documentary. It’s kind of a big mirror for our communities and identities as Americans.”

Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait will be presented on Thursday, January 24 at Brendle Recital Hall on the campus of Wake Forest University. The performance will also feature musicians Robbie Fulks and Robbie Gjersoe.

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