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The Goddess With Live Score by Gary Lucas
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 11/30/1999 at Symphony Space.

Directed by Wu Yonggang and starring the incomparable Shanghai diva Ruan Lingyu, The Goddess was hugely popular all over China upon its release in 1934, and is considered a touchstone of Chinese cinema. It contains many modernist flourishes including the plot, considered quite racy and bold for its time, concerning a young single mother forced into prostitution in Shanghai-the "Paris of the East"-in order to raise money for the education of her son.

Gary Lucas's score draws upon his extensive knowledge of 30's Shanghai pop-much of it created for Chinese movie musicals of the day-as featured on his celebrated album The Edge of Heaven.

"Gary Lucas has created a marvelous score for the great Chinese silent classic The Goddess that not only creates the perfect period ambience for the film but even more crucially adds a rich emotional texture to this tragic tale of a woman's struggle for justice."

--Richard Peña, Director Emeritus of the New York Film Festival & Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University

+ About the Artists

A world class guitar hero, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and composer, an international recording artist with over 20 acclaimed solo albums to date, and a soundtrack composer for film and television, Gary Lucas is on the move in 2014.

Dubbed “The Thinking Man’s Guitar Hero” by The New Yorker, “The world’s most popular avant-rock guitarist” by The Independent (UK), “One of the 100 Greatest Living Guitarist” (Classic Rock), “Legendary Leftfield guitarist” by The Guardian (UK), “Guitarist of 1000 Ideas” by The New York Times, “a true axe God” by Melody Maker, and “One of the five best guitarists in the world” by the national Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny, the British world music magazine fRoots recently described Gary Lucas as “without question, the most innovative and challenging guitarist playing today.” Rolling Stone’s David Fricke wrote: “Gary Lucas is one of the best and most original guitarists in America…a modern guitar miracle.” Best-selling author/producer Dan Levitin (This is Your Brain on Music) recently cited Gary as “the greatest living electric guitarist.”

2014 began with a bang with the successful world premiere January 8th of Lucas’s new live score for Shanghai silent film classic The Goddess at Fundacion Botin in Santander, Spain, followed by a performance there with Gary’s Spanish Dracula project January 10th. Gary’s new duo collaboration with UK vocalist Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator) entitled Otherworld was released February 3rd on Esoteric/Cherry Red Records, followed by their live debut Friday, February 21st at London’s Union Chapel. The album went on to receive 4 and 5 star reviews internationally, and landed the pair on the cover of both Guitar Player Magazine and Rock Society Magazine. The duo headlined the Gouveia Art Rock Festival in Portugal in May, and is scheduled to play in Mexico City in November.

In February, Gary recorded a new album in Budapest with Hungarian jazz-rock ensemble DeBORT, led by saxophonist Toni Deszo, and was interviewed by Rockbook Hungary. Their album is scheduled for release later this year. Later that month Gary journeyed to Columbus, Ohio to perform his live score for Jose Mojica Marins’ 1967 Brazilian cult classic This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse, one of his many live music and film projects. On Halloween 2014 Gary premieres his new live solo score for the 1931 Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff at the United Palace Theater in Harlem, and follows this November 1st (Day of the Dead) with the premier of his live solo score for Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland. In April Gary presented a well received masterclass at Rutgers University of Music in New Jersey for Professor Chris Opperman’s class. Early May saw the release of Gary and Collen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy’s Wild Rumpus album Musical Blaze-Up as a double vinyl disc (which rapidly sold-out its pressing), and as a digital download. The pair resealed several 12-inch vinyl singles over the last few years to wide acclaim, and made live appearances in NYC, London, Brussels, Romania, and Hyderbad, India. Their release was greeted by raves in the press, including a feature in the UK’s prestigious DJ Magazine. In June Gary celebrated the 25th anniversary of his longtime NYC-based-avant-supergroup Gods and Monsters with a special concert at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan, which featured guest vocalists Jann Klose (who he has been collaborating on songs with), Felice Rosser, Gisburg, and Dusty Wright, and touched on music spanning Gary’s entire career.  In July Gary sat in as a special guest with Mongolian/ Buryat vocalist/ world music star Namgar at Barbes in Brooklyn, the start of a promising new collaboration. This August he will debut his new Fleischerei project-a tribute to the music of Max Fleischer’s Betty Boop and Popeye cartoons featuring NYC music theater star Sarah Stiles (Into the Woods, Avenue Q) and trombonist/arranger Joe Fiedler (Sesame Street)-at a private party at The Bridge Golf Club in Bridgehampton LI, and will bring it to BAM in November.

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