SONGS FOR EVE: ALICE PARKER in collaboration with A. MacLEISH in a new documentary by MONTES-BRADLEY
"Alice", USA 2020, HD 30 min
The documentary film resulting from my collaboration with Alice Parker approaches her work as a composer in connection with a handful of literary figures who influenced her work. I’m thinking of Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King, and Eudora Welty, but also of Archibald McLeish where Alice fund inspiration for the 28 songs that make the cycle for vocal and string quartet known as “Songs for Eve”. The effort was commissioned by the Mohawk Trail Concerts of Charlemont, Massachusetts, under a grant from the Massachusetts Bicentennial Commission in 1975.
“The story is the story of the beginning of Genesis -the greatest myth of all the myths- or, more precisely, what has become, in the last few generations, the greatest of all the myths. Prior to that, over many centuries, it had been a very creaky bit of stage business having to do with what was called The Fall – a largely sexual event interpreted as an explanation of our loss of innocence. What we learned in the last hundred years or so about the actuality of our origins has pretty well disposed of the myth too. But subsequently, as the modern mind became aware of the great mystery of the beginning of consciousness – it began to appear that whatever the story of Eden had been to the Middle Ages, it had become, yo us, the greatest (in the sense of being the most human) of the myths for it offered a means of examining the heart of our humanity, our consciousness of ourselves.” – Alice Parker
In the documentary, each of the previous collaborations of Alice Parker with a literary force is introduced as an independent vignette, intertwined with each other with autobiographical elements that allow us to look inside the composer. In the process, Alice was a true force contributing to the selection of archival material and embellishing illustrations such as Eve’s seen in the short segment herein, one by Paul Gauguin, the other by Fernando Botero.