Sound for Silents: Film + Music on the Walker Hillside
Thursday, August 15
Dusk (about 8:30 pm)
Join us at sunset on the Walker hillside for an electrifying evening of new live music with large-scale projection of silent film. Celebrating its third year, Sound for Silents includes a newly commissioned score by Twin Cities funk, soul, and hip-hop collective Astralblak performed with a program of silent films selected by the band from the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson collection. Food trucks and drink vendors will be on hand with a variety of tempting options.Tunes from DJ Sean McPherson of 89.3 The Current add to the mix for the perfect summer night out.
Major support to preserve, digitize, and present the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection is generously provided by the Bentson Foundation.
7 pm DJ and Food Trucks
8:30 pm Screening and Performance
Minneapolis has a long history of distinctive R&B styles and flavors. Astralblak arrived in 2014 and began to expand on that with an eye on the future but with respect to the past: “I see it as the next chapter of the Minneapolis sound” says guitarist elliott. One of their first shows was playing a Clash tribute; months later landing on First Avenue’s Best New Bands 2014, then as ZULUZULUU. After bursting onto the scene the band took a hiatus and gathered to build collectively and contribute to the new vanguard of black music.
Astralblak is made up of five musicians/producers: MMYYKK, Proper-T, Greg Grease, DJ Just Nine & elliott. armed with various synths, drum machines, and instruments set out to bring a new, exploratory modern sound influenced by the greats of funk, soul, and jazz with electronic excursions, hard grooves, Afro-futurism and soulful melodies. Astralblak explores the psyche and searching for Black Excellence: “Astralblak is church, it’s therapy, it’s family, It’s a space where we can express ourselves freely as black men with no limitations”, says multi-instrumentalist/vocalist MMYYKK. The band sees the group’s mission as part of a bigger movement “we see Astralblak as a vessel, a spiritual, sonic culmination of our experiences and influences from our ancestors”.
Astralblak has shared stages with innovators Thundercat, Shabazz Palaces, Tinariwen, Femi Kuti and Dam-Funk. They have a history with the Walker, which includes opening for Congolese group Mbongwana Star and performing in the Walker’s past summer series Music and Movies in the Park. “Astralblak sounds like an afro/astro world where Fela Kuti jams with Parliament and smokes with the Art Ensemble of Chicago.” said Doug Benidt, Associate Curator of Performing Arts.