Joe, 2007 (excerpt)
Running time: 7:23 minutes / SD / colour

For the hundredth anniversary of his father’s birth and the 10th anniversary of his death, Joe McPhee, using a pocket trumpet explores the birth of sound. The result is two part video, Birth and Sound.


Part 1: Breath (3:22 minutes)

Part 2: Sound (4:01 minutes)
Camera: Sylvia Safdie

Editing: Brigitte Dajczer, Sylvia Safdie

Audio: Joe McPhee

“As McPhee comments immediately prior to the filming of these videos, he wished to pay homage to the gifts of breath and music his father gave him, by summoning his absent father with his own breath and sound. McPhee’s playing style here is somewhat uncharacteristic of his recorded work, but expressive and moving as always. Safdie comments: “When I worked with Joe, he told me he made sounds that he had never made before … it was an elemental sound.” The camera captures his rapture, his “sleep/awakening” state, and also suggests his own finitude.” (1)
83 Eric Lewis, The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie pg. 49, 2013

About the Musician: Joe McPhee is one of the leading figures in the history of “free jazz” and improvisation. He is a multi instrumentalist (alto, tenor, soprano, saxophones, pocket trumpet, trombone), and has been an influential force since the early 70s in the development and establishment of this music. He lives outside New York.