Playing to the Camera
Playing to the Camera is the first full-length study devoted to the musical performance documentary. Its scope ranges from rock concert films to experimental video art featuring modernist music. Unlike the 'music under' produced for films by unseen musicians, on-screen 'live' performances show us the bodies that produce the sounds we hear. Exploring the link between moving images and musical movement as physical gesture, this volume asks why performance is so often derided as mere skill whereas composition is afforded the status of art, a question that opens onto a broader critique of attitudes regarding mental and physical labor in Western culture.