Friday 4 March 2016, 8pm
After its premiere at the 23rd Raindance Film Festival, Cafe OTO presents the second London screening of Liam Barker's Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho – a documentary feature on the extraordinary life and visionary music of the American guitarist and singer Robbie Basho.
“It's a mystery you'll enjoy getting lost in” – The Quietus
“Intensely moving and truly eye-opening” – Shindig!
Robbie Basho (1940 - 1986) was a Berkeley-based composer, guitarist, and vocalist and one of the foremost proponents of steel string acoustic guitar as a solo concert instrument. Along with John Fahey and Leo Kottke, Basho was part of the triumvirate of pioneering guitarists on the Berkeley-based Takoma label in the 1960s. Basho went on to record for Windham Hill, and was an important influence on the label’s founder, guitarist William Ackerman. His innovative guitar compositions incorporated American, European, and Eastern and influences, and he is credited for developing the improvisational “American raga” style.
Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho is a journey into the heart of an artist's lifelong struggle - designed to illuminate and satiate existing fans while serving as a perfect starting point for the uninitiated. The documentary features interviews with Basho's former students, contemporaries and few close friends (including Pete Townshend, Country Joe McDonald, William Ackerman, Alex de Grassi, Max Ochs, Glenn Jones and Henry Kaiser); integrated with previously unpublished archive material and photography of the landscapes and natural phenomena that informed Basho's work. With the resurgence of interest in Basho continuing to grow, it is surely an auspicious time for his unique music and life story to be evoked through documentary.